Swarfega, the brand behind the renowned ‘green gel’ hand cleaner, has this week revealed some of the worst offending home-made hand cleaners that cause dangerous skin reactions that some mechanics and technicians tend to use.
Washing up liquid mixed with sugar or sand is among the worst home-made hand cleaners to use in the workshop.
Swarfega said: “It sounds like a great plan; mixing washing up liquid with something to scour the skin.
“However, washing up liquid is an aggressive cleaner, made to break down fat.
“This will strip your skin of its natural fats and acids that would otherwise help your hands stay healthy.
“Combine this with sugar or sand where the grains are the wrong size to clean the cracks and crevices in your skin and you’ve a recipe for disaster.
“It might work once or twice, but repeated use will lead to skin problems like dermatitis or even allergic reactions.”
Diesel is another common hand cleaner substitute but studies have shown that prolonged exposure may increase the risk of developing skin cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.
“One-off short-term exposure to diesel or petrol may remove the grease and grime, but repeated use will cause dermatitis,” warns Swarfega.
Paint thinners are also used to remove oil and grease from hands but it has the same properties as petrol or diesel.
The traditional bar of soap has also been shamed by Swarfega, who say “if you thought that a standard bar of soap was the safe option, then think again”.
It added: “It’s not made to tackle engine grease and oil, so you’ll end up rubbing and scrubbing too hard to get rid of the grime.
“This delaminates the skin and damages the outer layers causing more dirt to get deeper into the skin next time.
“The end result? You’ll scrub even harder next time and make it even worse.”
Top most-dangerous hand cleaners
- Washing up liquid mixed with sugar or sand (or both).
- Paint thinners.
- Bar of soap.
Swarfega recommends that technicians should follow a three-step system of protecting with pre-work cream, cleaning with the right strength cleanser and restoring the skin after work using a lotion to re-set the balance and help repair any damage caused during the day.
What do you use to clean the oil from your hands? Have you had a nasty reaction before? Share your comments below.