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  1. #1

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    Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    If you are like me, when you do a full vehicle detail, like polishing metals or do minor vehicle maintenance ,like changing oil, your hands get dirty. Sometimes FILTHY dirty! You all know what I am talking about; the kind of hands that are not allowed in the house until they are "somewhat" clean. I am wondering what my fellow Autopians use to clean their hands and am asking for your suggestions for hand cleaners.

    For my self I am currently using Fast Orange Smooth, wiped off with cheaper paper toweling or old cotton cloth rags and then Lava soap and water at the outside faucet. Yes, I use an old tooth brush for my nails and, yes, I know they make a special nail cleaning brush. And yes, I still use a pointed nail file (or round tooth picks in an emergency that I have for detailing) to deep clean UNDER my nails. (No one "likes" to shake hands with someone who has dirty-looking mechanic`s hands or nails, especially at dress-up events, even if you tell them you just got done spending 12 hours that day detailing a vehicle! Up North in a bar; that is different; EVERYBODY has dirty hands because they all do manual labor of some sort. But I digress...)

    I do not like Orange Fast Pumice, as sometimes I only wipe my hands off with the toweling or rags and do not wash them off with soap and water. I despise the gritty feeling the pumice leaves behind if I continue to work on a vehicle.

    My brother-in-law, who is a retired machine maintenance mechanic, used to use new high-detergent straight 10W or 20W conventional motor oil for cleaning greasy, oily hands, as the detergents REALLY clean your hands (according to him) and then follow with industrial hand cleaning soap and water. Never tried this myself.

    I also have a bar of soap for artist-painter`s hands called The Original B&J "The Masters" Hand Soap made by G.P.C. Inc, Box 5311, Redwood, CA 94063 that I bought at rummage sale but I have not used that. I was intended for my sister who is an artist painter. Have any of you Autopians used painter`s hand soap for cleaning your hands after vehicle detailing or maintenance?


    I know that there are a plethora of commercial/industrial hand-cleaning soaps out there, like:
    1) GoJo Original formula
    2) GoJo with fine Italian Pumice
    3) GoJo Cherry Pumice
    4) GoJo Cherry Bomb
    5) GoJo Supro Max Hand
    6) GoJo Natural Orange
    7) GoJo Natural Orange with Pumice
    8) Fast Orange X-Treme with Pumice
    9) Tub O`Scrub Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner
    10) Permatex Blue Label (A former favorite of mine)
    11) Boraxo Powder

    And yes, I have have used Dawn Dish Soap on occasion when nothing else stronger was available. it works OK when combined with a brush or old wash rag.

    On a related topic, I use O`keeffe`s Working Hands Hand Cream to smooth out dried, cracked hands after they been used with strong all-purpose cleaners , like Super Clean- The Purple Stuff when cleaning out numerous foam pads during and after correcting vehicles during a detail. I used to use Neutrogena Norwegian-formula Hand Cream and it does work, but O`keeffe`s is more economical. I know, I SHOULD use disposable nytril gloves (or removable latex/rubber gloves) when cleaning with strong detergents for any length of time to protect the hands and absorbing all those harsh chemicals.

    So, give me your thoughts about hand-cleaning products and methods used to clean your your dirty detailing and maintenance hands.
    Thanks in advance!!
    GB detailer

  2. #2

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I switched over to that Fast Orange from the orange GoJo. I keep both the smooth and the pumice, and use whichever I feel appropriate for the soil.

    However, I don`t use either very much anymore because I have started wearing nitrile gloves all the time, partly just to keep clean, partly from the "if it`s on you, it`s in you", and partly because I kept getting cuticle infections and the doctor suggested I keep my hands dry. However, I finally figured out I was getting the cuticle infections from a bottle of Griot`s orange hand cleaner, so I threw that out and I don`t recommend it.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I forgot about the "Shark Tank" episode where a X-game motorcycle racer Bryce Hudson came up with a dirt-infused hand cleaner called Grip Clean Industrial Hand Cleaner. I think that shark Lori Greiner invested $85,000 for a 35% equity in his company. The product was (past tense) sold at Advance Auto Parts/CarQuest at $10.50 for a 10 ounce tube; a little pricy, but it does exfoliate the skin as it cleans!
    GB detailer

  4. #4
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I`ve tried the various pumice soaps but I keep going back to Go-jo or Goop white stuff in the round tubs, but it is getting harder to find. And that is mostly when I forget to wear gloves.

