The Story of Grip Clean: How Bryce Hudson Made a Product We Love

Bryce Hudson standing behind his motorcycle

Bryce Hudson

Need to get your hands clean after working in the lawn and garden? Or worse, that nasty grease from working on the rear differential? If only there were an effective product that didn’t dry out your hands. Actually, there is one: Grip Clean hand soap, created by a pro motocross rider, using dirt as a primary ingredient. And, no, this is not an ad. I first saw it on “Shark Tank” and had ordered it before the segment ended. The stuff works.

Hard work = filthy hands

Bryce Hudson knows a thing or two about being dirty. Riding any kind of motorcycle off-road will get you filthy, but ripping around a motocross course at the X Games makes for award-winning grime. Hudson took gold in his first X Games and was the youngest competitor in his class for all four of his appearances. It’s not all trophies and medals, though. In 2013, he missed a landing in competition and suffered multiple fractures to his left tibia. He missed eight weeks of competition but was still able to wrench.

“Throughout my career of being a professional motocross athlete, I always had to do my own mechanic work on my machines,” says Hudson. “And that led to having constantly dirty, greasy, sticky—you name it—kind of hands. I have always used the products that are on the market, but they would cause my skin to dry and crack or even break out in rashes.”

Hudson wanted a heavy-duty but all-natural product, but he couldn’t find one in stores. While working with chemicals all day, the last thing he wanted to put on his hands was more harsh chemicals and abrasive detergents. Synthetic cleaners were not the answer. Then he noticed something about dirt.

Bottle of Grip Clean in a garage

The big idea

“I used to use handfuls of dirt to spread onto oil spills in my garage when I made a mess. It always absorbed all the oils with ease.” Dirt is a natural exfoliant, which is why high-end salons use mud masks and baths to get their clients clean. Hudson used this same approach to develop Grip Clean as a vegetable-based blend with a dirt additive. But don’t look to your backyard for effective soap, as Grip Clean’s “dirt” is a cosmetic-grade pumice.

“This allows the dirt to go deep into the cracks of your hand to latch on hard to remove grease that would normally remain. I tried this theory in many of our test batches, and lo and behold, the product worked better at removing grease than any chemical soap on the market.”

Hudson says he tested small batches for two years to get the formulation right. “And then I gave some samples out to some fellow race teams I knew. The feedback I got back from everyone was phenomenal and everyone wanted more of the product. Suddenly I became known as the ‘soap boy,’ and the rest is history!”

Well, not quite history, as Hudson still had to learn how to do everything, from getting the formula right in larger batches to making labels and proper packaging. Initially, he made batches in his garage with a 5-gallon bucket. A Kickstarter campaign found 195 backers and proved the marketability. But it was still mainly a one-man operation at home. Since Hudson didn’t yet have the capacity to sell on a national level, he had to find an investor.

Bryce Hudson on the set of Shark Tank

Bryce Hudson appearing on Shark Tank

Shark bait

“Getting onto the TV show ‘Shark Tank’ was hands-down one of the most fun, hardest, and scariest things I’ve done in my life.” Hudson stood in line before dawn with 4,000 other people to pitch their creations to the producers. He thought his odds of being picked were low, but a few months later, Hudson was pitching Grip Clean to a nationwide audience.

“I rode my motorcycle in with my helmet on. I took my helmet off and began to give my sales pitch. Suddenly, Mark Cuban and the Sharks were laughing and interrupted me mid-speech. Little did I know I had a serious case of “helmet hair,” where my hair was completely messed up and sticking straight up.” The hair and makeup crew helped him out, and then the pitch went as planned.

Besides that quick fix, he says the pitch went pretty much as aired. Shark Lori Greiner said that the product should really be sold in stores but believed in its product enough to invest. Grip Clean took off from there.

Hitting it big

“We got a ton of orders the night of airing and sold out of product within minutes,” says Hudson. “I was ecstatic but also bummed I didn’t have more product to sell! We were approached by many large retailers all interested in carrying the product, Advance Auto Parts being one of them.

“Partnering with Advance Auto Parts is truly a dream come true. Anyone starting a company or product always has their sights set on getting it into big box retailers and stores. Little did I know how much work it takes to be ready for that moment. Advance believes in our product.”

