View Full Version : Hold or Cold Water. The Debate Begins...

Shane Tuttle
July 24, 2010, 11:52 PM
Hot, warm, or cold? What water temp. do you use to wash your hands? Silly, I know. But I'm wondering if there really is a discernable difference. Me? I use cold.

July 25, 2010, 12:11 AM
Do you mean after handling lead? I don't think it makes any difference. If what you mean is the hot water would tend to open the pores so lead could invade through the skin. What I've come to believe is that lead does not absorb through the skin, period! Whether it's hot or cold water, the very fact is that washing is very important.

I use some stuff called goop. It happens to be orange scented, which means only that it smells like oranges,,,DUH. I suppose there's some citric acid in there somewhere, that helps with the cleaning. I use it without water for the first wash, then rinse it off and re-apply with plenty of warm water.

Shane Tuttle
July 25, 2010, 12:19 AM
Do you mean after handling lead?


I've used Goop as well. Snap-On's cleaner is what I like best and usually with cold water. I just don't understand the hot vs. cold ordeal. I'm not seeing the pore entry thing.

July 25, 2010, 12:48 AM
Wash? Soap? Cold water? I just lick my fingers when I am done! ;)

July 25, 2010, 02:02 AM
It DOES make a difference.

For the first step, rinse your hands and arms in COLD water. This will get the preliminary contamination off. Then, wash with plenty of soap and water.

Warm water lets your pores open up, and you really don't want that.

By the way--for bullet casting, keep your melt temperature below 1000 degrees, and you should be good to go. This is the vapor barrier temperature for lead; above this temperature and you will have airborne lead particulates that you don't want in your system.

July 25, 2010, 07:15 AM
I do as Powderman start with cold & end up with warm ;)

July 25, 2010, 07:19 AM
Guess Im contaminated then... I dont wash at all. Not just for the sake of removing lead poisons of any sort. I have been making fishing sinkers from lead for close to 30 years now,,and making cast bullets for lil over a year now. I guess its just another one of those things that people talk about but I dont worry about. I guess when it comes my time and I die.....It may have been from lead poison.

July 25, 2010, 10:29 AM
I wash with warm but may change to cold then warm as Powderman suggests. I suspect cleaning guns exposes us to more absorbable lead than casting or loading but I haven't started wearing nitrile gloves..... yet.

July 25, 2010, 01:31 PM
I use luke warm water at around 90 degrees, and scrub with a hand brush and regular dishsoap. My wife is a nurse, so she taught me how to 'properly' wash my hands so many years ago. :D I'm pretty confident that when I'm done I could perform mild surgery without gloves if the need arose. :p

Shane Tuttle
July 25, 2010, 03:14 PM
Warm water lets your pores open up, and you really don't want that.

Here's where I still don't get it. Anyone been outside lately? It's in the mid 90s with matching humidity here. I'm pretty sure my pores are wide open to start. Second, just because pores are open doesn't necessarily mean something's going to enter the blood stream. I mean, if that's the case, then blood would be exiting my pores. This is my thinking anyway, not to construe as fact. And EVEN IF lead particulates can enter your bloodstream with pores opened up, wouldn't you WANT your pores open while washing to, well, wash them out? If your pores are open in this weather and lead traps in your pores, using cold water will close them up. Now, you have trapped lead particulates in your pores which you're not going to be able to wash out.

July 25, 2010, 03:42 PM
For handwashing, water temperature doesn't affect cleaning efficiency much - it's the mechanical action of scrubbing/rubbing your hands together, along with whatever hand cleaner you use that gets them clean. As such, I use whatever temperature comes out of the "cold" tap when I'm done cleaning my hands, along with some "Go-Jo" orange hand cleaner with pumice.

July 25, 2010, 06:17 PM
Tap water, whatever temp that is, kind of luekwarm, plenty of soap and scrubbing. Lead pot doesn't go to 1000 degrees, either, inhalable fumes at that temp, IIRC. More like 750 is what I am using.
Go-Jo rocks...just don't have any of it, and I normally wear leather gloves when casting. :)

July 25, 2010, 06:37 PM
I usualy use cold to start with, as well as fst orange hand cleaner. I wash all the way to my elbows. I then go take a shower. The shower is more to help with the fact that after casting I am sweaty, and starting smell quite a bit. It also helps me cool off a bit.
After cleaning guns I do the fast orange, and cold water, then follow with warm water and lotion soap, a dry off, and then some corn husker's lotion. ( My hands will dry out some kind of awful if I do not.)

July 25, 2010, 09:50 PM
Hot or cold does not matter as much as the physical scrubbing. There has been much research among hospitals and research facilities over the years that point to contact time being much more important, and they are dealing with bugs much smaller and potentially more lethal than lead. Most busy doctors, dentists, nurses, etc. do not have the spare time to let the water get hot to scrub. Time is money for them.

I do recommend using a scrub brush like surgeons use to physically remove any lead particles.

BTW, I am a dentist, wash my hands a gazillion times a day. Next time you are at your doctor's or dentist's office, ask them how often they get a common cold or flu. As a group, health care professionals, who are potentially exposed more than the regular population, do not get colds and the flu as often. One of the reasons cited is because most of the bad bugs are transmitted by touch, not airborne. Health care professionals wash hands often. If you want to stay healthy, wash hands often, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your (or anyone else's) hands. This is especially good advice while casting or reloading.


August 6, 2010, 10:03 AM
I use orange goop. No water to start, wipe hands, rinse in cold, and reapply goop. Final rinse is done in hot water and dry with paper shop towels. Orange goop contains orange oil.

Another use for orange goop is removing labels. Just apply liberally to label (unless its a plastic label), let it sit overnight, rinse label off. I dont know why, but it seems to take the glue right off without damaging surfaces.

August 7, 2010, 08:15 AM
I always turn on the hot water out of reflex I guess.
But, its always still cold by the time I'm done soaping and washing and turn it back off, so I would have to say I use cold water for washing.

August 8, 2010, 05:25 AM
Same as reloader28. Unless someone has just ran the tap then it may be hot comming out. Never condidered the pours opening up with hot. Something to think about.