  5. #5

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I too just wear Nitrile gloves when it`s appropriate (the thinner of the two I use are only ~$5 w/coupon from HF, the thicker ones a bit more), though I`ll say that for some jobs I want the tactile sensitivity of using my bare hands. In those cases I usually use the old Boraxo 20 Mule Team stuff (yeah, I refill the metal tin I`ve had since forever), or Fast Orange w/pumice (a gallon jug lasts for years).

    IME it`s essential to use the right brush and not just rely on the product alone.

    Setec Astronomy- Hey, interesting about the Griot`s and cuticle infections! I quit using it after my father (GG fanatic who`d buy me their stuff) passed because of the price, and/but never thought it was anything that special anyhow.

    Lonnie- With our kitchen soap dispenser filled with Dawn, my wife and I probably clean our hands with that more than with anything else. I wouldn`t consider it effective for truly dirty hands, but it`s never dried out our skin or anything like that either.

    Interesting that you like the O`Keeff`s that well! I got a jar of that as a gift but it didn`t work as well for *me* as the admittedly pricey Neutrogena. (And I`ll admit that decades of the latter have rendered me partial to the scent of their Original version.) The O`Keeff`s *was* a bit, uhm...less slimy though, IIRC. And careful shoppers can find it pretty cheap.

    Dan- Hey, thanks for the trip down Memory Lane! I`ll *NEVER* forget the scent of Goop and G-Jo. I don`t think I`ve used them since the `70s though..always needed to follow up with the Boraxo anyhow (or just mixed the two together).

  6. #6

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Setec Astronomy- Hey, interesting about the Griot`s and cuticle infections! I quit using it after my father (GG fanatic who`d buy me their stuff) passed because of the price, and/but never thought it was anything that special anyhow.
    Someone on here had recommended it (Tom P.?) and I had bought a bottle and it sat around for a few years before I used it. It was only something I used once in a while. So I started getting these infections which is something I`ve never had before. I`d be fine for a while and then boom...finally I figured out it was happening shortly after using the Griot`s cleaner, so I threw it out and haven`t had a problem since. It didn`t look or smell bad.

    Boraxo never fails, except if I use it a lot the backs of my hands turn red, which is why I shifted to the "waterless" cleaners, but I always hated the kerosene smell of the original GoJo plus it would turn to soup if you didn`t use it for a while, so that`s how I got to using the orange pump cleaners.

  7. #7
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    Someone on here had recommended it (Tom P.?) and I had bought a bottle and it sat around for a few years before I used it. It was only something I used once in a while. So I started getting these infections which is something I`ve never had before. I`d be fine for a while and then boom...finally I figured out it was happening shortly after using the Griot`s cleaner, so I threw it out and haven`t had a problem since. It didn`t look or smell bad.

    Boraxo never fails, except if I use it a lot the backs of my hands turn red, which is why I shifted to the "waterless" cleaners, but I always hated the kerosene smell of the original GoJo plus it would turn to soup if you didn`t use it for a while, so that`s how I got to using the orange pump cleaners.
    I hate the smell of the old school Go-jo too but I think it turns to soup if you get grease/dirt in it. Left alone, it seems to keep for a long while. For me the orange pump cleaners seem to clog if not used all the time!

  8. #8

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I have a suggestion from the laundry room - Tide Free and Gentle. My client uses it by the gallon for a degreaser when he rebuilds a pre-war cars. He will put the part(s) in a bath of TF&G and let it sit for days. It cleans every nook and cranny, even carburetor jets, and can be rinsed down the sink. I keep a `ketchup style` bottle of it in my detailing supplies for clean up. It does require water to rinse off, but that is not a problem 98% of the time.
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  9. #9
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I will always wear Nitrile gloves when doing things that are oily, greasy, etc..

    If I do end up getting my hands really dirty, I like to use this combo --

    https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Meyers-Cl...an+day+multi-s

    Put it full strength into one of those nice smaller bottles that - Foam - out the thicker soap really nicely with a foam that is much easier to manage on your hands and does not run off..

    Then, I like to use the business end of this -- https://www.autogeek.net/tuf-shine-sponge.html

    This sponge is absolutely incredible for anything that needs efficient, safe, cleaning... I have used dozens of them over 15+ years, and for detailing especially, they always work..

    I just heat the business end in hot water to help soften it, then lather up with the Mrs. Meyer`s, work it into my hands, and then use the sponge to really finish cleaning my hands..
    A good rinse, and I get clean hands and that wonderful lemon verbena fragrance..

    This sponge is also very good in the kitchen, bathroom, anywhere you need a good, will never smell, 2-sided sponge that can do about anything really well, and last a long time..

