Reader Phil recently contacted us with a hack for a messy problem. Here is his email, and the solution to his dirty problem:
This is a post-wrenching hack really, which I discovered by accident this morning. I had a rear derailleur malfunction on the way to work, which left my hands oily and road-grimy. Shower gel wasn't going to cut through the crap, so I looked around for some kind of abrasive.
I have found a new use for cold leftover coffee grounds! Mixed with liquid soap/other detergent to make an exfoliative paste, the oily gunk scrubbed away and left my hands pink and shiny. Cheap, effective and fully caffeinated- just like me.
NB: if you don't have coffee grounds sugar and soap/detergent paste works the same but is harsher on the skin; washing powder on damp skin also works but not as well, plus it stings like hell in cuts/abrasions!
Thanks for the tip Phil. From my side of things, for years I have been employing a rather simple hack to solve "dirty hand syndrome." Sometimes on the way to work my chain will come off or I will get a flat. The repair is often messy and the last thing I want to do is go to a meeting at work with grease all over my hands and under my finger nails.
My solution is to tie an old sock to my seat post, frame, or rear rack. When I need to repair something, I simply slip the sock over my hand and it prevents dirt and grease from making a mess of my hands. The sock can also be used to wipe mud or grime off my bike prior to parking it in my office. Plus a sock basically says, "I'm a bike hacker, hear me roar!" See hard core examples below =)
Do you have a hack to keep clean or remove dirt and grease? Feel free to comment or give us a shout out.