IROil

Why Not to Use WD-40 to Oil Your Paper Shredder

Written by Courtney McIlroy on . Posted in Information & Resources

Recently we’ve heard numerous accounts of people using household items to oil and maintain their paper shredders.  From vegetable oil and canola oil to WD-40, people seem to test any substance on their shredders, regardless of the consequences.  As we’ve previously discussed the downside of using vegetable oil to lubricate your shredder, let’s now take a look at the negative results of using WD-40 to oil your shredder.

Properly oiling your shredder is one of the most important steps you can take in order to preserve your shredder.  Cross cut shredders and higher require frequent oiling in order to avoid malfunctions or wear.  In fact, it is recommended that cross cut shredders like the Destroyit 2604 are oiled about every 30 minutes of use, and high security shredders like the Destroyit 4014 oiled every 15 minutes of use.

Water Displacement, 40th attempt, more commonly known as WD-40, is typically used as a cleaner, remover, and lubricant.  WD-40 penetrates to loosen rust, dissolve adhesives, and generously oil parts.  While many believe that WD-40 is approved for lubricating shredder gears, wheels, and blades, as well as preventing paper jams, we recommend disregarding this suggestion as a long-term solution for many reasons.  WD-40 is not specifically designed to properly lubricate the shredder head.  Similar to vegetable or canola oil, WD-40 will certainly cause paper stick together, gum the shredder head, and cause your machine to jam.  No amount of specially formulated oil can fix a problem like this.  A hefty service expense is in your future should your shredder head become this severely damaged.

If by some miracle your papers do not stick together or shredder head does not jam, the next dilemma you may encounter is quite dangerous.  Although WD-40 deserves praise for its unparalleled number of applications, what many people will not tell you is that WD-40 is extremely flammable.  Paper shredder fires are common for those who fail to follow manufacturer’s warnings against using flammable substances.  Shredder blades can become very hot during operation, which could ignite smoke or fire if inappropriate oil is used.  Damage to both the shredder and the user are guaranteed should the WD-40 spark a fire.  There have been several reports of shredder owners using WD-40 only to wind up with serious consequences.  We’ve heard stories about the waste basket and shredded pieces catching fire as a result of improper oiling.  In addition, we’ve heard accounts of fire manifesting in the feed opening (almost like a fireball) after applying WD-40 to the shredder head.  The results from these occurrences vary: singed eyebrows, scorched hands, and some pretty serious burns.  What’s more, WD-40 is not manufacturer approved to properly oil a shredder.  Using WD-40 on a consistent basis to oil your machine will more than likely void your warranty.

However tempting the option may be, the ramifications of using WD-40 to oil your paper shredder significantly overshadow the benefits.  Choosing a specially-blended shredder oil will help ensure your shredder remains in optimal condition.  Our oil formula is high-cling, high viscosity, light weight, and specially formulated for use on all business and commercial paper shredders.  For efficiency sake, we highly recommend equipping your cross cut or high security shredder with an automatic oiling system.  Some shredders like the Destroyit 2603 come fully equipped with auto oilers.

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Comments (4)

  • Kyle

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    It always blows my mind how many people will spend thousands of dollars on a paper shredder, and try to cut corners on the lubrication. It’s like buying a Ferrari and putting water in the gas tank.

    Reply

    • Tire shredder

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      This is the best example through which anyone can describe this blog.

      Reply

  • Bailey

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    Not everybody looking at this website is buying 1000 dollar paper shredders

    Reply

    • Eric Buhlman

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      Hi Bailey, Thanks for the comment! You are 100% correct. In fact, here’s a quick tip. If you have a small shredder that doesn’t require constant oiling, a little bit of vegetable oil that you might already have in the pantry will work just fine. You don’t want to use a lot (see our other article mentioned above), like you would need to on a large, office shredder. For a small home shredder, however, vegi oil is great tip. This is much better than other types of oil because there is less chance of flames! Thanks again for the input!

      Reply

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