I started learning to maintain my motorcycle on my own, and cleaned the chain and lubricated it yesterday. Ended up with grease+oil smeared all over my hands and under the nails which haven't gone off entirely even until now (a bit of a nightmare, coz I'm actually a software programmer :-) ).
A Google search for how to clean it gave me these results just now:
1. Use a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap. They also say it's better to use gloves because the grime might cause cancer. What? Really?
2. Someone uses an oil lifting spray.
3. Laundry liquid.
4. Canola oil.
5. Dig nails into a bar of soap and use a scrub brush.
Apparently the sugar/salt + dish washing soap idea is called "Mechanics soap" and the sugar/salt is meant to provide some amount of a gritty nature to the "soap".
My question is about avoiding this hassle in the first place. Apart from the "give your bike to a mechanic for servicing" option, are these good options?
- Is it worthwhile to invest in gloves? Won't latex gloves tear quickly and won't you perspire a lot inside the gloves? After the grime gets onto the gloves, won't it get onto any other clean part of the bike you touch? At least if one isn't wearing gloves, one would instinctively wipe off the grime on a cloth or newspaper. If you tried wiping it off the gloves, the glove would slowly slip off and then you'd have to pull it back on, which can get annoying.
- Is there some kind of viscous liquid I could rub on my palms and under the nails so that the grease/oil doesn't stick onto my skin as un-washably as earlier? Of course, the liquid shouldn't cause any problems to the motorbike's machinery either, and it should be easy to wipe it off with a cloth if it gets onto any of the clean areas of the bike. If there are any commercial products (would be too expensive), a mention is welcome, but ideally, something that can be purchased from a local store or can be prepared at home would be great.