Rozalex Zalpon Zorange Extra Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaner is a really effective way of shifting post-mechanicing crud, leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturised, and is ridiculously cheap if you buy in bulk.
I came across Rozalex Zalpon Zorange Extra Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaner when I went looking for a hand cleaner that was more effective than Swarfega and nicer to use. Zalpon Zorange is very good at removing grime, comes in a pump-action container so you're not faffing with a lid every time you need to scrub up, and leaves your hands clean without that slightly-dessicated-by-chemicals feeling of Swarfega. It also smells nice and it's a bright orange colour, which you will either love or find alarmingly radioactive-looking.
After a couple of hours of bike-fettling I set to removing the gunge on my hands with Zalpon Zorange. The texture makes it really rather pleasant and satisfying to use. The cream is silky and smells good thanks to the orange oil, and the roughness of the suspended particles makes you feel like you're really achieving something as you work it into your hands. And you are. I'd been messing about with chains so had on my hands some of that amazingly nasty stuff that accumulates on inner links and jockey wheels. Zalpon Zorange lifted it right off, leaving my hands gleaming and feeling fresh when I rinsed it off.
One of the reasons Zalpon Zorange is so good at getting your hands clean is that it contains pumice. A highly porous volcanic rock, in powdered form pumice basically comprises tiny bits of volcanic glass whose edges are great at abrading the top surface of your skin. It's rather like liquid Emery paper.
Some gritty hand cleaners still use tiny plastic granules to provide their abrasive effect. These microbeads eventually end up in waterways and the ocean where they're a hazard to aquatic life. They're supposed to have been banned from last year, but you'll still find them in Swarfega Orange Hand Cleaner and De-Solv-It Heavy-Duty Beaded Hand Cleaner, among others.
That's one ingredient and one, er uningredient; what else is in Zalpon Zorange? Rozalex managing director Nick Angel says it has high-quality surfactants (detergents to you and me) that break down oils and greases, and natural orange oil which he describes as a 'fantastic natural solvent'. There are also esters to remove things like paint.
Nothing in Zalpon Zorange's ingredients list or material safety data sheet sets off alarm bells. Nick Angel also says Rozalex doesn't use isothiazolinones or parabens as preservatives. The former can cause contact dermatitis in people who are sensitive to it, which you definitely don't want in a hand cleaner, and parabens have a generally bad rep, though the scientific jury is out on just how deserved that is. It can't hurt to be cautious though.
A single pump of the dispenser delivers 26g of Zalpon Zorange, which is a bit excessive; you need about half that unless you've managed to get right up to your elbows in crud.
My favourite thing about Zalpon Zorange is its sheer value for money. You can get this four-litre tub for under 17 quid from Amazon, so that's about 4p for the roughly 10g you need to get your hands clean. A 300g tube of Zeosoft Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner is seven quid, so that's 23p for 10g. Weldtite Dirtwash hand cleaner comes in at £6 for 500ml or 12p for 10g and Muc-Off Nano-Grit Hand Cleaner is £10 for 500ml or 20p/10g, if you can still find it.
Of course, you're buying far more in one go with Zalpon Zorange. I expect this tub will last me years, and you can get a 10-litre container for £36 if you're running a professional workshop. A one-litre flip-top bottle (£6.99), and a pocket size 250ml bottle (£3.49) are also available.
Very effective against bike grime and cheap, even if you don't go silly and buy the big jug
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rozalex Zalpon Zorange Extra Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaner
Size tested: 4 litres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at mechanics, whether at home or in a professional workshop, Rozalex Zalpon Zorange is a heavy-duty hand cleaner.
Triple award winning extra heavy-duty hand cleaner containing natural orange oil, pumice and esters. Designed for the removal of the most ingrained oils, greases, paints, inks, tar and general dirt and grime.
The pumice and esters give superior performance, coupled with moisturisers and an orange fragrance to leave the hands feeling fresh and clean.
Gets crud and grime off your hands quickly and pleasantly.
Four litres of hand cleaner for under 20 quid is excellent value for money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very, very well, both in removing crud and making your skin feel good afterwards.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How effectively it works and how pleasant it leaves your skin feeling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Delivery from a full pump of the dispenser is a bit excessive.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Much cheaper, even if you only buy the one-litre tube.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Rozalex Zalpon Zorange gets your hands really clean, leaves your skin feeling good and is superb value for money. In this four-litre dispenser the only thing I can find to dock it half a mark for is doling out rather more then you need.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scapin Style My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.