what soap do you all use in your shops?

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for your hands … not equipment …

Poly-Scrub: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/cspages/polyscrub.php

Great stuff. Cleans really well and won’t dry out your hands no matter how often you wash up in a day.

I first acquired it when I bought some things at the estate sale of John Bright, who used to own Sigwalt. He was an interesting guy who was into building planes and kit cars in addition to printing presses.

Sand and stripper , Its a sort of pennance for not wearing glove when you ought to.
Most of the citrus based hand cleaners are fine ,avoid swarfega green as its too harsh and a good cocoa butter moisturiser or other hand cream is advised .
Do remember even after washing your hands the cleaner will irritate your eyes …

Orange Goop is my go to… rub it on while your hands are dry and add a little hand soap once you get your hands wet.

I was recently introduced to Mean Green. This stuff works better than anything I’ve used and it’s good for your skin. It’s expensive though. meangreen.com

At The Arm we use Savvy Soap. It does a great job and doesn’t wreck my hands like citrus-based hand cleaners. Not cheap, but I find it to be worth the money.



image: SavvySoap.jpg

The tree huggers will probably cringe, but I usually wash-up with white kerosene and my hands will get ink and ink residue on them in the process. I simply put a little additional kerosene onto a clean rag and wipe my fingers and hands off with that. Then I immediately pump a few liberal squirts of household handsoap and onto one palm and rub that all over my hands and fingers. I then rinse that my hands off with warm water in the deep sink and all ink and kerosene residue is gone. This has been my method for decades.


Rick, i try to minimize contact with any cleaners, i always use gloves to wash up, i use coleman fuel (thank you Paul) and sometimes keroscene (thanks dad i mean Greg) the old days no one used gloves but how many old timers are still around, not many.

Kenneth Hinson, the gentleman who taught me the basics of letterpress printing once told me about a conversation he had with a woman at his church. “Deacon Hinson,” she asked, “I heard you are a printer, and I was wondering how you keep your hands so clean.” Kenneth looked at the palms of both hands, then turned his hands over and examined the backs, and again contemplated his palms, then announced in a quiet but clear voice, “I wash them.”

I think it’s worth noting- for most ink and grub that is grease based, unless something particularly nasty, ordinary cheap bottom rung econo brand hand lotion and a nail brush or scrubby pad will do the trick.

Put a copious amount of lotion- about 7 or 8 pumps if you have the pump sort of bottle- onto your hands; NO WATER- just lotion. Rub around for a moment or two to get everything nice and covered, and then you can grab a scrubby pad or nail brush and work on anything that is particularly tenacious.

Following the lotion, a bit of warm water to wash the lotion off, followed by ordinary hand soap, dial or whatever; this will keep your hands and skin in great condition.

It was shown to me by my Etching/Intaglio professor back in college- and we should all know, etchers don’t like to wear gloves when wiping plates ;-)

It has stood the test for almost every inky thing I have tried it with; of course, other things found in printmaking studios- like some lacquers or asphaltum etc.- don’t really come off with just lotion, so we keep a bit of Gojo around here @ Haven Press for that sort of thing, and I used to stock the studio with a couple bars of LAVA pumice soap but haven’t re-upped on those in a while.

I use Orange Goop and the hand soap. Works great for ink, oil, or grease.

so many thanks to each of you!!!!! this is all very helpful.