If you’re among the few independent car owners who like to get down the hood and do their own thing, then you are probably going to be dealing with greasy hands all the time. It doesn’t really take a lot of tinkering to get your hands covered with dirt.
The good thing about being your own auto repairer is that it can save you time and money, as well the headache of dealing with shoddy mechanics. There is nothing more satisfying than fixing your car back to shape and knowing you’re responsible.
However, on the hand, you will likely always have some oil stains to battle with every time you finish from the car bonnet or undercarriage. For this reason, you would need to know a cleaning method or two that works, because grease stains can be really difficult to remove.
Why Grease Stains On The Hand Are Dangerous
Although oil is required by a car engine to function, it is not a good product to handle especially when in contact with the skin. It is neither safe for people nor the environment.
Leaving oil or grease stains on your hands actually puts you at risk. This is because of the content of the fluid.
Used motor oil is usually laden with chemicals that are not safe for the skin. This may include antifreeze, benzene, and metals from the car engine. As a result, contact with used oil for a long time can bring about certain skin problems, such as dermatitis and rashes.
In adverse cases, it could even lead to skin cancer or blood anemia. This is why car owners are advised to be very careful when handling motor oil, especially the used one.
At the moment, there is really no substitute for using engine oil, so it's important to avoid exposing yourself to the fluid frequently. For now, you can use some kind of hand protection like gloves to reduce exposure, but this doesn’t always solve the problem.
This is because, when working on a car, there are many times you would need to remove your gloves in order to feel certain parts. And it often happens that such parts usually have grease on them.
So as you can see, it’s really a helpless situation, except you know how to fight the stains out.
The Problem With Heavy Duty Cleaners
Heavy duty grease cleaners are not the best, and you probably know why. Although these chemicals work great, their after effect is bad for your skin health.
A lot of the soaps and liquids out there are harsh on the dermis, and most of the time they strip your hands of natural oils. They bleach and crack your hands and make them look a little different from the rest of your body.
Normally, these cleaners are meant to be used once in a while, but since you are probably going to be working more frequently, it’s usually advisable to go for something mild and effective.
Cleaning Mechanical Hands Using Sugar and Cooking Oil
Following is an effective way to clean mechanic hands without endangering your dermis;
Mix a little about of cooking oil (enough to richly rub your palms) with 2 – 3 teaspoons of sugar. If you are using sugar cubes, then try to use an equivalent amount.
Next thing to do is rub the pasty mixture into your hands. Massage properly, and make sure you focus on those areas where most of the dirt and grease are trapped. This usually includes the cuticles and knuckles, as well as your palm lines. The mixture should get to everywhere you have grime.
Once you are done massaging, the next step is to wash your hands under the sink using clean water. Ideally, you want the water to be warm, not dry or cold, since you’re using oil. In this case, hot water is not good for your skin as it strips the dermis of natural oils thereby resulting in dryness and flaking.
After rinsing your hands, you would probably notice some grease and dirt under your fingernails. To scrape it out, you can use a thin pointed stick. A good example is a nail stick.
Next, grab a nail brush with one hand and squeeze a good amount of a dish soap in the other. Using the brush, scrub your palms and knuckle thoroughly. Also, pay attention to the cuticles and nail beds. Do this for both hands.
When done, rinse your hands in warm water and allow to dry. Then apply a little bit of lotion and massage properly. This will help to greatly prevent both hands from cracking.
Note: Instead of sugar and cooking oil, you can use salt and bath oil, provided there are no cuts or wound on the hands.
If you do a lot of mechanical work, chances are that your hands and palms will probably feel and look somewhat gnarly owing to the frequent washing.
From time to time, try to apply some heavy moisturizing cream. To make the cream sink into your pores faster, get hot water bottles and place your hands underneath them and allow for some time. Make sure you have your gloves on before doing this.
For even better results, you can go to bed with the gloves.
Next time, before you work on your car, it may help to apply some oil barrier cream. Wearing plastic gloves is also a good idea.