The Hal Blog
Published in

The Hal Blog

A Day in the Life of a Hal (Part IV)

I really enjoy being a Hal. It challenges the essence of my acquired knowledge and my ability to problem solve. Although the Hal Personal Assistant app has lots of applications, I find that I really love introducing customers to solutions that they’ve never heard of before to solve everyday problems. The story that follows is about a very frustrated mom who learned about all the joys of one of the best kept secrets out there…


Yup! Good ol’ WD-40.

It was a refrain from mom’s everywhere that is all too familiar: “My kid’s room is a mess!” In this case, the mess was rather specific: her son plays videos games in his room where he also manages to enjoy lots of burgers (with tons of ketchup!) and also has a habit of falling asleep with his favorite chewing gum in his mouth after a marathon of game play on Twitch. The latter issue has resulted in the chewed gum falling out of his mouth and onto the carpet, where it co-exists with way too many ketchup stains. Yikes!

Fortunately, the Hal app was ready for her concerns — and as her “designated Hal”, I took on the challenge of stubborn ketchup stains AND chewing gum stuck to the rug with one terrific idea: WD-40.

As it turns out, this little potion does a whole lot more than just fix squeaks on hinges or lubricate bicycle chains — it is a little cleaning miracle in a can as well. Since she happened to have a can hanging around the house, the implementation of my ideas were rather immediate and very well received. Here’s are the WD-40 tricks I shared to give her a few ‘life hacks’ and a way to re-purpose that can of WD-40:

First off, when it came to the gum, I told her that she should be sure and use the little red straw nozzle that comes with the WD-40, since it will allow her to efficiently spray around the gooey perimeter of the gum stuck onto the carpet. I shared that once she sprays around the edges, the majority of the gum will come right up. After that is removed easily, re-spray the more stubborn area that remains and the rest of the gum comes off seamlessly from the carpet fibers. Boom! The gum is completely gone literally in under a minute and no residue nor any discoloration to the areas of the carpet that once held the sticky substance.

Next, it was onto the ketchup stains in the bedroom rug. For this application, no nozzle needed — just spray a generous amount after wiping up the initial stain with a damp cloth. I shared that a microfiber cloth would work fine for the first one to two applications to remove the red stain. By the second application it went from red to pink, so that the final spritz did the trick and she could use a dry towel to fully dry off the area. She was THRILLED with the results!

But wait…there’s still more! I also shared that our little miracle in a can can also get rid of fingerprints on her stainless steel appliances and restore the luster on them all. I then shared that the same magic will also work on her stove to remove the baked in food that stubbornly remains (esp. when the kids try to cook eggs and too much of it ends up ON the stove instead of IN the frying pan).

Of course, there’s also the advantage of using WD-40 to easily remove those annoying bar code stickers that show up on everything from your new coffee mug to your new glassware. Just spray a small amount all around the glue that is still remaining on your item and with a little elbow grease, the glue is completely gone and your item has no ugly residue from the sticker!

If you happen to be a camper and love the great outdoors — but it doesn’t love you back and you get rained on — you can bring along some cotton balls and a can of WD-40 and start a fire that will light even in the pouring rain just by spraying the cotton balls in WD-40 first, then lighting them with your matches. If you managed to keep the wood dry prior to the downpour (or even during a light, steady rain), that should be enough to keep that fire burning!

And last but not least, you can use it for stubborn zippers to make zipping up that jacket or raincoat a whole lot easier — just remember to definitely use the little red straw nozzle for that type of application so the spray is targeted to a small area on the zipper itself.

So there you have it! Being a Hal means you get to solve problems in the coolest way possible each time a customer presents their particular request. It’s the unique value proposition that our community of Hals offers to each and every customer that needs assistance. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Polymath. MacBook Pro Enthusiast. Narrator. Technophile. Orthogonal Thinker. Gadget Guy. Corporate Dropout. Crowdfunder.