Freestyle motocross still has Hudson’s heart, but he says he’s found a new passion in his company. Grip Clean is industrial strength but won’t dry out your hands. It’s all-natural, biodegradable, doesn’t leave a smelly residue, and it’s made in the USA. In short, it’s a gold-medal winner.

Have you used Grip Clean? Share what you think about it in the comments.

Hidden Auto History Is Everywhere, Including Oklahoma City

America’s automotive past is all around us, but it’s usually hidden under decades of change. There were a lot more auto manufacturers back in the day, and many more car factories and dealerships. Usually, the buildings they occupied were abandoned and eventually torn down. Fortunately for us, some are still standing and tell a fascinating tale. So let’s examine the hidden automotive history in the architecture of Oklahoma City.

Why Oklahoma City? OKC is a comparatively young city not as well known for its automotive contributions as, say, Detroit. But, as evidenced in neighborhoods like the now-trendy Automobile Alley district, it played quite an important role in manufacturing. Here’s what Oklahoma City’s past looks like in the present.

Packard building in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Packard, 201 NW 10th St.

Packard built some of the most attractive cars in its day, and used ingenuity to compete with the giants of General Motors and Ford. Built in 1925 as a large dealership with indoor showrooms, its display area was big enough for a dynamometer to measure a new car’s horsepower. After Packard ceased operation in the ’50s, the building became a warehouse and, later, a bar.

Today, the early 20th-century brick architecture blends with modern windows the size of garage doors. Blueknight Energy now occupies the office space upstairs, while a large restaurant takes up most of the ground floor. Packard’s New American Kitchen echoes not only the former car company’s name but its ethos as well, with inspired yet affordable food.

Ford building in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Ford, 900 W. Main St.

Henry Ford was always looking for ways to decrease costs and mass-produce more cars. He found his answer in the 1909 Model T. Ford built this factory in 1916 as part of its expansion plans to supply cars to the people. Within a few years, the company built 24 more factories across the country to help meet demand for the Model T. At its peak, this particular factory cranked out 200 cars a day.

The Great Depression stopped car production, but Ford continued to use the space as a regional parts warehouse until 1967. The factory that got America on the road deserved a 21st-century makeover, and it got one in 2016. The 21c Museum Hotel is a boutique hotel and contemporary art museum worthy of its building’s historical importance.

Pontiac building in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Pontiac, 1100 N. Broadway

During Pontiac’s nearly 85 years making cars, the arrowhead logo fit legends like the GTO, Grand Prix, and Firebird, and later oddities like the Trans Sport and Aztek. Built in 1928, this 14,000-square-foot dealership likely featured cars like the 40-horsepower 6-28 coupe.

It’s now home to contemporary office space housing British Petroleum’s Lower 48 operations. While the workplace is entirely modern, the soul of the dealership is evident. Wooden floors are still spattered with paint, evidence of old-time bodywork. The break room features a garage door that opens to the sky. The ramp for loading vehicles onto the turntable display is still there. It’s some kind of irony that a dealership servicing petroleum-burning cars would later house offices of one of the world’s largest oil companies.

Hupmobile building in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Hupmobile, 824 N. Broadway

Hupmobile started building cars in Detroit, Mich., in 1909. It innovated one of the first steel car bodies but couldn’t last through the Great Depression and stopped production in 1940. This restored building housed the Shelburne Motor Company, which was really more of a new and used dealer with full-service mechanics and even parts reconditioning.

After Hupp fell apart, the building went through an industrial period before falling into disrepair, along with the rest of downtown OKC, in the ’70s. After a few decades of neglect, a full restoration created an attractive storefront and office space. The tall windows now provide an excellent showcase for fine-wine, spirits, and beer purveyor Broadway Wine Merchants. Even if you don’t have a Hupp—stop by for a visit.

GM factory in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

GM, 7125 S. Air Depot Blvd.

Modern factories are also hiding in plain sight. Completed in the late 1970s, this GM Assembly built the unfortunate X-body and the slightly-less-terrible A-body. It shifted with the times through various other cars before finally hitting it big with SUVs. A tornado strike severely damaged it in 2003, but GM spent the money to get the plant operational just 53 days later. The Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada rolled out the doors until 2006, when they shuttered and sold the plant.

