I am an idiot. Whenever I head into the garage to dig into some bike project – whether it’s just an oil change or chain maintenance, or something more involved – I always plan on wearing gloves. I’ve got a huge package of them sitting right there in my tool cabinet. I mean to wear them but my ramrod enthusiasm usually gets the better of me and soon enough my bare hands are caked in the oil, grease, and grime that inevitably accompanies even the most mundane shop tasks.
I recently spent some quality garage time making changes to the exhaust on my Triumph and, of course, within a few minutes my hands resembled the blackened paws of an old chimney sweep. Thankfully, Mike Zimmer from Uncle Mike’s All Natural Products sent us some of his creations to try – among them his True Grit Pumice Hand Soap.
Mike handcrafts his wide range of products in his “lab” in Saskatoon – from soaps to deodorant to beard oil to a loofah on a stick and more. He’s committed to keeping everything sustainable and environmentally friendly and he uses only natural ingredients instead of relying on the synthetics and chemical perfumes often found in commercial personal care products.
I grew up working in my dad’s shop where we always had a big pump jug of that gritty orange hand cleaner on the go. It worked fairly well but was mostly comprised of solvents and polymers (i.e., plastic) so it isn’t the best for your skin or for the waterways to which our drains eventually lead. I’m certainly no hippie so I have to admit I was kind of suspicious as to whether the all-natural True Grit would tackle the grime as well as its harsher commercial counterpart. I wet the bar and got to scrubbing – and with plenty of pumice in the bar, True Grit is very scrubby – and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it stripped away the mess. With minimal effort – really no more than a normal washing – my hands were completely free of any evidence of the grimy job I’d just completed.
I’ve since had the chance to try Uncle Mike’s True Grit to remove dirty oil and chain lube residue and it works equally well taking off those contaminants as it did after my exhaust project. The Healing Salve he sent also provided some nice soothing relief after I zapped my knuckle with a grinder (see above re: gloveless dipshit). Uncle Mike’s Natural Products are available online at www.unclemikesnatural.com or check them out in person at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.