Robot’s Useless Reviews – GOJO

I am not one of those people who pulls on a pair of latex gloves to work on their bike. I admire those people, in a way. They’ve got that pro vibe, and likely they know what they’re doing at a level that keeps the stickiness of the latex from impeding their progress toward a perfectly tuned bicycle. They’ll walk away from the job with clean hands. I, on the other hand, will be filthy. Hands. Shirt. And likely face. I’m not proud. I’m just (finger) painting a picture for you.

In the bathroom at the top of the basement stairs I keep a large bottle of GOJO Natural Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner. There are TMs in there somewhere. GOJO is a product of GOJO Industries (not very) interestingly also the inventors and manufacturers of Purell Hand Sanitizer, one of the main ingredients in a cocktail called the Armchair Epidemiologist, which also includes Red Bull and stupidity. It cures nothing, but makes an effective colonoscopy prep.

I made that up.

After I have been working on my bike I go to the bathroom at the top of the basement stairs, open the medicine cabinet therein and take out the only thing inside, the GOJO. Then I remove 2-3 layers of skin from my hands and sometimes lower forearms and exit the room reeking of chemically orange scent. Although this may sound unpleasant to you, I assure you, I have a real swagger once I’ve GOJOed. I smell better than I did before AND I have an absolute faith that anything that could be removed from the surface of my skin has been removed.

GOJO is named for Goldie and Jerry Lippman, founders of GOJO in 1946. Isn’t that cute?

I like to imagine it’s some amalgam of mojo (or maybe mojo, the Cuban marinade) and G.I. Joe. These all seem pretty plausible to me. Also, I would believe that GOJO is Orange Julius without the sweetener added. DO NOT taste your GOJO Natural Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner!! Like cherry Chapstick, it smells delightful but tastes like the fruit salad at Three Mile Island.

Once upon a time, I refinished an old Telecaster. Actually, what I did to that Telecaster was five flavors of sacrilege. I routed out the body to take a Gibson humbucker. I put locking tuners on it. And I sanded it down and put a natural finish on it, which involved spraying about 32 layers of very fine lacquer, and rubbing it down with Mirror Glaze, which is a gritty paste used to put a high shine on cars. The musicians among you will think, “You dork!” The non-musicians among you may think, basically, the same thing.

You’re all right!

Anyway, that Mirror Glaze is a lot like GOJO Natural Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner, but for your skin rather than your ’71 Karmann Ghia. I like to think that if I just kept on scrubbing, of an evening, I’d come out with shiny hands, although without a metallic paint base to start from, I can’t imagine I’d shine very brightly, which, ironically, would mirror my cycling and musical careers.

It’s at this stage I should address the elephant in the room, Lava soap. Lava purports to be the original pumice-based hand cleaner, invented in 1893. That’s admirable, venerable, and verifiable, however, Lava only comes in bar form, and any time I’ve purchased it, I’ve ended up with a dirt mess on my counter, whereas GOJO Natural Pumice Hand Cleaner comes in a bottle I can tuck away, out of view, so visitors to my home won’t know I’m a greasy animal (although they must suspect). Lava, incidentally, was purchased by the WD40 company in 1999.

Look, here’s the bottom line, life is abrasive. It’ll wear you down if you let it. Occasionally though, you need a light sanding, and GOJO Natural Pumice Hand Cleaner with natural orange scent is the right gritty goo for the job. If you are feeling worn down and are NOT covered in grease, reach out to a mental health professional. You don’t have to suffer alone.

Join the conversation
  1. Barry Johnson says

    Grew up on Lava, also lived right by the WD-40 guy. I don’t have Gojo but some Home Despot knockoff. It’s for when I forget the gloves, which are orange as well.

  2. alanm9 says

    Huh, no kidding, I didnt know any of that but I remember the tanks of GOJO fastened to the bulkheads in the engine room of the old Coast Guard cutter I served on in the 80’s. You couldn’t turn around in that steam powered tub without getting covered in grease. Thanks for the info and memories!

  3. Hautacam says

    I also once installed a humbucker (and coil tap switch) in a Tele, only it was my high school classmate’s. Ah, the hubris of youth. Luckily I didn’t F it up, that would have been an expensive and sad lesson for both of us. He went on to play in a band that is still around so I expect he got it properly sorted somewhere down the line…

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