Swarfega has been making hand cleaners since 1947, so the company knows a thing or two about these products. Chris Brook, Technical Manager at Swarfega, outlines to PMM some of the things you should consider before starting to scrub.
It sounds like a simple choice – pick up the nearest bar of soap or pump the cleaner next to the sink and get scrubbing. There are also plenty of home brewed concoctions that mechanics have used over the years, like washing-up liquid mixed with sand or a quick hand soak in diesel or petrol. There’s a good reason why these potent potions aren’t available on the shelf – namely, the products used are designed for different purposes and therefore strip the skin of the natural oils that keep it healthy.
It’s worth pausing for a second to consider the type of hand cleaner that you use, otherwise you run the risk of damaging your skin, which can then lead to painful conditions such as cracked skin or dermatitis. It could even result in an allergic reaction.
Within the Swarfega range, there are hand cleaners of varying strength that are targeted at different types of grease and grime. As a rule, you should always choose the weakest strength hand cleaner that’ll do
the job, in order to avoid stripping the important natural oils from your skin. Choosing the weaker cleaner will minimise the loss of these oils and will help your skin stay healthy. We strongly advise against using something you’ve created yourself; it might work once or twice, but it is likely to cause more damage to your skin if used repeatedly.
Once you’ve checked how dirty your hands are, have a think about what kind of muck and dirt is on your skin. For light to medium soiling with general grease and grime, Swarfega’s Original Classic green gel is ideal. It contains a blend of hydrocarbon solvent and emulsifiers to quickly remove these types of soiling. It also contains a skin conditioner, leaving the skin soft and supple.
For more ingrained oil, grease and general soilings, a product with a non-abrasive scrubber in the formulation may be required. Swarfega Orange is a fast-acting, solvent free, heavy duty hand cleaner containing natural cornmeal instead of plastic microbeads for an effective, deep clean.
Swarfega Lemon is also great for medium to heavy soiling, as it contains highly developed surfactant cleaning agents that cling to the dirt and help it wash away. It also contains cornmeal for a deep cleaning scrub.
For deeply ingrained oil and grease that’s hard to shift, look no further than Swarfega Heavy. Made from highly refined solvents, it also contains a scrubbing agent made from Perlite particles to provide a deep clean. It removes oil, grease, tar, diesel, creosote and carbon.
For people working with paint rather than oil and grease, a specialist cleaner such as Swarfega’s Paint Pro should be used. This combines a different solvent to the oil and grease cleaners with cornmeal to remove paints, inks, resins and adhesives.
Matching up the cleaner to the dirt is important, as different agents are used in Swarfega’s cleaners to target the grime in question. Choosing the wrong cleaner can result in additional scrubbing and use of a stronger formulation to shift the dirt can damage the skin.