Gluconate anion is often added in the form of sodium gluconate in condensation polymer manufacturing processes to form water soluble complexes with a fraction of the multivalent transition metal cations such as Iron (III), Nickel (II) and Chromium (III). Complexation beneficially hinders transition metal salts from precipitating in the manufacturing equipment and from contaminating the polymer product. With Iron (III), for example, gluconate anion forms and iron-gluconate complex, thereby solubilizing iron in the brine solution so that the polymer product is produced substantially free of iron contamination.