While the Second World War had immense impact across the globe, in a corner of Derbyshire, it left Deb - manufacturer of silk ware protection rinse-aid for silk stockings - without a market for its products: nylon stockings from America had replaced their silk predecessors. 

The founder of Deb, AB Williamson, noticed that machinists were cleaning their hands at the end of their shift with the rinse-aid. Never one to miss an opportunity, he changed focus from the rinse-aid product to hand cleaner and began selling the product to people who work with their hands in a dirty environment, such as technicians, mechanics and engineers across the UK.

Up to this point, there were limited options available for heavy duty hand cleaning: home-made cleaners were widely used, often with harsh results on skin conditions.

Deb Group introduced additional products in the Swarfega range, many still in use today such as surface cleaners, tool cleaners, degreasing and maintenance products that make everyday jobs quicker and easier.

Handy hints to keep your hands healthy at work

Swarfega has provided four top tips to avoid causing issues with your skin:

Prevention – the best way to keep the skin on your hands in good condition is to prevent contact with contaminant in the first place - ideally avoiding contact, but using gloves where required.

Protection – products such as Swarfega’s Protect cream help to guard the skin against harmful contaminants, they also make it much easier to clean your hands at the end of your shift.

Cleanse – washing your hands regularly will help prevent a build-up of soiling and reduce contact time with contaminants, however, be sure to choose the right cleanser for the job – don’t use heavy duty cleanser if you’ve only got light soiling as repeated washing with heavy duty products can also be harmful. 

Restoration – after you’ve washed your hands, applying a restoration cream will help restore the natural oils and moisture to the skin, that you’ve lost during washing.