skin reaction to potassium metabisulfite

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logerboots

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Hi Folks,

I just started making wine at home. I'm on my second kit.

I've been using potassium metabisulfite to sanitize my equipment (2 tablespoons per gallon of water). I basically just wash the equipment by hand, using the solution. However, I've been getting a moderate rash on the back of my hands after sanitizing (red, puffy skin, itchy). Not sure if this is normal or if I may have an allergy/sensitivty to the stuff.

Neither of my kits has any specific warning about the potassium metabisulfite, so I has assumed it was safe to use without gloves, but apparently not so, or at least not for me.

Do you experienced folks use gloves when sanitizing with this solution, or does it sound like a have an allergy/sensitivity?

Thanks!
 

Scooter68

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Sounds like a sensitivity/allergy - don the gloves and keep going. Or you can try one of several other sanitizers (cleaners) like StarSan, OneStep and I think there are few more. StarSan is an acid based and OneStep is a Peroxide based cleaner. You may just have sensitive skin. In reality I would imagine all of us 'should' be using gloves when we do a lot of washing. Generally I don't immerse my hands in the cleaners.

Another thought is to WASH with a regular dishwashing liquid and then use the K-Meta solutions just for rinse/sanitization so you don't have to be in contact with it. K-meta really isn't designed as wash product just for sanitization.

(Edited - changed from "cleaners" to "sanitizers (cleaners)"
 
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sour_grapes

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I agree with Scooter. I wash my bottles, etc., with one-step. I sanitize them with Starsan. I keep a squirt bottle of k-meta handy for "spot" sanitizing. This means I never have my hands immersed in k-meta solution. (This wasn't a goal of mine, just how it worked out.)
 

logerboots

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Thanks folks, I do have one step and that doesn't seem to bother me, so I'll continue to use that, but will put the k-meta in a spray bottle rather than fill the sink with a solution of it. I had been immersing hoses and siphon parts in the solution as it seemed the only way to get the sanitizer into the tubing, etc, but I'll have to find another way because this stuff clearly bugs my skin! Weird because I'm not allergic to anything else afaik! Thanks again
 

Scooter68

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For the hoses/tubing I use a 1 or 2 cup measuring cup with a V shaped pouring spout. That means I spill a little on the outside but that need sanitizing too.

Glad to hear it's just to the K-Meta - If you have no issues with sulfites in your wine then it's probably just a skin irritation to the strong mix you are using. I don't use K-meta powder/solution so I don't know the proper sanitizing mix amounts, you might just check those too to be sure. Also remember that OneStep, K-Meta, StarSan and the majority of these are only good for sanitizing. You still need to wash things that have any residue on them with dishwashing detergent of some sort of Cleaner. Sorry to be a harpy on that topic.
 

grapeman

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To sanitize the inside of the siphon and tubing get an autosiphon. Spritz the outside with the k-meta to be sure that gets sanitized (or the starsan). Attach the autosiphon to the tubing and put that into a gallon jug partly full of k-meta. Pump the siphon a few times until you get a good stream through it. Putt the autosiphon out to stop the flow and let everything drain. Tip it and the tube to allow it to drain completely. It will be giving off gases which is what does the sanitizing. No need to soak it in a tub or sink.
 

Zintrigue

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I get a reaction, too. Although not as severe as yours. My hands just get really dry, red, and itchy. Which is odd because I have very sensitive skin, I would have thought the reaction would be worse.

I do this in my kitchen. And although I'm sure some folks are going to scoff at this, I use my dishgloves. I put them on and wash them with dishsoap like I would my hands, then give them a thorough dip in the k-meta. Ready to go. I am still quite new at this, though, so I have a lot of learning to do...

-Zintrigue
 

Scooter68

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I get a reaction, too. Although not as severe as yours. My hands just get really dry, red, and itchy. Which is odd because I have very sensitive skin, I would have thought the reaction would be worse.

I do this in my kitchen. And although I'm sure some folks are going to scoff at this, I use my dishgloves. I put them on and wash them with dishsoap like I would my hands, then give them a thorough dip in the k-meta. Ready to go. I am still quite new at this, though, so I have a lot of learning to do...

-Zintrigue

Sounds like a good approach. Not Obsessive compulsive OR Too slack. This time of year I have great 'fun' with the skin on my thumbs and fingers getting so dry that it splits. Used different creams and lotions but when you work and get your hands dirty then you wash and start the process all over. Even wearing leather gloves working outside or dishwashing gloves, this time of year is tough. I can't imagine the 'fun' off adding a reaction to the chemicals on top of this. (PS: Clear Nail polish or Super Glue help seal the splits for a while but then like lotion when you work....)
 

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