Spotting counterfeit WD-40: A guide to identifying fake products

By Jaclyn Franco 

In an era where imitattion goods have permeated markets, discerning authenticity has become an indispensable skill for consumers. Amidst this backdrop, Kenya finds itself in the midst of a growing challenge – an invasion of WD-40 imitations that closely mimic the original.

Margate Holdings has been the authorized distributor of WD-40 in Kenya since 2018. The company says inferior products now threaten its applications in motoring.

“Understanding the origins of WD-40 is crucial to appreciate its significance. Originally formulated in 1953 for aerospace rust prevention, WD-40 has since evolved into a versatile multi-use product with over 2000 applications worldwide. It has five primary functions, including stopping squeaks, driving out moisture, cleaning and protecting, loosening rusted parts, and freeing sticky mechanisms, making it an unrivalled problem solver,” Margate Holdings Marketing Manager Jacklyn Franco told Autonews Magazine.

Distinguishing genuine WD-40 from counterfeits begins with understanding the propellant used. Authentic WD-40 utilizes carbon dioxide propellant, ensuring that the stated content matches the actual amount in the can. Counterfeits often use propane or butane, leaving you with less product than expected. A genuine can should feel substantial in weight, offering an initial clue.

“The distinctive packaging of WD-40 is instantly recognizable. Authentic cans come in dark blue with a yellow logo and a red cap, a design known worldwide. Look for the WD-40 Multi-use product logo, the five functions listed in English, and a “silicone-free” note at the bottom. On the back, you’ll find a declaration that WD-40 has been silicone-free since its inception over 60 years ago, along with its place of origin, the United Kingdom. Always check for the WD-40 website URL on the can. Counterfeits typically lack these distinguishing features,” she explained.

While WD-40 is introducing the new SMART STRAW design, genuine products already come with reliable spray nozzles. This nozzle is designed for two-way spraying, ensuring you never lose the straw.

Franco added: “Safety is paramount when handling any aerosol product, and WD-40 is no exception. It contains a flammable mixture, so keep it away from children and heat sources. Inhaling large amounts can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Authentic WD-40 products provide comprehensive safety information and instructions for proper use, distinguishing them from counterfeits that often lack these crucial details,”

Margate Holdings has established a network of authorized dealers in Kenya, with eight main ones listed on their website and over 20 sub-dealers, ensuring genuine WD-40 products are accessible across the country. 

Counterfeit products come with significant risks, potentially harming your belongings and, more importantly, your health. Margate Holdings emphasizes the importance of using a trusted, genuine product.

To combat the proliferation of imitation products, Margate Holdings and WD-40 Worldwide are actively engaged in awareness campaigns. Their strategies include educational campaigns, collaboration with distributors, online resources, social media initiatives, interactive demonstrations, in-store materials, engaging with consumer feedback, promotions, and continuous market monitoring.

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