Today, the 2.5-million-square-foot facility is home to the local Air Force base and still produces engines. This old factory may not make cars anymore, and the office spaces are the least fancy of the ones listed here, but the F-35’s 29,000-horsepower engines are pretty sweet.

Buick showroom in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Buick, 1101 N. Broadway

This is your grandfather’s Buick. Built in 1927, the four-story Buick building was one of the first indoor showrooms in OKC, and currently anchors the Midtown district. The brick and limestone exterior was meticulously restored in 2014 and topped by a new vintage-style neon sign. Dramatic high ceilings befitting a warehouse now look great with updated halogen and LED lighting. The turntable and car elevator are both intact and operable. Mixing old and new themes is the ground-floor restaurant, Broadway 10.

Buick dealership in Oklahoma City

Source | Andy Jensen

Buick, again, 504 N. Broadway

The Okies from a hundred years ago must have really liked Buicks. This is a smaller Buick dealership, as it was built in 1911 and earned the title of first showroom in the city. It was unique for being a direct sales showroom owned by Buick, rather than the dealer model we have today. There’s a trendy event room upstairs called “The Showroom” which is available for $3,000 an evening—roughly twice the price of a late 1920’s Buick. The building displays art from Ghost Gallery, and the street front is Red Prime Steakhouse.

Take a closer look at some old buildings, and you might catch a glimpse of America’s automotive history. This was just a brief look at one city—let us know if you’d like to see more. And tell us what’s hiding in your town.

DIYers Paradise: Garage Condos for the Ultimate Car Enthusiasts

 

We recently sat down with Bruno Silikowski to talk about his pet project, the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen, Minnesota. What is the AutoMotorPlex, you ask? Picture the love child of a Lamborghini and an Airstream RV—but without the wheels. It’s 146 units of dream garage and luxury condo in one. Silikowski filled us in on why this car-loving community has been so successful and talked about some of the incredible vehicles that call it home.

Silikowski has driven everything from Italian sports cars to a Volkswagen Beetle. But the one that captured his heart, the car that makes his eyes light up when he talks about it, is a 1974 Triumph TR6. He says he bought the car to train his kids to drive stick shift. But he loved it so much he kept it.

“It’s visceral,” he says. “It’s raw. There’s nothing refined about it. It’s just fun.”

Unlike his beloved TR6, Silikowski’s AutoMotorPlex is more refined than raw, but it’s still a heck of a lot of fun too.
AutoMotorPlex aerial shot

AutoMotorPlex Ferraris

AutoMotorPlex garage

AutoMotorPlex interior

Want the full story? Stop over at the AutoMotorPlex website for a look at some of their jaw-dropping units and four-wheeled residents.

Thanks to Christa Hogan, who collaborated on this article.

The 6 Most Popular Posts of 2016

Happy Holidays from the Advance Team! As we prepare to spend time with family for the holidays and celebrate the arrival of 2017, we thought we’d take a look at your favorite posts of the past year.

These are the stories, pieces of advice, and on-the-road adventures you all thought were pretty darn cool. So, if you see any that you haven’t read yet, check them out—they’re DIYer vetted.

How to Extend Your Transmission’s Life

 

Our Favorite American Muscle Cars of Each Decade

 

Crucial Cars: The Toyota Corolla AE86

 

Synthetic Versus Conventional: Which Motor Oil Is Best?

 

Skip the Beach: Our Top 5 Mountain Road Trips

 

What You Need to Know About Engine Misfires

Did you have a favorite article we didn’t include here? Let us know!

Best of Speed Perks 2016

Take a look back at the all the exciting Speed Perks events we held in 2016. From Daytona Bike Week, to Coca-Cola 600 race day, to NFL Legends meet and greets, it’s been a great year for Members!

Racing

Several lucky members won VIP trips to either the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway or the NASCAR Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They were treated to an all-paid vacation and got to experience the race up close and personal, meeting drivers and touring the pit area.

Coca-Cola 600

Members enjoyed the exhilarating race in Speed Perks style. A highlight was meeting country singer Lee Brice backstage at the opening day concert.

Homestead-Miami

As if being at the NASCAR Championships wasn’t enough, our members got to meet drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Alex Bowman (Advance Auto Parts #88 car), and Brandon Jones (Rain-X #33 car) at the track.
88-car

Atlanta Formula Drift

Driver Ryan Tuerck paid a visit to Advance Auto Parts before his Formula Drift race in Atlanta, inviting Speed Perks Members to the race for autographs and a tour of his ride.

