Watco Oil - How do you open the darned can?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by SawTooth1953 posted 11-03-2013 03:24 PM 15568 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3691 days

11-03-2013 03:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finish can oil

I just bought a quart of Watco Danish Oil. I am not weak; my hands are not arthritic. The frickin’ can took 10 minutes to open! The stupid soft plastic on soft plastic “gears” that engage when I “push down and turn” just slide past each other! I had to apply a large wrench to the cap and it STILL was a battle…holding the wrench tight on the cap, pushing down on the cap, and turning wasn’t as easy as it sounds…the can had to be fixed in place.

When I finally got it open, a cardboard cover was stuck in place. When I peeled it off, a thin layer of ‘paper’ from the cardboard remained. Removing that left bits of it around the rim.

Now that it is open, I don’t want to close it… but I have to.
In the past I’ve taken plastic from a shopping bag to put between the cap and can to ‘seal’ it. It works, but isn’t wonderful.

Can I Vaseline the cap’s threads without ruining the product if they mixed?
Any advice for this dilemma? Am I the only one?
I am aggravated over this stupid thing! HELP!


-- Spence in Skokie, IL

31 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3236 days

#1 posted 11-03-2013 03:29 PM

Before I open a fresh can I take my bottle opener/paint can opener (a screwdriver will to) and pop off the plastic cap (straight up).

Now you can work with pliers if you need to.

Watco is sticky stuff so it gathers on the threads and makes its own gasket! Cool!

Just have the pliers on hand whenever you need to open the can. In over 30 years of using the product I’ve never had to throw out a can that wasn’t empty.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5538 posts in 2879 days

#2 posted 11-03-2013 03:30 PM

I’ve had that happen with other products and used a pair of arc joint pliers to get it off. Squeeze tight enough turn, it will come. You could also warm it up with a heat gun to soften the bond the finish has caused, but that always seemed to be more hassle to me (and maybe not quite as safe). I suspect the thinner in the finish could dissolve some of the vaseline and allow it to get into the finish…thoough I’m unsure what would happen. Likely nothing, but I’m not sure. I would clean the thread of the cap and the can with MS, and then just put the lid back on, or empty the whole thing into a canning jar and put a food storage lid (one of the plastic ones) on it. It keeps longer in the frig…

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 2713 days

#3 posted 11-03-2013 03:33 PM

I too, remove the plastic cap prior to using the product.
Also, consider cleaning the threads after each use will help.

View Senorbutt's profile


11 posts in 2121 days

#4 posted 11-03-2013 03:40 PM

Like others I usually remove the plastic cap.
If I get lazy and the threads gunk up I go straight to a pair of channel locks.
Good luck!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19201 posts in 2953 days

#5 posted 11-03-2013 03:49 PM

Like others I usually remove the plastic cap.
If I get lazy and the threads gunk up I go straight to a pair of channel locks.


-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View firefighterontheside's profile


20283 posts in 2242 days

#6 posted 11-03-2013 04:00 PM

I bought my first can of watco the other day. Same problem. I’m not weak. Pushed down and turned, it slipped. Use pliers in one hand, pushed down with the other hand, it slipped. Took a screwdriver and pried the lid off. Now when I put it back on it comes off as it should by pushing down and turning.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View steveg769's profile


8 posts in 2131 days

#7 posted 11-03-2013 04:10 PM

Same here, trash the plastic piece and get the channel lock pliers. Works every time.

-- Steve Garrison,

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3691 days

#8 posted 11-03-2013 04:12 PM

So I’m not the only one!
As I said, this was a brand new can from the store…but I will wipe off the threads w MS after each use. I assume then that you guys use a screwdriver or some sort of pry-bar and fight to pop off the ‘outer’ plastic cap.

Sheesh!!! I wonder if WATCO is aware of the efforts we expend to use their product… My next can of finish, I will look to see if competitors opted for a different kind of cap…IMHO, the one on this can is inappropriate for this use. It is hard to like a product when using it involves a battle…the manufacturer should solve this problem for us.

In fact, I just contacted them online (RustOLeum Corp.) and told them how I feel. ARGHH!!! No I didn’t… their Contact Us page doesn’t work! I filled it out…at the bottom it says they use a system to ensure a human is submitting the form (I assume a Captcha method) but there is no method on the page and the Submit button does nothing. (I’m using IE10) Apparently they think all their products are perfect since nobody has contacted them to say otherwise…go figure! (Update: I refreshed the page. IE said only secure content is shown. The first time, I left it at that. This time I said to Show All Content and the Captcha appeared. Fortunately, I thought ahead and Copied my message before Refreshing the page so I didn’t have to re-create it from scratch. Now y’all know what I learned about that! ) Ok…my comment successfully submitted to RustOLeum. I’ll let y’all know what their response is.

Meanwhile, I welcome any other tips on how y’all handle this issue.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View PaulDoug's profile


1920 posts in 2089 days

#9 posted 11-03-2013 04:28 PM

I remove the plastic to on that and everything else I can. I know why they it there, but I reserve the right to remove it. Now a pair of pliers solves the problem. A rag to remove the spillage after use is a big help also.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3252 days

#10 posted 11-03-2013 04:35 PM

Channel locks or vise grips works pretty well.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3148 days

#11 posted 11-03-2013 06:48 PM

Give it to a 4 year old, it will be opened in about 3 seconds!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3691 days

#12 posted 11-03-2013 07:00 PM

Hmmm… I know where you’re coming from, but this isn’t computer-related. I’ll bet it would take a 4-yr old at least a minute.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3464 days

#13 posted 11-04-2013 01:44 PM

+1 to the channel locks

After it’s been opened the first time, I put a wrap of plumber’s Teflon pipe tape around the threads. Usually this prevents me from needing the channel locks for a second time.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3691 days

#14 posted 11-04-2013 02:10 PM

I tried the Teflon tape in the past, but it didn’t want to stay in place. That’s when I went to plastic from a shopping bag, which wasn’t so great, either.

Today is Monday and I’m hoping to get a reply from RustOLeum, who puts out the Watco Oil product.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View robscastle's profile (online now)


6104 posts in 2590 days

#15 posted 11-07-2013 12:28 AM

Yep you are not alone its a conspiracy against old people with failing eyesight and the most annoying micro dot printing on the lid and direction labels as well, I need glasses and a magnifying glass to read it these days.

A pair of vice grips works every time for me !!

-- Regards Rob

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics