It can be found in four out of five U.S. households, yet the ingredients in the household staple are known only to a handful of people across the globe — that’s why WD-40 Company pulled out all the stops on Sept. 12, enlisting the help of an armored vehicle and security to move its secret formula to a secure bank vault.
Starting at the WD-40 Company office in San Diego, CA, President and CEO of WD-40 Company Garry Ridge entrusted Brink’s, the global leader in secure logistics, to transport him handcuffed to a briefcase carrying the secret formula, which will be housed safely at a nearby bank vault. The formula – which hasn’t been touched by human hands in more than 15 years since the Company’s 50th anniversary – is the Company’s prized possession, filling iconic blue and yellow cans in 176 countries and territories worldwide. And while the “secret sauce” has had the same basic ingredients since the Company’s inception 65 years ago, WD-40 Company is anything but static.
“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 our multi-use product, like our 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.”
Innovation has been a constant and has helped WD-40 Company reach net sales of $381 million in fiscal year 2017.
2005: WD-40 Company introduced the permanently attached WD-40® Smart Straw® that sprays two ways – as a wide-spray or stream.
2009: WD-40® Trigger Pro, a durable non-aerosol bottle that delivers the same great product, was brought to market.
2011: The Company introduced WD-40® Specialist®, a line of best-in-class maintenance products specifically formulated to meet the needs of professional users. The line has grown to 18 products including the WD-40® Specialist® Spray & Stay Gel, Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, and a line of four Greases.
2015: WD-40 Company introduced WD-40 EZ-REACHTM, which has the only straw that bends and keeps its shape to make it ‘EZ’-er to get around corners and into hard-to-reach spots.
In addition to the Company’s focus on innovation to meet marketplace demands, Ridge 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,” said Ridge. “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.”