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Dale's coffee grounds and flour paste, hand cleaner  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 7508
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
436
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Mechanics and other people who get their hands really dirty, often use soap with a gritty, gel consistency.  There is one brand that is orange and another that is yellow. I find that these hand cleaners are very drying to the hands and the smell is not pleasant.

 In another thread,  I discussed my use of coffee grounds for keeping kitchen drains open. Roberto mentioned that he uses coffee grounds mixed with soap, to get railway grime off his hands. I tried this and it works quite well, but it also used quite a bit of soap. I used detergent, not soap. This product is also quite drying to the hands and I think most of the soap goes to waste.
.....
 My product is made mostly from water,  flour and coffee grounds with only one tablespoon of soap.
.....
 My goal with this product, was to find a way to really thin out the quantity of detergent, without making something so watery that it drips off the hands before accomplishing the task. A very wet mix allows the coffee grounds to fall off while scrubbing.  A gel adheres well, without dripping into the sink and losing granules.
.....
 In order to create a gel like product, I heated water and then thickened it with flour,  just as is done with gravy. After this white sauce is made,  the coffee grounds are stirred in.

 I made about 1 1/2 cups of material and then added one really full tablespoon of Sunlight dish washing detergent.

..... RESULTS .....
 I am very happy with the results. The goo is not at all hard on the hands, due to the small amount of detergent.

It adheres well and the coffee grounds do their job of abrading difficult stuff.

It's rinses clean, with no noticeable residue.
.....
 I have used it for handwashing,  for cleaning up greasy pots and to clean a really dirty compost container.

The abrasive nature really helped. It cleaned up the goo that was stuck to the compost container that hadn't been cleaned for several dumpings.
.....
 After using the material for a few days, it appears that I will get between 40 and 60 uses on a batch this size.  Not bad for one tablespoon of detergent.
.....
 I haven't added any preservative, so it may go off after being stored for a long time. If left without a lid, it develops a crust.
.....
 My next batch will make use of some unwanted spices instead of coffee grounds.

A friend gave me some unwanted tea. That will be mildly abrasive.

 These things should impart a pleasant smell. Lemon juice and blended citrus peel will also be tried. I often trim cedar hedges. Some will be run through the blender.
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gardener
Posts: 2279
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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Awesome! I'm super glad to have helped in your brain storm somehow. I'll try this out too, sometime soon, to get out of using so much soap. Although I don't use that much, from a general handwashing point of view, your method uses far less soap.
 
Dale Hodgins
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When I think about times when I've worked on a car, clean up has been an after though, where large amounts of soap were wasted. Usually, it has involved a big squirt of whatever cleaner is at hand. When hands are covered in concentrate, most of the active ingredient becomes a carrier for debris, and doesn't have a chance to act chemically on the oils that make grime hard to remove.

The idea of a flour sauce came to me years ago, when I made use of hair gel, mixed with soap and sand, to clean my hands at a demolition project. I've also mixed hair gel with shampoo. People leave all manner of personal care products behind when they move out of places slated for demolition. I've used hand cream mixed with tooth paste, shampoo sand and spices. Many shampoos are very harsh and benefit from the addition of hand cream. These jobs are like a free laboratory that contains free supplies.

For tar and oil, nothing beats olive oil with a little sand mixed in.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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For tar and oil, nothing beats olive oil with a little sand mixed in.

A friend of mine uses his home processed bio-diesil as a solvent for this purpose.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The next batch will be made,  using unwanted spices and teas. This should impart a variety of scents and textures.

 I've been trying to think of other things that could be used instead of flour,  to make the paste. Cornstarch seems like a likely candidate.

 I checked out the constituents of commercial hair gels.  They are a chemical stew.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The flour seems to have gone off a bit,  but the product still works well and it still smells like coffee.

The next batch will be half as big.
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