Thanks for The Tip! #1
''Your hands are the most valuable tool
You see, the hands are often overlooked as a tool, and a multi-faceted one at that! They're only ever really seen as the apparatus that holds the tools, which, is obviously true, but not fully. I won't go through them all now, heck, I can't even think of them all, but here is a quick-fire list of some applications you may have missed.
• Smoothing out caulk in gaps and cracks.
• Pushing filler into hard to reach spaces.
• Shaping filler to damaged mouldings.
• Smoothing out silicone around a bath.
• Removing dried paint lumps or roller fluff
whilst painting a wall.
Now, there's obviously plenty more applications your mitts can have in the workplace. Sorry, but stirring your 10th mid-morning cuppa doesn't count. However, these 5 each have the tendency to not only leave your hand pretty damn messy once finished but rather conveniently need a clean hand in order to do the job properly in the first place.
Let's pick one scenario out of that lot and flesh it out a bit. Allow me to explain my ramblings. Let's go for, say, smoothing out silicone around a bath.
You've just installed a lovely new bath in your bathroom (why is a bathroom still called a bathroom even if it doesn't have a bath in it? I mean, yes it can be called a shower room if it has a shower... but, who says that?! It's like, does a bedroom only become a bedroom once there is a bed in it? If so, what happens if you have a bed and a bath in the same room? Is it possible? Is it against house law? I doubt the question is even answerable without causing a serious eye twitch).
Sorry... We'll continue.
So, you have a new bath in a room that you can feel free to call what you wish. it's evening, a bit nip outside, and you know, the bath knows, and you know that the bath knows that you know - it's on. Water? Check. Bubbles? Check. Barry White music? Che... Oh, wait. Moving on.
You're in the bath and having the time of your life. The shampoo is on the hair as you flick your head around, all whilst muttering, " 'cos I'm worth it ''. Hey, hey! I started to go bald when I was 18, but even I like to dream! Simple things. Or is it simple minds? Anyway. Let's speed this along a bit. You have a nice bath, all is great, yadda yadda, bish bash bosh. Fin.
Skip to morning. You hop out of bed with a spring in your step. Barry White can have that affec... ahem. You walk into the kitchen to flick on the kettle and WHAM!, it hit's you. Your ceiling is wrecked and looks like an old pirate map. Remember that lovely bath you had last night? You didn't silicone round it first did you? I think a single "tut" will suffice.
Now, unless you're one of these people that own a free-standing (lovely looking / highly impractical) bath - you daredevils you - then the chances are the bath is either slapped against a wall or into a corner, with a conveniently inconvenient gap running right the way round between the edge and the wall.
So, as a quick reminder, this isn't a post about how to silicone correctly around a bath, I'll save that one for a rainy day (aka milk this tip for all it's worth). Instead, it's purpose is to highlight that whilst there are some great little rubber squidgy tools knocking about in shops (which are good, but tend to leave ridges in the finish unless you have a surgeon like steadiness), they are seldom better than a trusty finger that is nice and clean. But why does it have to be clean I don't hear you ask? Well, for those of you that know, know because you've found out the hard way.
Silicone. Sticks. Like...
Let's just say if some tar and bubblegum were able to do their thing, and they did - all above board like - then that's what would pop out. In other words, it's grim.
The best tool?
Yes. A finger!
Not only is it malleable to accommodate any jaunty edges, but you can also directly monitor the amount of pressure that's needed, something that becomes more difficult with an extra tool in hand. Now if your hand is covered in grit and grime, and you go to wipe that freshly piped silicone in which absorbed more brain power than it probably should have done, it's going to stick like nobody's business, only serving to remind you of your carelessness for years to come, ruining future bathing sessions where not even good ole Barry W would care to ease the pain.
CLEAN YOUR DAMN HANDS!
Plus, pro tip... Use a wet finger to smooth the silicone out, not a dry one - you'll get a far superior finish and less build-up of excess material, meaning you use less, which costs you less.
As I said earlier on, it's ironic that you need a clean finger to do a perfect job, but once finished, you're far from it. Well, it's true. You won't be able to get away without getting some of the stuff over your hand. If you have, then I'd argue you probably haven't done it right! But all is good. Just keep some strong wipes to hand, removing any excess as you go, and there shouldn't be an issue.
So there you have it. A few reasons why hands are the mightiest of tools and why it pays to keep them in tip-top condition. All the while being explained to you in a completely ordinary fashion. Kind of...
Be sure to stop by again soon to catch the next 'Thanks for the Tip!', where I'll be tackling some issues thrown up when using tapes and masking!
This post features the inclusion of some incredible products by BigWipes™. I've only scratched the surface on the type of dirt and grime these bad boys can take care of, so be sure to follow the links below to find out what else they can do for you. Keep a tub either in the van/under the sink or all 3 - they really do wipe all manner of problems away.
And yes, I really did just go and end with a terrible pun.