In Search of the Magic Spray

Posted by Darrell Nicholson at 12:53PM - Comments: (11)

Our evaluation of anti-corrosion sprays found some dramatic differences in long-term durability.
Ah, the magic spray. The one that loosens bolts, stop squeaks, and bolts the door against corrosion. Every sailor has their favorite brand miracle spray (WD-40, CRC, LPS, CorrosionX, etc.), and that brand will often live up to their expectations. However, as we've found in our testing, some sprays are clearly more magical than others, and many of the biases among sailors aren't fully justified.

And then of course, there is a lot of confusion of which spray is best for what job.  

Yes, there are some spray products that claim to be everything under the sun. But given the wide range of expectations we have, it is physically impossible for one spray to fit all our needs. Some spray petroleum products are good for loosening bolts, some seal electrical connections, some protect against corrosion, some even claim to improve conductivity. 

Over the years we’ve put these products through a variety of tests, with some surprising results. In one study, we found an anti-corrosion coating that actually seemed to promote corrosion. Here's our greatest hits, so to speak, of miracle spray coverage. 

To test products that claim to protect electrical connections, we immersed store-bought electrical toys into a fish tank (PS September 2007.)

CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor came out a winner in our test of anti-corrosion spray coatings (PS April 2007) .

Some products that claimed to improve electrical connections and fight corrosion fell flat in our test (PS April 2017).

Seized bolts on an old trailer bore the brunt of our anti-corrosion spray test (PS April 2009).

The bond-breaker’s tool kit: vice grip, impact driver, cold chisel, lump hammer, and nut cracker (PS April 2009).

Comments (11)

A follow up segment of this article is necessary to provide more comprehensive information about the vast amount of products available to the mariner and to provide proof that "Practical Sailor " has it's reader's best interest in mind.....
I have recently discovered my new favorite lubricant and anti corrosion spray called DEEP CREEP made by Sea Foam!!!! This far surpasses PB Blaster for loosening frozen bolts, turnbuckles etc without the horrible smell and lose of propellant that PB Blaster has before the oil runs out, although I am reluctant to remove what's left of it from my stash. Once the can no longer sprays I put the remaining PB Blaster into a hand operated oil bottle for rare occasions when the Deep Creep can is unable to fit into the tight place that a lubricant is needed.
There are also very good and inexpensive options of brands specific to the store such as Ace Hardware and Napa brand lubricant in the WD40 section.... looking forward to seeing if this site pays attention to your readers!

Posted by: Rev Dr. Malama | November 10, 2019 10:21 AM    Report this comment

I buy a gallon of LPS3 and a gallon of WD40 I mix them about 50/50 in a hand spray bottle. I get the penetration and water displacement of WD 50 and when the lighter WD 40 carrier evaporates is leaves a very tough thin layer of LPS3. Cleans up very easily. Straight WD40 is an excellent LPS3 film remover if it it unwanted when the item is put in service.

Posted by: ValR | November 10, 2019 10:09 AM    Report this comment

A good choice to add to this vast collection would be a spray can of white lithium grease ... great for lubrication of any number of components (even sliding wood surfaces) especially where it won't mess up and stain your clothing ... has a pretty good water resistance too!

Posted by: grampaBrian | November 10, 2019 10:07 AM    Report this comment

Would love to see your results as per WD-40 & PB Blaster.
Pd seems to last longer because oily residue is my guess. I keep both on hand.

Posted by: charles@charlespeck.com | November 10, 2019 4:50 AM    Report this comment

I have used LPS 3 on battery terminals on my boats and planes for years with very good results although it does leave a heavy residue. On other items like electrical connections and places I do not want the LPS residue I use Boeshield, developed by Boeing Aircraft with good results.

Posted by: Captain Woody | November 7, 2019 5:02 PM    Report this comment

PB Blaster

Posted by: Rocklicker | November 7, 2019 12:21 PM    Report this comment

PB Blaster

Posted by: Rocklicker | November 7, 2019 12:21 PM    Report this comment

PB Blaster

Posted by: Rocklicker | November 7, 2019 12:20 PM    Report this comment

Many of these products work well, but leave oily residue. I found an old farmers rust inhibitor product that is lanolin based I've been trying on my vehicles for two years that seems to work well and can be used on anything. The product may be found at Napa stores or can be ordered on line. Spray cans of gallon cans to must be atomized with a sprayer. The product, "Fluid Film" May be seen in comparison on YouTube video's.

Posted by: bnnauti | November 7, 2019 9:53 AM    Report this comment

What?? No reference to the many benefits of WD 40??? Protection from moisture without harming conductivity for one!! I have rescued electrical equipment (camera, radio, small motor, etc.) from immersion, even in salt water, with this spray.

Posted by: grampaBrian | November 7, 2019 9:43 AM    Report this comment

What?? No reference to the many benefits of WD 40??? Protection from moisture without harming conductivity for one!! I have rescued electrical equipment (camera, radio, small motor, etc.) from immersion, even in salt water, with this spray.

Posted by: grampaBrian | November 7, 2019 9:43 AM    Report this comment

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