Is water better at freeing up rusty nuts and bolts than penetrating oil? This guy finds out

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Acetone plus gear oil/automatic transmission fluid is 4x better than wd40/liquid wrench…


Sorry I just had to.index


I’m saying no, because it’s idiotic. I refuse to watch the video.


The statistician in me was actually quite happy with the experimentation here (sure, he should have randomized the assignment of treatments), but really it wasn’t bad for a bit of garage science.

The problem is always in the interpretation though.

Then he goes an says that he doesn’t recommend water when its effectiveness was indistinguishable from at least 4 of the brands he tested. And I’m not sure the extra torque required to loosen a nut with water is all that meaningful compared to the Gibbs brand.


So on these simple steel bolts, basically very little difference between all of those tested: between 111 and 136 ft/lbs. I’d love to see the same test on an aluminum seat post stuck in a steel bike frame.


The more revealing figure would be the percentage change in torque relative to the control, which ranges from just below zero to around 25% for the Gibbs oil, with water at around 10%.

So my conclusions would be:

  1. The best penetrating oils do more than twice as well as water

  2. Nothing that you can spray on a rusty bolt actually makes that much of a difference. I mean, sure, it might save you some effort, but I suspect it is relatively rare IRL that any of these lubes alone will turn a bolt you can’t undo into one that you can.

(Would have been interesting to compare the torque for unrusted bolts; I would guess that most of the extra torque due to rust is still present whatever you try)


When a nut doesn’t want to release, fire is my tool of choice.


Best bug repellant is diesel & vegetable oil, equal parts, rub it in, no bug bites.


Best bug repellant is diesel & vegetable oil, equal parts, rub it in, light, no bug bites.




Your #2 has been my suspicion for a long time. About all those oils do is somewhat reduce the squeal you get once it finally lets go. Maybe wet the rust powder a bit so it doesn’t go flying as easily.

Very true! Old timers call it “weasel piss”, which is kind of funny.


The sparkle wrench!


Same, not gunna spring for the click bait.

I just went out and bought me some Gibbs. I’m going to free up all the rusty nuts and bolts in my community.


Must confess I clicked and skimmed it. Only reason I did is I have a hose bib near my garden that leaks and I want to replace it. I think that fixture has been out in the weather for 60 years. So I am interested in a penetrating oil that I can apply over time and have it really get in there and make it easier for me to get that element off the line. Reason I don’t just go in guns a-blazin is it is right on the house’s input line iirc.

3-1 with a drop of nail polish remover sounds like a nice ersatz weasel piss recipe. Apply a few times over a week and VIOLA! we may even have some transmission fluid from back in the VW days…
thx BB!

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IIRC he tested this in an earlier video, and it didn’t do so well.


I opened it, scrubbed until I saw the chart near the end, and watched the rest at x1.75

Stainless steel and aluminum can get way too friendly. I had a steel bolt that bonded itself to an aluminum casting and wouldn’t respond to Liquid Wrench or WD-40. I finally got it loose with PB Blaster, but it took a number of applications over a period of months, so I can’t say for certain that PB Blaster is actually better.

To prevent seizing of threaded fasteners of dissimilar metals, the choice in the marine world is Tef-Gel, but I don’t know if that would work on a seat post or just make it too slippery.

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