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Ady121/06/2015 11:27:52
5177 forum posts
738 photos

I noticed the swarf thread and thought I'd mention a recent discovery which has been good for me

Fairy Liquid. The concentrated green stuff, it's been great for removing workshop muck

....and it's kind to my hands too!

I have a big can of swarfega which has been lying idle for about a year now

Ian Parkin21/06/2015 11:32:18
1035 forum posts
243 photos

The best I have found and I use it many times daily at work and in home workshop is "Boraxo"

Its borax and hard soap flakes

makes your hands so clean and soft

Does anyone else use it?

It is available in the uk but not widely or easily

mechman4821/06/2015 11:34:54
2947 forum posts
468 photos

I use barrier cream before I start; I then use kitchen cream cleanser for heavier ingrained stuff ( yellow bottle ) for wet & dry polishing I use disposable latex gloves.


Michael Cox 121/06/2015 11:41:35
551 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 21/06/2015 11:32:18:

The best I have found and I use it many times daily at work and in home workshop is "Boraxo"

Its borax and hard soap flakes

Borax has been banned in consumer products by the EU so I suspect that it is no longer available.

Ady121/06/2015 11:43:30
5177 forum posts
738 photos

I used barrier cream decades ago at sea and remember it being very good as long as your hands didn't get wet

Gas_mantle.21/06/2015 11:47:06
359 forum posts
269 photos

I always use washing up liquid too and find it works fine.

I read somewhere that shampoo is basically just scented washing up liquid, that was 40+ years ago and I still wash my hair in the stuff without any probs after all this time.

Must have saved a fortune in shampoo.

Mike p21/06/2015 12:49:46
27 forum posts

Hi all, Just to add to this thread I use green hard soap from Morrisons only available in their larger stores. I find this excellent for all workshop dirt and leaves the hands soft too. I have used this now for the past 4 years and all the different gel cleaners I have tried cant hold a candle to it including washing up liquid.

Mike p

Gray6221/06/2015 12:54:47
1058 forum posts
16 photos

Been using manista natural hand cleaner for several years now, works great and doesn't strip the natural oils from your skin

John Stevenson21/06/2015 13:23:34
5068 forum posts
3 photos

Just hand cleaner with a handful of sawdust thrown in.

Does two things, the gritty sawdust helps scour the ingrained dirt out and also stops the hand cleaner going watery with age.

Jon21/06/2015 13:57:16
1001 forum posts
49 photos

Tried everything going and still return to Persil green concentrated washing up liquid used for last 38 years. Tougher deposits grimed in grease use a sponge.

Vic21/06/2015 14:25:11
3092 forum posts
16 photos

Washing up liquid and sawdust works well but you can also use granulated sugar if you don't have any sawdust.

Ian Parkin21/06/2015 14:29:40
1035 forum posts
243 photos

Is Borax really banned in the uk

or is this supplier aiming it at industrial users?

The Merry Miller21/06/2015 14:38:47
484 forum posts
97 photos

I've been using Manista for many years.

My son-in-law on a recent visit said to me "what are you using that stuff for"

Here's what I use at home,

Squirt some washing up liquid on the palm of your hand, add a little salt from the salt hopoer in the kitchen and rub.

It worked briliantly.


paul 195021/06/2015 14:43:07
143 forum posts
32 photos

Swarfega Power Hand Cleanser is great not like the nasty green stuff that never works

Derek99921/06/2015 14:55:46
10 forum posts

Hello all.

I used washing up liquid for years until recently when i found out it was responsible for an allergic skin reaction where the tips of my fingers will split open right down to the underlying flesh. Obviously both painful and a prime situation for further infection etc.

It has turned out to be due to the 'preservatives' added to such products as washing up liquid, shampoo, soaps and hand creams, plus very many cosmetic products from even the biggest, most well known brands. Why such products could need preservatives escapes me totally, but these preservatives, called MI and MIT, are the subject of many warnings from British and European skin specialist bodies, with the result that the cosmetic industry is actively banning them, although only on what they called washed off products!

British detergent manufacturers seem to be ignoring the research body warnings, by adding both products to very many items.

Google "MI preservatives" to read the full details. It is unpleasant to say the least

Once sensitized by these products full skin recovery can only be obtained after months of non-exposure to the products containing the additives, and I can tell you that it is difficult to find washing up liquid without them. At present I can only use one type (from Lidl!) without spending around £6 for a fully organic product which hardly works at all as a washing up liquid!

I would seriously advise checking hand cleaners carefully before buying, as this allergy has my life hell for some years now, and even worse in cold weather as I also suffer from Reynaulds syndrome.

Best regards


Russell Eberhardt21/06/2015 16:28:08
2752 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Michael Cox 1 on 21/06/2015 11:41:35:

Borax has been banned in consumer products by the EU so I suspect that it is no longer available.

I don't think it has been banned. At least not yet. It has been placed on a list for further investigation following reports that it can be toxic although it is still permitted as a food preservative for caviar!


Rik Shaw21/06/2015 17:14:15
1484 forum posts
398 photos

I was under the impression that the only preservative in caviar was salt. I watched them making beluga some years ago and certainly salt was the only additive. Lovely stuff - caviar.

Rik (champagne and Guinness on ice and 1/2 doz. oysters for tea - oh happy, happy fathers day)teeth 2

Edited By Rik Shaw on 21/06/2015 17:16:57

Derek99921/06/2015 17:38:10
10 forum posts

Thank you Alan.

Unfortunately, if manufacturers care so little that these preservatives even find their way into lipstick, eyeliner and even lip salve, which of course remain in contact with the skin and hence, are even worse, it is not surprising that they are also in sun cream and most probably in baby products. Who knows, they could be an underlying cause of nappy rash.

Fortunately I have discovered that Carex hand wash is clear of it and cleans off any remains on my hands after I remove the light weight warehouse glove I use when working.

We have been used as guinea pigs by these unscrupulous manufacturers for years, let alone unknowing cash cows. I am not a fan of the EU, but if they can force in legislation against these callous actions then they will maybe get my vote later when (if) it comes to it.

I'll let you get back to engineering now, sorry to have gone off topic. I felt it was worthwhile.


Windy21/06/2015 18:47:27
892 forum posts
190 photos

I used to use washing up liquid but other the last few years the hand gets blisters on the back and itching and cracking on the palm so I use Swarfega type hand cleaners.

John Haine21/06/2015 19:31:55
4718 forum posts
273 photos
Olive oil.followed by mild.soap.

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