Maple sap is like water with just 2% sugar. Not tough to clean, but nasties like to grow in that kind of environment. Cleans up easy. I simply scrub with bleach. After the season it gets scrubbed, then sprayed with Star San and not rinsed. Stays spotless over the rest of the year. Now before the season, it's a quick scrub and rinse and it's ready to go.
As for the hands, they don't crack too bad, but working hands is on the nightstand for bad days. My hands can take a lot of abuse and be fine. Probably a bit genetic, but maybe some farmer remains.