    They don`t seem to sell these on Autopia, and searching directly to the Geek, I didn`t find them there either; so I just searched by name and it showed up on the Geek..
    If for some reason they don`t have them there either, for sure they are at a place in Guilderland, NY..
    Dan F

  10. #10

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I hate the smell of the old school Go-jo too but I think it turns to soup if you get grease/dirt in it. Left alone, it seems to keep for a long while. For me the orange pump cleaners seem to clog if not used all the time!
    I really think it`s humidity that turns GoJo to soup, after all water "deactivates" it. And yes, the pumps clog.

  11. #11
    wannafbody
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    I tend to wash my hands a lot through the day and find that hand soap dries my hands out. In winter my hands look like a low nap rag. Although not a heavy duty cleaner, I`ve started using body wash as a hand cleaner and find it doesn`t dry my hands nearly as much as soap.

  12. #12
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Dishwashing soap or lava.No more orange junk turns to rock in the plumbing.After we kicked it out at the shop like plumber said to.Have not seen plumber since
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  13. #13

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Huh, never had any problems from the orange pumice stuff clogging my pipes or the dispenser (mine sits unused for weeks), wonder what makes it happen/not?


    By the sound of it, I oughta thank my lucky stars that the soaps I use don`t trash my skin more than they do. Being allergic to the dogs and generally on the clean-freak end of the spectrum, I wash my hands constantly throughout the day and while it can [mess] with my nails it doesn`t dry out my hands that much, although doing lots of bare-handed chores in the winter can lead to the dreaded cracking on my fingertips.

  14. #14
    SUPER MODERATOR GearHead_1's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Though this technically isn’t pumice, it may not pass your no grit test.

    That said, I turned wrenches for years and know greasy hands. I have no doubt that I’d wash my hands more times each day than a doctor. As one might expect the shop always supplied the soaps in the wash room but they were always looking for a great deal to save a buck. Having multiple vendors we tried them all. I’ve never found a better hand cleaner than the tested, tried and true, powdered 20 Mule Team Boraxo hand cleaner. I think they’ve dropped the “20 Mule Team” from the name these days and it’s now just Boraxo. This stuff absolutely doesn’t dry my hands out. Many of the liquid or jelly “GOOP” type products did. I use it with a medium bristle nylon nail/hand brush. If I had diesel oil/grease on my hands I’d mix a little PUREX not CLOROX with it to make a paste. Can’t tell you why but PUREX left my hands soft, Clorox would dry them out. I think it’s a great and economical hand cleaner, it runs around $5 give or take, for a 5 lb. box.

    With this product it’s mandatory that you clean up after yourself as this product doesn’t simply liquify and go down the drain. It isn’t hard to make sure you’re not using more than is necessary. If you use too much it can collect in the sinks and around the fixtures but I’ve never had a problem with it clogging pipes. It’ll clean right off the fixture with a nylon brush, same one I keep at the sink to wash my hands. Knowing this, it’s never been a problem for me. I keep one of the on-the-wall dispensers right above the sink. My dispenser is probably an antique.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Suggestions for Hand-cleaning Soaps

    Quote Originally Posted by GearHead_1 View Post
    Though this technically isnít pumice, it may not pass your no grit test.

    That said, I turned wrenches for years and know greasy hands. I have no doubt that Iíd wash my hands more times each day than a doctor. As one might expect the shop always supplied the soaps in the wash room but they were always looking for a great deal to save a buck. Having multiple vendors we tried them all. Iíve never found a better hand cleaner than the tested, tried and true, powdered 20 Mule Team Boraxo hand cleaner. I think theyíve dropped the ď20 Mule TeamĒ from the name these days and itís now just Boraxo. This stuff absolutely doesnít dry my hands out. Many of the liquid or jelly ďGOOPĒ type products did. I use it with a medium bristle nylon nail/hand brush. If I had diesel oil/grease on my hands Iíd mix a little PUREX not CLOROX with it to make a paste. Canít tell you why but PUREX left my hands soft, Clorox would dry them out. I think itís a great and economical hand cleaner, it runs around $5 give or take, for a 5 lb. box.

    With this product itís mandatory that you clean up after yourself as this product doesnít simply liquify and go down the drain. It isnít hard to make sure youíre not using more than is necessary. If you use too much it can collect in the sinks and around the fixtures but Iíve never had a problem with it clogging pipes. Itíll clean right off the fixture with a nylon brush, same one I keep at the sink to wash my hands. Knowing this, itís never been a problem for me. I keep one of the on-the-wall dispensers right above the sink. My dispenser is probably an antique.

    Interesting...You dont like snap on nitro gold ? Itís one of the best I have tried especially if you continue to use it. Expensive buy in if you donít have a driver but not terrible if you do. I have a dispenser at home even.




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