What causes your hands to look like that? I thought a co-worker had some sort of disease but it turned out it was from a cleaner that claims "it's not harmful to the skin."

Not harmful? Amanda Madore begs to differ. She used Bar Keepers Friend , a liquid cleanser that removes rust stains, baked food, discoloration stains, and scuff marks and their website claims it's "not harmful to the skin during casual use. However, sensitive skin or pro-longed use may benefit from using gloves. The oxalic acid in BKF is mild, but it may irritate sensitive skin and will sting in any open wound (similar to lemon juice on a cut)."

Amanda says she doesn't have sensitive skin and didn't have an open wound when she decided to clean her sink without using gloves. A few days later she says her hands turned red. "It felt like I ate a lot of salt. The skin was very tight."


A day later her red hands started getting raised bumps and burning. "That lasted for a good week," she says. "The skin I burned started to peel a week later, after the redness went away."

Three weeks later her skin is still peeling.


Bar Keepers Friend is no friend of Amanda's but one listeners says she uses it often without gloves and has never had a problem.

Despite not having sensitive skin, maybe Amanda is allergic to one of the ingredients in the product. Next time a cleaner is used, any cleaner, Amanda plans to use gloves, no matter what the product says.