Praise for GOJO Orange Hand Cleaner

I bought a jug of this stuff about a decade back when my Son and I were building (or re-building) two motorcycles for him. (Trail 90 and Honda 360 about 1976 vintage). Since then I’ve used it when cleaning up after just about anything you can imagine and it worked great.

But there’s lots of stuff that works great on oil and dirt. So why a posting now?

Well, I just finished a roof patch using roof asphalt sealant / patch. This stuff is like “roof pudding” in consistency and inside a couple of hours turns into tarmac. I spread a gallon over where I think the leak was getting in “down in the valley”. Along the way, the medium long handle roller had the head come loose. OK… use it by hand grabbing the little nubby…

The good news is I was down to the last 1/2 dozen square feet. The bad news is I got tar goop on both hands and, somewhere along the line, the screwdriver I used to open the can decided to roll into the puddle.

So, hopefully roof really sealed, this time for sure.

Down the ladder and time to clean up.

Well, I figured GOJO had taken grease off, might as well try it. We’re down to the last 1/2 inch in the jug anyway (at last… I make that about $2 / year… or slightly less). So I proceed to slather it on and work it in. Then you rinse and use some soap if desired.

The screwdriver got a similar treatment, with some dry spots needing more rubbing.

In the end, I’ve got a bit left under a finger nail or two (mostly due to my lack of diligence) and otherwise quite clean hands. Nice orange smell too. The screwdriver has a minor bit left on it, but quite clean enough for the tool drawer.

I really didn’t expect GoJo to remove roofing tar. But it did. Left the hands too ;-)

One of my old friends used to work in his Dad’s gas station. He was prone to calling hand cleaners “Hand Removers” ;-) Well, this stuff is easy on the skin, somehow, yet removes greases and even tar. Go figure…

If you ever get your hands cruddy, buy a jug of it. Well worth the price. Though the casual home user likely doesn’t need the big jug like I got… they do sell a smaller bottle.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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11 Responses to Praise for GOJO Orange Hand Cleaner

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    We used to use that at the machine shop, I concur it works very well.

    Being a maintenance machine shop we often got in really grubby machine parts to fix and would get filthy trying to handle them to get them reasonably clean and identify the issue to be solved.
    Many of them too big for the solvent washer so you just scraped the goo off with a putty knife and wiped them down with paper towels until you got down to metal.

    I have two other favorites which I use at home for those “tough dirt” problems, good old fashioned Lava hand soap and Boraxo powdered hand soap. Lava for just dirty and Boraxo for the really bad situations like you were describing. Those two work well enough I have never had to actually buy the GOJO at home, but have used it and if available will use it.

  2. Another Ian says:

    If it is like one we get here in Oz it ought to work with the silastic you always seem to get on you during a repair

  3. jim2 says:

    Hand lotions / creams are emulsion of oil and water – so covers both cases. I use hand cream for adhesives and greasy dirt also. Probably isn’t as cost effective as gojo.

  4. spetzer86 says:

    I’ve used GOJO and it’s not bad. Personally, I think GOOP does a better overall job. Probably all depends on what you’re going after.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Due to having had a decade supply of GOJO Orange, it’s been a long time since I last used Goop, but I remember it as being good. Never had a chance to do an A B compare of them though. It sounds like you have. Any comments on which is better for what?

    (My jug of Gojo is likely to run out, at last, as I’ve got a bathroom plumbing redo this week, then replacing garage / kitchen drain… so buying something soon…)

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    The only problem I have with GOOP is that if you buy a large tube of the GOOP cream and don’t use it all promptly over time it reverts to a soup like texture rather than a cream. It still works but if you take the cap off the tube and turn it over to squeeze a little of the cream into your hand you instead get a cup full of liquid in your hand and all over the counter. So buy it in small tubes or tubes and beware if it is an old container.

  7. thorsday says:

    WD40 also works very well for tar, grease and oil.

  8. spetzer86 says:

    GOOP does have a tendency to convert to a liquid, particularly if you leave it in a hot place. I’ve not noticed that it’s any less effective that way, but it is an obvious change and I suppose could get messy. I reach for GOOP for most things I get into in the garage and outside (oil, grease, dirt, etc.), so I really don’t have a list of good/bad cleaning. It’s best if you use a paper towel or old rag to remove the residue.

    My experience with GOJO is from a long-term supply the wife bought one day several years ago. The container is still sitting by the sink in the laundry room and gets used on occasion.

  9. Power Grab says:

    I’ve used that Gojo stuff. It isn’t scary, and it works GREAT!

    On the other hand, after last Christmas, they installed new hand soap dispensers at work and put a new product in them. The web site on the dispensers gives this web site: and also says it’s a “USDA Certified Biobased Product.” You might think it was a bio-friendly product, wouldn’t you? (Well, I did, anyway…)

    I don’t use it because it reminds me of the industrial disinfectant shower gel (that’s what I called it) I had to use before surgery some months ago. I don’t have the name here, but it was some stuff that didn’t really foam, and you had to leave it on your skin for 2 minutes before rinsing it off. It left my skin smelling like the disinfectant product overnight, and even into the time of the 2nd shower the day of surgery. Had to leave it on for 2 minutes before rinsing. Same drill.

    Well, the first time I used it, this hand soap left my skin smelling just like that other industrial disinfectant stuff for HOURS! And I don’t think I’ve ever used something that was a thoroughly DRYING as this stuff.

    I started looking at that web site and surfed off into what appeared to be a line of products that are actually industrial degreasers. I’m mean we’re talking serious, heavy-duty degreasing products!

    I’m trying to take care of my “good bugs” and don’t believe this stuff is going to serve my purposes. I mean, if they make you use stuff like that before surgery (when they’re trying to kill off most of your microbiome anyway, with systemic antibiotics and such!), then I don’t think it’s something I should be using several times a day, every day.

    At least I can be encouraged that there are folks doing new research into the benefits of commensal bacteria and how they help our immune systems work properly. I’m convinced that we need both so-called “good bugs” and “bad bugs”, but we need them to be in balance. My allergy symptoms have definitely declined so as to be practically nonexistent now that I’m trying to keep my microbiome in better balance.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    I just want the grease and grime removed, everything else can be left as is ;-)

    Per “good bugs”: A couple of times in life I’ve had my gut flora (or are they fauna?) get out of whack. Once was about 20 years old after a significant alcohol consumption in college… Well, I had mild stomach cramps from time to time (often after meals), felt generally slow and stupid, and had “smelly farts”. We’re talking significantly sulfurous… After eating yougurt for 2 days it was a bit better. “Applying” some into the rectum directly resulted in “normal” in about 10 hours.

    Since then I’ve come to appreciate just how much we depend on “good bugs”.

    On a trip to Florida, my sense of “sweet” left. Just could not taste it really. It was a yest overgrowth in the mouth. Killed if off with an antifungal that was safe for oral use, and applied more yogurt to keep things “right” and pH better. Suddenly the world tasted right again ;-)

    Keep your good bugs happy!

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