Asked to describe Weldtite’s Dirt Wash hand cleanser in a word and I’d use two: diet Swarfega. In its defence it’s a very proficient hand cleanser for tackling most types of ground in grease and grime. However, describing it as a citrus product is a bit misleading. Sure, there’s a nice citrus orange odour but ingredients are petrochemical derived and those with sensitive skin should either rely on Latex gloves and/or minimise their exposure times to avoid discomfort.
Opening the tub and you’re greeted with a bright orange semi gel comprising of water, deodorised Kerosene with polymer grains and parabens commonly used in cosmetics and deodorants as a preserve/stabilizer to prevent solutions separating. Some studies show a link with cancers and reproductive health problems, so on this basis I’d avoid regular or prolonged exposure.
Application is pretty much identical to other industrial cleaners. Scoop a liberal helping into your hands using your fingers and massage enthusiastically into the affected areas for a couple of minutes, or until the grime begins to lift before rinsing clean using warm tap water. Our test sample worked wonders on less sophisticated oils, greases, ground in road grime and preserves such as Waxoyl but wasn’t nearly so effective on more chemically complex Teflon/marine based pastes commonly applied to bottom brackets, headsets and other higher stressed component areas.
The 500ml tub represents good value for money, ample for the needs of most home mechanics. However, there are concerns over some of the chemical groups employed in this and many similar products. Used daily for a week, my hands felt noticeably drier, especially tackling particularly stubborn grime. While I'd be happy enough to use it infrequently, I would avoid prolonged exposure. Frequently fettlers should stick to the humble Latex examination gloves and a good moisturiser.
Cheap and relatively effective hand cleanser.
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Make and model: Weldtite Dirtwash citrus hand cleaner
Size tested: 500ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Weldtite's Dirt Wash is basically an industrial hand cleaner in a similar vain to many others. However, only the scent could be considered citrus as the ingedients are derrived from petro-chemicals which can be quite harsh on the skin.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Semi gel consistency with polymer grains, aqua, deodorised kerosense and parabens commonly used as a stabliser in cosmetics. Use within six months of opening.
Reasonably effective at removing most traditional oils, ingrained dirt and greases.
Left my skin feeling very dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As cheap and cheerful hand cleansers go, it's very effective at removing stubborn dirt and grime and leaves a slight tang of orange scent but regular fettlers and/or mechanics would be better served using Latex gloves as there are concerns about prolonged exposure to parabens.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Effective and plentiful.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Left my hands feeling uncomfortably dry and have reservations about some of the ingredients.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really, but it does work
Would you consider buying the product? Not for me
Would you recommend the product to a friend? For occasional use
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)