Jalapeno Hands!

So.  This evening, I assemble all the ingredients together to make a large batch of salsa.  Wearing gloves did cross my mind for about 3 seconds, but I detest working in them, so I didn’t bother.

“Don’t worry about it,” He says.  “They’re hardly hot at all,” He says. :)

Excited to be creating something with all the beautiful little Jalapeno peppers we harvested, I set about cutting, seeding, and dicing about 25 of them, frequently washing my hands.  I prepared the onions, sweet peppers, garlic, tomatoes and spices and set this aromatic concoction to simmer and reduce.  After another thorough hand wash, I sat down with a cup of coffee and savored the spicy aroma with satisfaction.

Well, hellooo!  About 10 minutes later, my hands started to burn, and without going into a lot of boring detail — man, do they hurt!  I had read somewhere that milk is good for removing or neutralizing the oil, so I tried that, without success.  Alcohol helped slightly, but only for a few minutes.  I checked out a forum where they suggested that rubbing your hands on stainless steel would take away the pain, and miraculously, it did!  But not for very long.  I tried lemon juice, every variety of soap and cleanser, lemon juice.  All to no avail.  Now, several hours later, the worst of the sting has eased, but let me tell you, I’ve sure learned my lesson!  I.  Feel.  So.  Stupid.

What do you think?  It is still reducing, but it turned out pretty well, yes?

Now, if I can only remember to don gloves before removing my contacts at bedtime………..


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

11 thoughts on “Jalapeno Hands!”

  1. I cut jalapenos all the time without gloves. To make sure I get all the oil off I taste my fingers afterwards if there is any hint of spice then I haven’t done a good enough job. But ack contacts. I don’t think I’d risk it with contacts.

    Your salsa sure looks yummy though.

    Thanks for your visit, Daphne, and for sharing your experience. Believe it or not, after much washing, a shower, lotions, and all the recommended “fixes”, I still have burning in my hands from time to time. I’m told the oil can stay in your skin for up to four days! The contacts, by the way, I was able to remove with surgical gloves on. :) I hope you’ll return to Soliloquy!

  2. LOL! Oh, sorry….I mean I’m so sorry for your pain, Nancy. The salsa looks tasty – how cool that there’s corn in your salsa. You may have to post your recipe, noting once again the importance of wearing gloves. Interesting all the home remedies you discovered. Equally interesting that they only worked for a short time. I guess handling 25 (25!) peppers made the difference. How went the contact removal? I hate wearing gloves while working too, so this is a good reminder to us all!

    Don’t you dare laugh! Hee! The salsa did turn out rather well, and I was able to remove my contacts painlessly with surgical gloves on. Phew! Actually, I will post the recipe for the salsa, if you like.

  3. I feel your pain, Nancy. The last time I worked with hot peppers my hands hurt for 3 days.

    Never again.

    Hubby is now in charge of all things hot pepper-ish.

    His hobby is motorcycle engines, so he has those specialty gloves for his detail work in the shop. Those are the gloves he wears to handle peppers.

    Your result looks delicious. I’ll trade you a jar for one of my jars of garden goodies.

    Oh, I do wish we were close enough to make the swap! As I said above, I’m still having some burning from time to time, depending on what I’m doing. I really learned my lesson!

  4. So sorry for your pain Nancy, hopefully it has resolved itself. I do the same thing all the time & always end up regretting it. The salsa looks fantastic by the way!

    It did out rather well, as far as taste and consistency go. I’ll post the recipe later. Very simple.

  5. The salsa looks delicious! I can sympathize with you, though: several years ago I was working with dried chili peppers and accidentally rubbed my eye. I had to flush my eye with water for 30 minutes to get rid of the burning! I don’t work with hot peppers anymore:)

    Oh my dear, I can’t even imagine that sort of pain in your EYE! That’s why I was so careful taking contacts out last night. Live and learn is right, I guess. :)

  6. The salsa looks great! I read once that a solution of chlorine bleach will remove the capsaicin. I’ve never tried it, but there’s a whole thread on this issue on seriouseats.com


    Congrats on the Blotanical awards!

    Thanks so much for passing along the link. Ironically, I had my hands in a healthy solution of chlorine bleach shortly after making the salsa when I put some dish towels to soak. It didn’t help, unfortunately. My hubby had mentioned that, too. But thanks for passing the info along. :)

  7. Sorry to hear that!
    Glad the salsa turned out well.
    Just hope that every time you eat it your hands don’t burn in memory.

    Once I had onion juice on my finger when I put contacts in. OO-chee-wa-wa! It hurt awful! Glad you had some gloves and used them for your contacts.

  8. Good grief! I cringed reading about removing your contacts … I have done that even with a slight trace on my fingers. The salsa looks yummy and worth the pain!

  9. Ouch!

    Those nitrile glove are great for this project, I’m glad you didn’t burn your eyes! I got some pepper juice in a cracked finger last year and thought I might have to amputate.

  10. Fast Orange which is an Automotive hand cleaner worked great for my husband–he was burning with the jalapeno oil and thought what would cut grease or other oils–we’ve used Fast Orange to anything with grease upon which it does not belong! Complete success! He did that first before any washing or any other “remedy”.

    Hope it works!

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