Lets face it Plumbing is a dirty job. We plumbers routinely work on fixtures and waste lines that are jam packed with germs, waste and grease away from home and a sink to wash up in. We take precautions to avoid infection and disease like wearing latex or, nitrile gloves while we work but lets face it when we finish the job and it’s time to get in the truck or, time for lunch some extra hand cleaning is something we want to do. In spite of using gloves we often wear our work. For some reason customers have an aversion to a plumber who was just down in their basement snaking a sewer line coming upstairs and saying, “Excuse me can I use your bathroom to wash up in.”
Our service truck is our office, shop, and our home away from home the problem is that most service trucks lack running water to was up after a job. Many of us used waterless hand cleaners wiping the gel off afterwards with rags or went someplace like a fast food restaurant to was up after each job. While this worked it was not always convenient and the waterless hand cleaners usually left a coating on your hand drying the skin horribly in the winter, or the public restroom dash was leaving germs and dirt on whatever you touched in the cab of the service truck. Finding a way to clean hands without spreading dirt and germs everywhere we touched was a problem.
Fortunately, a few companies recognized the need for a product and developed solutions. I have been using pre-moistened towels from a number of different manufacturers for years now and I have actually found that they clean the grime of my hands better than a visit to the sink. One day when doing a job just down the street from the shop I went back to the shop to wash up and have lunch. I used a strong hand cleaning product that we had at the sink and afterwards looked at my hands and was surprised at how much grime was left on them. I went out to the truck took out a wipe and clean my hands leaving my skin pink before eating. Until that day I had never realized how good these products were at cleaning hands. To control the spread of dirt and germs I have developed a compartmented life. The back of my truck is the dirty zone and the cab is the clean zone. After every job I put away my tools in the back of my service truck. I then grab a pre-moistened towel out of the dispenser and close the back door. I then clean my hands thoroughly and get into the cab of the service truck where I throw away the towel in a trash can I keep in the cab. I feel these products give me an edge on fighting dirt and germs that I work with everyday keeping me healthy and clean.
Hercules for Hands
Hercules Chemical is a company that for nearly 100 years has been supplying chemicals to plumbers that make their job easier. Hercules for Hands is a pre-moistened hand cleaning towel that was specifically designed and formulated for the plumber. They are dispensed out of the container pre-moistened and ready to use. The strong formulation is antibacterial, and removes industrial paints, lubricants, adhesives, tar printer’s ink, sealants, grease, oil, grime, caulks, flux and other stubborn soils. Hercules for Hands even softens and removes plastic pipe cement! Hercules for hands towels have skin-conditioners, Aloe-Vera, lanolin and vitamin E, making them easy on the hands compared to harsh solvents that dry skin or abrasive soaps. The 12” X 10” towels are tough and won’t fall apart while you scrub your hands. I offer one word of caution, don’t use them for cleaning your face, on sensitive facial skin they have a bit of zing to them. Hercules for hands comes in a dispensing tub that contains 70 wipes.
WYPALL* Waterless Hand Wipes
WYPALL* Waterless Hand Wipes made by Kimberly Clark offer tough scrubbing power anywhere you go without clean up facilities. The two sides of the towel offer different textures a smooth side and a rough side. The alcohol-free formulation contains a natural d-limonene cleaning agent that helps by moisturizing your skin. They have a pleasant citrus scent and do a great job of cleaning. I have used these to clean my face without burning or stinging. They are available in single use packages, 50 and 75 count dispensing tubs.
GOJO Fast Wipes Hand Cleaning Towels
GOJO Fast Wipes Hand Cleaning Towels come from a hand cleaning industry giant. Since GOJO was founded in 1946 by Goldie and Jerry Lippman when they invented a hand cleaner for use in a tire plant where Goldie worked during WWII the company has grown being used in virtually every dirty job there is. Now they take care of plumbers hands too. GOJO Fast Wipes Hand Cleaning Towels are great in toolboxes and service trucks they are good at removing light greases and oils from the skin. GOJO Fast Wipes are available in single use packages, 60 count resealable plastic bag which is great for tool boxes, 25, 130, and 225 count plastic dispensing tubs.
GOJO Scrubbing Wipes
GOJO Scrubbing Wipes offer heavy-duty hand cleaning with a pleasant citrus scent. Scrubbing Wipes have skin conditioners and are formulated to prevent drying of the skin and irritation. I have also used these on my face without stinging and burning. The towels have a smooth side and a grit side that helps in tough to remove dirt. GOJO Scrubbing Wipes are available in single use packages, and 25, 72, and 170 count plastic dispensing tubs.
Whatever your dirty job is when you are away from wash up facilities these products are great for cleaning your hands for lunch or, at the end of the job. It’s nice to leave a job site and not take your work with you. I also every once in a while use them to wipe down the steering wheel, knobs, and handles in my mobile office just to make sure that the clean and dirty sides of my job don’t mix.