Exclusive Events

Outside the track, members got to enjoy great experiences like meeting three NFL legends, riding with “Tig” and “Bobby” from Sons of Anarchy at Daytona Bike Week, and getting free gear from our partners.

NFL Tailgate

NFL Legends Terry Bradshaw, Barry Sanders, and Dan Marino each paid a visit to a local Advance store, signing autographs for our members and posing for photos.
Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw
Barry Sanders
Barry Sanders
Dan Marino
Dan Marino

Sons of Anarchy Ride

Our biker members were invited to ride alongside “Tig” and “Bobby” from Sons of Anarchy during Daytona Bike Week. Both stars hung around for the after party at the Daytona Advance store!Speed-Perks-Bike-Week

Excitement for 2017

We had a blast last year and 2017 is gearing up to be even better for members. Keep your eyes peeled as tons of great events are coming your way!

Not a Speed Perks Member? Join for free and start getting rewarded with exclusive coupons and experiences!

What do you think of our Speed Perks events? Did you attend one or are planning to in 2017? Comment below and let us know if there are any other events you’d like us to look at.

Holiday Recap: Our Favorite Community Posts

We’re lucky to have a dedicated community of DIYers here at Advance. In fact, our customers and Team Members always seem to have great stories to share and tips to teach each other. Since Thanksgiving is all about getting together and giving thanks, we’re sharing our five favorite community stories from 2016. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Happy Thanksgiving!

Our First Cars: Three Revs for High School Cars

Advance Auto Parts | Our First Cars

 

National Motorcycle Day: Our Favorite Rides

We Celebrate National Motorcycle Day

Car + Culture: Going Off-Road in Albuquerque

Off-roading in Albuquerque

Advance Dads: Tamekia Richardson’s Dad Had Some Tricks Up His Sleeve

Father's Day - Tamekia Richardson

2016 Patrick Long Pro-Am Kart Race: Making a Difference for All Children’s Hospital

ProAm Racing_Go kart 2

 

Giving Thanks for Automotive Experiences

With Thanksgiving and the holidays around the corner, our Store Team Members are giving thanks. We asked them to share the automotive experiences for which they’re most grateful, and we were truly inspired by what has shaped their paths. Whether it was learning how to work on cars from family members or mentors, interacting with customers at the store, or teaching others how to DIY, these stories demonstrate the genuine spirit of the season. Read on to see what they’re thankful for.

Photo Credit: denlinkbarmann/Flickr

Photo Credit: denlinkbarmann

From Wesley Mathis — Murray, KY

My dad has been gone from this world for three years this January, and I am so indebted to him and the life lessons that he taught me over the years. I remember my dad working on Mom’s car and his trucks to keep them in top shape. Dad showed me how to do everything on a car, from changing oil to a camshaft to even obsolete tasks such as replacing points and condensers in a distributor. The most important life lesson, however, that my dad taught me applies to both cars and life in general. I remember one spring in the 1980s while we were working on the hydraulic hoist on a 1967 Chevy C60, my dad was looking down on me with his prematurely aged skin from years of working in the sun as a farmer and his button-up blue shirt that he always wore, saying, “Son, it is shameful to be lazy. To hire for a job that you are capable of doing yourself is just wasteful and lazy. One will always take more time than money; take that time to figure out the problem and repair it.” That advice from a 10th-grade dropout (because he had to work on the family farm) I have found works with everything in life, everything from my 1970 Chevelle SS to marriage.

From Patsy Langston — Dothan, AL

I have worked in automotive parts, service, body shop and paint for over 38 years. In all of that time I have to say I am most thankful for the lives that have crossed paths with mine. I have met some of the most wonderful people you could meet being in this business and have made lifelong friends. I have worked for and with people who have deeply inspired my life, met a few famous people, shared automotive nightmares and laughs, and laughed about the nightmares. All in all I couldn’t see myself enjoying anything so much and am thankful for the people who have been a part of it.

