How to Clean Mechanic Hands and Nails

As a mechanic, your hands and nails get dirty often. Common hand stains include grease, oil, and dirt.

Without careful cleaning, the hands soon crack and dry up excessively. So how do you clean mechanic hands?

Reasons to Clean Your Mechanic Hands and Nails Properly

How to Clean Mechanic Hands and NailsCleaning grease and engine oil from your hands have numerous benefits. Prolonged contacts of grease and oil endanger your skin. It puts you at risk of developing dermatitis and skin cancer.

Therefore proper care and cleaning of your mechanic hand is a wise idea.

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Tips to Cleaning Mechanic Hands

Gather What You Need

Get ready by identifying and gathering the items that you’ll need. That includes the following;

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Salt or sugar
  • Dish soap
  • Mineral oil
  • Wash soaps
  • Water
  • Scrub

Washing Hands; The Sooner the Better

Washing hands is a vital process. Aim at removing the mechanic stains as soon as possible. Don’t delay the cleaning process.

However, if you had neglected the process for long, then probably your hands have cracks and damages. Exercise patience, it will take some time to repair.

Use Bar Soap and Water to Remove Excess Oil and Grease

Use water and bar soap to remove excess grease and oil from your hands. Although it won’t remove all the filth, it is still vital.

Besides, you can employ heavy-duty soap and further wash off more stains from the hands.

After the initial washing, you can try any of the below methods, one at a time.

Method 1: Scrubbing with the Help of Salt or Sugar

Simple water and soap won’t clear away all the stains. Scrubbing with salt or sugar helps in eliminating more stubborn stains.

Make a paste by dissolving a spoonful of salt or sugar into a half tablespoon of water. Then use the paste to clean and scrub the hands.

Next, use a pumice stone to rub your hands. That helps to dislodge even stubborn oil and grease. Scrub even the embedded stains on the skin and nails using a toothbrush.

Then rinse your hands. Last employ more soap and water to remove any lingering stains.

For deep stains, consider soaking your hands in a mixture of lukewarm water and hair conditioner for about 10 minutes.

Also, scrubbing your greasy mechanic hands with warm water and washcloth helps make work easier.

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Method 2: Using Olive or Baby Oil

Another method is to use olive or baby oil. Any of those two types of oil is skin-friendly yet tough on stains. For instance, you can consider using JOHNSON’S Baby Oil.

Place a small drop of the oil on your hands. Then gently rub it all over the palm. Ensure it reaches the knuckles and between the fingers also.

Then let the oil do its work by waiting for a few minutes (approximately 10). After that, rinse off with plenty of water and a detergent.

Pat dry your hands with a towel. However, if your hands had accumulated stains, you may need to repeat the process once or twice.

Method 3: Using WD-40 Lubricant

WD-40 is an oil-based lubricant. It plays a vital role in loosening tight screws and bolts. But besides lubrication, it also finds use in cleaning oil and grease from mechanic hands.

First, apply the lubricant by spraying it on your hands. Then rub your hands and spread the oil all over the affected parts.

Let it work on the greasy stains for approximately 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess oil using a paper towel.

Lastly, wash your hands in soapy water and rinse. Dry off the water and check for the results.

If some traces of oil are still lingering on the palms, repeat the process once more.

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Method 4: Sugar and Cooking Oil (Home Remedy)

You can also use a combination of cooking oil and sugar to clean greasy stains from your palms. Besides, the two substances are available at home.

Mix about three teaspoons of sugar with cooking oil to make a paste. Then rub the mixture all over your hands. Look out for areas with deep stains.

Also, massage the mixture between the fingers and knuckles. After conducting proper massage, rinse off with lukewarm running water.

Check for stains under your nails. If there are, remove them using a toothpick or nail stick. Do the same on all the fingernails and cuticles.

When you are through, dip and rinse your hands in lukewarm water. Pat dry with a hand towel. And to prevent the hands from cracking, massage with baby oil.

If you have an after-care solution, then it can do great work in caring for your hands.

Protecting Your Hands From Excess Grease and Oil Stains

As a mechanic, you can’t avoid handling engine oil. Thus, it’s wise to protect your hands whenever it’s possible.

But how?

You don’t have to work with bare hands all day long. Whenever it’s possible, put on mechanic gloves. That’s because sometimes gloves become slippery on some tasks. And when you can’t wear gloves consider rubbing barrier hand cream on your hands.

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Gnarly Hands? Here is the Solution

After using the cleaning detergents, your hands become gnarly. However, you can address the problem using any of the following ways:

  • Get hold of a warm water bottle for a few minutes. The warmth helps open up pores on the skin
  • Also, consider wearing gloves for an overnight period
  • A heated spa mitt may also help on gnarly hands


Grease and motorcycle oil shouldn’t give you stress as a mechanic. Protect your hands with mechanic gloves when it’s possible.

But there are times when using gloves isn’t possible. As soon as you finish your work, clean the greasy hands and nails with any of the above tips.

If you have a delicate skin, then the post contains home remedies that are more skin-friendly. You can try the combination of sugar/salt, and cooking oil.

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