Friday, January 16, 2015

Lava, Hot Lava

Recently a friend commented that my hands are always clean.  That was a surprise because I work with my hands on greasy bikes.  Mechanic's hands.  Black.  Stained.  Grease under the nails.  Just because I work with grime doesn't mean I want it on my hands.  There are a couple of tricks to avoid the stigma of mechanic's hands (which isn't a bad thing).

1.  Don't work on grimy, over-oiled bikes.
2.  If you do work on super grimy bikes, wear gloves like the Park MG-2 Nitrile Gloves - which I do use in cases like this and especially when bleeding brakes with DOT fluid.
3.  Use Lava Soap to wash your hands.  This was the soap of choice at Pacific Coast Cycles when I started working on bikes.  It's my guess that it still is. 

What's so special about Lava Soap?   Besides the fact that it's been going strong since 1893, it just plain works.  It's green.  And it doesn't have any fancy scent.  I can't stand heavily scented soaps, perfume over doses, or patchouli.  I'm sure there are other good hand cleaners, but Lava Soap is my go-to to keep my hands looking like I didn't just change out the chain and cassette on an over-Triflowed touring bike that was just ridden in the rain.  You know what I'm talking about with that scenario.  

I'll use a bar of Lava Soap until it simply disappears.  Or if it gets too thin, simply stick it on a new bar and keep on keeping those hands clean.  In fact, it's time to break out a new bar now as this one is getting ready to mate with a new bar.

(What's playing:  The B-52's Lava)

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