From Brian Sandeen — Machesney Park, IL

I was one of those people who grew up in a family where we never took care of our own vehicles. My parents were the type who always took their cars to the dealership for repairs, oil changes, etc., or replaced a vehicle every two years or so. When I began working for Advance in 2009, I had very little if any experience working on cars. I got this job because of my previous background dealing with computer-part numbers in a warehouse, and at that time I took the job just for something to do as I was a full-time parent.

Since then, my wealth of automotive knowledge has grown. Things that I couldn’t do seven years ago is now second nature. Having this job has taught me how to maintain my own vehicles, from the minor maintenance such as oil changes to major work such as changing an alternator, starter, doing brake jobs, and so on. I was able to practically rebuild the front end of our van thanks to what I have learned working for this company. I am thankful for the general manager at store 8138 in Kingwood, Texas, who took a chance on me and hired me. If it wasn’t for that opportunity, I wouldn’t have learned what I have over these last few years.

From Danita Bachman — Powell, WY

I am most thankful for everything my dad taught me, from the simple check your oil and tires to changing and repacking bearing and overhauling engines. It made me what I am today, a proud manager of a Carquest / Advance Auto Parts store. Now my dad isn’t able to even walk or use his hands, but I still do everything that it takes to keep our vehicles on the road and safe. I am thankful for the opportunities Carquest and Advance have given me, and I truly love every day I am here. Love to all my fellow managers and employees.

From Jim Nelson — Patchogue, NY

Thirty-five years ago I worked in an auto-parts store that had a repair shop as part of the operation. The service manager quit, and I was asked to run the shop. I had no experience running a shop, but I had two mechanics who had previously owned and run shops. They taught me the ins and outs of running a shop as well as where and how all parts functioned on the vehicle. I learned more in those three years than I have in the last 30 years. I will be forever grateful to those two men.

I learned more in those three years than I have in the last 30 years.

From Mario Ortiz — Houston, TX

I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Youngest of eight children. I have four brothers and three sisters all with interests in cars, a few more so than the others. Growing up with fairly modest means, I remember going to the parts yards with my father, who was always working on something. Anxious to help however I could, I would constantly point or pick up parts at the local pick-a-part yard asking, “Is this what you need?” It amazed me how my father could look at what I picked up and in an instant reply, “No, that only fits a 1974 model.” I was bitten by the car bug at an early age and proudly carry the affliction as I have now been in the automotive parts and supplies industry for over 25 years. I love teaching a new generation of car enthusiasts about parts and how to best take care of their car, as it recalls so many fond memories of a father we dearly miss.

A warm thanks to our Team Members who contributed their wonderful stories. Do you have fond automotive memories you’re thankful for? Share your stories in the comments.

When Speed Perks Members Meet NFL Pros

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We’re big fans of getting together with our customers to talk cars. It’s always a good time, and some of the stories that get shared… well, let’s just say we’ve all made a few DIY mistakes. Our parties are such a blast that a few NFL legends, including Terry Bradshaw and Barry Sanders, wanted in on the action this time around. So we said, sure, come on by.

Did we mention we also had food trucks on hand, plus games, autograph stations, and some seriously cool giveaways to celebrate this tailgate party? Check out what happened at three lucky stores around the country when customers, Speed Perks Members, Store Team Members, and NFL Pros got together at our events around the country.

Speed Perks Members had an exclusive invite to this event. If you’re not a member, join today. (It’s free!)

Thanks to Castrol for making these parties happen.

 

Celebrating 15 Million Speed Perks Members

When we started Speed Perks two years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that we’d hit 15 million members. Thanks to you, we’ve done it! To join us in the celebration, take a look at what our dedicated community of drivers have achieved.

Speed Perks 15 million member Infographic

We’re blown away by how much work our Speed Perks Members do on their cars. Without a doubt, they’re the kind of DIYers we’d like to have as neighbors. If you’re not a member, join now!

Community: National Motorcycle Ride Day

National Motorcycle Ride Day rolls around every year on the second Saturday in October. To celebrate, we asked motorcycle enthusiasts to share photos of their favorite bike rides or routes. We selected four winners to receive a $25 gift card for their photo:

Ross H. – Wizard Island at Crater Lake

10-10-2016-3-11-47-pm

John S. – Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

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Dave M. – Pig Trail, Arkansas

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Rich N. – Mount Rushmore

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See below for more photos of riders and their beloved bikes: