This is the second part of a five-part article on industrial soaps.

Choosing an industrial soap begins with a keen analysis of the facility’s needs. An assembly line or warehouse will have much different industrial soap needs compared to a tool and die shop or heavy industrial plant, says Bowers.

“We take a look at what the client is using and then we will look at what kind of soils, greases and paints they are trying to get off their hands,” says Bowers. “We will assess their needs, because there are specialty soaps developed for getting certain (substances) off hands and arms.”

For example Bowers’ company offers a soap with pumice that tends to work well in automotive shops, where thick greases and oils are present. In a different setting, such as a printing facility, Bowers would suggest walnut-based soaps that tend to work well at removing inks and paints.

A key to finding the right industrial soap is balancing its cleaning power and its harshness on the hands.

“You want something that is going to work effectively but is pleasant to use,” says Silverman.

Jim Sinn, an account manager at Dalco Enterprises, Inc. in New Brighton, Minnesota, has noticed demand for an industrial soap with a heavy fragrance that cleans “like a son of gun” but contains lotion and is, as a result, easy on the skin.

“That’s a tall order, because what they are cleaning off is oil and that is exactly what is in your hands that keeps them from being dry,” says Sinn. “When these guys get dry hands, they don’t like it anymore than the nurse in the hospital does.”

Some manufacturers are adding lotion and Vitamin E to their industrial soap products, which will create a more pleasant hand-washing experience.

Facility managers and BSCs should not underestimate the importance of the soap’s fragrance.

“These are tough guys, but they like soaps that smell good,” says Sinn.

previous page of this article:
The Right Industrial Soap Can Keep Employees Happy
next page of this article:
Employee Involvement Leads To Higher Satisfaction