I regard this as the best sanitiser for home cheesemakers. It is highly effective at killing bacteria quickly, it is gentle on your hands and any residual iodine that remains on the equipment is negligible. The iodine is provided in a concentrated form, stored at ambient temperature (or even in the fridge), and is to be made up at a rate of 1.0/1.5ml of iodine to a litre of clean cold water. It is important that increasing this addition rate is not necessary; it’s a waste of money, it could lead to excessive iodine in your cheese and no benefit is obtained. Iodine is listed in the Department of Agriculture National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce as a permitted sanitising substance for organic and biodynamic produce.
The concentrated stock solution is very dark brow. The prepared working solution has an opaque very light brown colour, almost like an apple juice colour. A significant benefit of iodine is that this light colour shows if the sanitiser is still active and working correctly. The correct use requires that it is used as a sanitiser only, all equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed of any detergent (does not need to be dry) before being placed into the iodine solution. Do not use the iodine as a rinsing or cleaning solution.
The longer that you leave the iodine working solution in contact with the equipment the better, but at least several minutes is preferred. Iodine is a ‘no rinse sanitiser’ so washing the iodine from your equipment will reverse the sanitising step, so simply allow the iodine to drain from equipment before you use it. You will still have some residual iodine on the equipment and will not affect the milk, cheese or the starter cultures.
The working solution can be reused as a sanitiser at the following days cheesemaking session, if it is stored in a tightly sealed container overnight. The active iodine will evaporate from the solution if left uncovered overnight. Persons with known allergies to iodine should seek advice prior to use.