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Clean hands

hi, someone please help me! how do i get rouge or tripoli out
of my hands. i have used gloves when polishing and washed with
many different soaps even the soap mechanics’ use. someone out
in the world must have a trick. would appreciate help. thanks

Jill, if you can find an Avon cosmetics representative, buy a
tube of Silicone Glove skin cream, rub it into your hands, around
nails, cuticles etc. BEFORE you begin polishing, filing, or
anything else that gets your hands stained/dirty. Really helps!
Sharon Holt

Hi Jill,

If you ever find out then let me know… [smile] I just accept
that as a bench jeweller, my fingers will always have ingrained
polish on them - kind of a trade mark I guess.

But seriously, I would be interested in knowing if anyone knows
of any powerful but kind hand cleaners.


Kerry McCandlish Jewellery - Celtic and Scottish styles
Commission/Custom Work undertaken…
Katunayake, Creagorry, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5PG SCOTLAND
Tel: +44 1870-602-677 Fax: +44 1870-602-956 Mobile: +44 850-059-162

Jill, try using Invisible Glove by Elmers or a similar product
for art painters. These products provide a protective barrier.
Also, don’t ever use gloves for polishing, especially with big
buffers. If they get caught, you can’t always release your hand.
Instead use leather finger cots with closed ends. They prevent
your fingers from being burned and the cots will pull off if
they’re caught, instead of your fingers. To wash up, use a soap
which is high in surfactants, such as Dawn dishsoap. Surfactants
break the surface tension of the grease, allowing the detergent
and water to remove the soil.

You could try rubbing and dissolving the grease (to a limited
extent) with a little cooking oil or olive oil. I have found that
if I use a petrolatum base (vaseline) barrier cream on my hands
before working, that the polishing compounds come off very easily
and my fingers are not as stained. Also, I feel they resist
damage from the dishwashing liquid, water, and a little household
ammonia solution I use warm to remove polishing compounds from my

Has anyone tried the new water-based polishing compounds and can
comment on how they work?


Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site:
Book and Video descriptions:
Gallery page at:

Use Lava hand soap & scrub. For under the nails, dangle the
fingers in the ultrasonic for a short while. Been working for me
for years.

Hi Jill, The best way to get your hands clean is make them so
they don’t get so dirty. Try using a moisturizing hand lotion, A
couple of times a day, and a couple of hours before you know your
going to polish. Then a good fingernail brush with soup either
poured into it or, in the case of a bar soup applied directly to
it, scrub with some vigor, is the best way I know how.

Bob Martin
Hoff Jewelers
Home of Jesse the Body Ventura Gov.

I have sometimes used the gel stuff that Mechanic’s use to clean
their hands. I have also used vegetable oil and then washed the
emulsion off with soap and water.

Marilyn Smith

there is a product available called ‘invisible glove’ by du pont
available in auto stores applied before the crud gets on your
hands will wash off with water, taking the grime with it

Jill, a soft soap with lanolin, using one of the small
handbrushes is the only thing that will work expediently. If you
are working retail and need to clean your hands frequently, you
will need to apply lotion to keep from drying out.

hi, someone please help me!  how do i get rouge or tripoli out
of my hands.
The best stuff I've ever tried is called "gojo" natural pumice

hand cleaner. It works great and it smells great! I bought a
gallon size bottle of it at a Napa auto parts store for under
$10. I love it and it does a quick job of removing rouge and
isn’t all chemically and doesn’t dry out my hands.

Give it a try!

Amy O’Connell

Hello Jill, Every polisher probably has his own trick. I use
Ivory soap and a sponge. I think the most important part of your
note is the part about gloves. This is, I believe, a very
dangerous habit. Gloves and machinery just do not go together.A
polishing machine will grab a glove in a heartbeat. If it is a
heavy glove, you will lose a hand. If it is a thin glove, you
will lose a finger. If it is a surgical glove, you might just
lose your composure. This is also , in its own way, dangerous.
Your hands are better off dirty Good luck. Tom Arnold

Hi Jill; I don’t remember where I got them, but you can buy
leather finger guards which you slip on and it helps to hold the
pieces against the wheel. Also prevents the compounds from
getting ground into the skin. I just use a hand brush and soap
after polishing to remove the small amount on the hands. Gloves
are very dangerous. They can tear and get caught on the wheel
and break you fingers!!! The little leather finger guards just
slip onto finger and if they should catch on the wheel it will
just come off and leave you with all you fingers intact. Pat
Check out Rio maybe I got them there. Have had them for many

Boraxo powdered hand cleaner is pretty good. By friday, my
fingernails are really grimy. Over the weekend they get almost

Hi Folks, I use my non-ammoniated ultrasonic cleaner with a
wash-up brush, and then I use Dial brand liquid soap and warm
water. The cleaner is diluted from the concentrate. I still
even have my skin!:slight_smile: Regards, Skip

Hi all, Re clean hands. I’ve found that Dr. Bronner’s (sp?)
castille peppermint soap works pretty well for removing rouge,
tripoli, etc. It works as well as ammonia, soap and water and is
nicer to your skin. It also leaves your hands oh so minty fresh!
Good luck. Andy Cooperman

i have used gloves when polishing…

Leather finger cots are available from both Indian Jewelers
Supply and Thunderbird Supply in Gallup, NM. They run around
.60-.75 U.S. each, depending on the style. Mine don’t last me for
years, but they hold up very well, and it’s a small price to pay
for keeping my fingers and hands.

    Use Lava hand soap & scrub.   For under the nails, dangle
the fingers in the ultrasonic for a short while.  Been working
for me for years. 

The lava hand soap is fine but you should NOT put your fingers
in the ultrasonic to clean them. I had one employee who used to
do that until his fingernails started to fall out.

I found a product called Fast Orange handcleaner used by
mechanics to really work getting all the black off of my hands.
It is a citrus-based cleanser with pumice and it really cleans
the rouge and stuff off fast. It also has a moisturizer in it,
and the best part that I like is that there is a very pleasant
citrus scent laft behind afterwards. You can get it at most
auto parts stores.

Lynn Bell
Crystal Legends


Hi Jill, For me the best way to clean my hand is to use normal
hand soap with a small brass brush. One of my fellow in jewelry
is doing a lot of polishing and his hands are always completly
clean. He gave me this method. Gloves are dangerous. I already
had a student who tried to wear surgical gloves and the polishing
wheel pull out the glove from her hand and the only thing we saw
was a rubber ball jumping everywhere in the polishing room.
Funny but it could be worst.

Vincent Guy Audette
in Quebec city with snow and -4 F