WD-40 moves ‘secret’ formula

Brink’s is enlisted to transport WD-40’s longtime formula to an undisclosed bank vault.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Borrowing a page from a Hollywood blockbuster, WD-40 recently went to great lengths to ensure its top secret of formula didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

While the flagship product is estimated to be in 4 out of 5 American households, the ingredients of WD-40 are only know to a handful of people. To move the formula to a secure bank vault, the household products manufacturer enlisted the help of an armored vehicle and security team.

Beginning at the company’s San Diego, Calif. headquarters WD-40 president and CEO Garry Ridge presented the mysterious formula to Brink’s – the secure logistics provider. With a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, Ridge was then transported to a nearby bank vault.

WD-40 claims the formula hasn’t been touched by human hands in more than 15 years since the company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Now in 176 countries and territories globally, the “secret sauce” has had the same basic ingredients since the company’s founding 65 years ago.

“WD-40 Company was founded in 1953 as Rocket Chemical Company by three technicians looking for a rust-preventive solvent to protect missiles from corrosion and has grown well beyond the beloved multi-use formula,” said Ridge. “We’re constantly looking for ways to make it better than it is today, delivering unique, high value and easy-to-use solutions for a variety of maintenance needs.”

This has included not only new ways to apply the multi-use product, such as WD-40 EZ-Reach, which includes a bendable straw to get into hard-to-reach places, but also new product lines for DIYers and trade professionals alike, Ridge says.

In 2017, WD-40 reached net sales of $381 million. Along with its namesake product and WD-40 EZ-Reach, the company has introduced a range of products including WD-40 Smart Straw, WD-40 Trigger Pro, and WD-40 Specialist. The latter was introduced in 2011 and has grown into a line of 18 products.

Ridge says he attributes WD-40 Company’s continued success to its people.

“While our products and the secret formula are fundamental to our success, so too are our people,” he said. “We exist to create positive lasting memories in everything we do, and we couldn’t do that without our nearly 500 tribe members across the globe who are dedicated to living our values, solving problems and making things work smoothly in workshops, factories and homes.”



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