Sanitizer Water

We use a sanitizer chemical mixed with water to clean our tables.  Until 2 months ago we used white cotton towels, but then the chemical salesman said the cotton towels neutralize the sanitizer, which means we were using water to clean the tables.  At first I was all for changing to the disposable towels because the cotton towels were fished out of Bob’s Bleach Bucket and all the tables were greasy and dull.  The disposable towels brought the shine back to the tables and got rid of the greasy residue on the stainless steel.  

Then they started eating a hole in my hand. 

It is as painful as it looks.

I could use the sanitizer water when it was just water, but once it became an actual working chemical my eczema, contact dermatitis, or whatever the hell you want to call it, flared up and now my hand hates me.  I feel like I’m growing a third eye in my palm, one that wants to murder me in my sleep. 

I wanted to present an argument to Darren that the salesman was just doing his job and boosting his sales, so could we please go back to the white towels.  I needed some hard information to persuade him so I did a bunch of research last night (10 minutes on Wikipedia) and learned that the salesman wasn’t lying.  There is a chemical in cotton which reacts with the sanitizer and makes it useless.  Damn. 

I also found out that soap reduces the sanitizer’s strength, but doesn’t render it neutral.  Hmmm…  Any old soap, you say?  

It seems the Internet CAN be used for something other than porn.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whatigotsofar
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 03:54:42

    And that’s your hand. Imagine having that somewhere else. Somewhere, er, more sensitive. YIKES!

    Oh that sucks. I’ve had this on my hands off and on since my daughter was born. For a couple of years my hands were so bad I couldn’t even bend my fingers. I’ve had a lot of success with Palmer’s products. The Cocoa Butter Formula emollient provides moisture and a barrier against further irritation. The lotion moisturizes without burning. Good stuff.

    Reply

  2. PurpleGirl
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 04:42:17

    Holy shit, that looks painful. I’ve gotten that kind of reaction on the back of my hands before, but not that bad.

    It wasn’t very bad and then someone suggested I put some Cort-Aid on it. Holy shit, it was like a wild fire in my hand. I haven’t had any new blisters in a few days so it might be healing up.

    Reply

  3. DarcKnyt
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 10:21:30

    OW. Crappity-crap-crap-CRAP! Sorry about the woes, hon. And with things being so hectic, I guess using latex or nitrile gloves isn’t an option, right?

    Bummer. But maybe using a little soap will chill it out enough to make it stop etching your flesh.

    Since we have bussers I’ve been able to stay out of the water for the last few days. I have my very own hand washing bucket with dish soap in it and that seems to help. At the end of my shift when I give my tables a good cleaning, I wear latex gloves. Good thing I’m not allergic to those, too.

    Reply

  4. blogmella
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 11:37:28

    Poor you! That looks very irritating! Darren will have to do something – he can’t ask his staff to make themselves ill.

    Yeah but we can’t have nasty germy tables either. I’m the only one affected by it so I will have to work around it. He’s been good about my personal hand washing bucket, though.

    Reply

  5. DarcsFalcon
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 13:00:09

    You can’t keep using that product. I don’t care how “sanitary” it is, it’s causing you health issues, eating through your skin, for Pete’s sake! Darren has to find something else to use. It’s that simple.

    Sheesh, did that company have no disclaimer? Caution, zombie product will eat your flesh if used.

    Honestly, this is the most mild cleaning product I’ve ever used in food service. As I said in an earlier comment, my hand wasn’t that bad until someone suggested I try Cort-Aid. Once a bad reaction gets going it takes about 10 days to heal after I get it under control.

    My hand is healing and I can make the sanitizer more manageable. I checked to see if it was harmful if it entered my body through my skin and it isn’t. You can actually drink this stuff and it won’t hurt you.

    Reply

  6. DarcsFalcon
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 14:04:58

    Since your daughter was born? Oh. That changes things considerably.

    I used to get a similar reaction on my hands too – they’d get tiny, red, itchy bumps, then swell, then the skin would crack and peel. I never knew what caused it but the last time I had it – back in the 90’s – I tried athlete’s foot cream on my hands. I can only presume I had some kind of fungal infection that would flare up, because the anti-fungal cream knocked it off entirely, and that was more than a dozen years ago.

    What you describe sounds like eczema or contact dermatitis. The anti-fungal will work a little, but it won’t cure it, and eventually it will get worse. It’s more likely that you stopped using whatever was causing the breakouts to begin with than that the cream stopped it.

    Reply

  7. Sparty Girl
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 09:02:47

    Oooh, ouch! I’m glad it’s starting to heal up… I definitely think you should keep using those gloves! Good luck.

    It’s much better today. It still looks like hamburger, but I haven’t had any new blisters form in a couple of days and that’s a good thing.

    Reply

  8. redriverpak
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 20:10:30

    The next customer that gives you lip…just hold up that hand and tell them that this is what your hand looks like as a result of strangling the previous griper to death…..

    I know other servers who would use my eczema as a way to get sympathy tips, so I may as well use it to keep people in line.

    Reply

  9. Zombieman
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 06:57:27

    “the Internet CAN be used for something other than porn.” Classic, I shall always remember this line. Who knew?

    It’s unbelieveable, but true!

    Reply

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