How to Get Garlic Smell Off Hands

This cooking ingredient has the ability to season and enrich a wide variety of dishes.  While it can be beneficial to flavoring, it can also have the unwanted effect of rubbing off on one’s hands during it’s preparation.  When garlic residues get within hands, the sharp stench can be quite intense and very challenging to remove from one’s fingers and palms.


 

Luckily, there are several household remedies for neutralizing the stench of garlic odors within hands.  By following some of the below solutions, you can be certain that your palms and finger will be smelling fresh again.

 
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Hand Deodorizing Solutions

 

1 Rub Stainless Steel Utensil Under Cold Water

It may sound silly, but rubbing a stainless steel utensil under cold running water is a tested method that works to remove that smell of garlic from one’s hands.  Turning on the faucet, and rubbing for a minimum of 20-30 seconds has a somewhat mysterious molecular reaction that combats the odorous garlic oils.  Allow though any stainless steel utensil will work for this home remedy, a stainless steel spoon is recommended because you are less likely to poke yourself while rubbing.

 

2 Rub Ice Cube Under Cold Running Water

Rubbing an ice cube under cold water will have a similar effect as using a stainless steel utensil.  Grab a large cube of ice and rub the interior of you palms and fingers under the faucet.  If melting takes place simply continue with a new cube until you have rubbed all affected areas over the course of 60-90 seconds. The cold water will have the effect of tightening your pores within your hand while the water and friction from the ice cube loosens the oils and washes it away.

 

3 Toothpaste Scrubdown

The use of toothpaste can work wonders in eliminating the smell of garlic from one’s palms and fingers.  Squeeze double the quantity of toothpaste that you would normally use for brushing your teeth within hands.  Proceed to rub the toothpaste within palms and in and between fingers.  Finally, finish by rinsing off the toothpaste from hands under the faucet.

 

4 Lemon Juice

The citric acid within lemon juice can help to strip the garlic oil from hands and leave palms and fingers smelling fresh.  Either splash hands with lemon juice or proceed to scrub palms and fingers with the inside of a lemon.  Either way, lemon juice will need to come into contact with all affected areas for 5-10 seconds for desired results.  As a note of precaution, you may want to avoid this particular remedy you your hands are dry, cracked or have any cuts.  The acid within lemons can cause quite a bit of pain if you presently have any of these conditions within palms or fingers.

 

5 Tomato Juice

This solution works in the same fashion that it eliminates and makes sprayed oil from a skunk’s behind.  Although opening a can of tomato juice may not be warranted for removing garlic smell from hands, this is nonetheless effective at eliminating garlic oil odor.  Splash palms and finger with tomato juice and rub through hands for 10-15 seconds over the sink.  Once complete, rinse hands under faucet and enjoy freshened hands for the rest of your day.

 

6 Palm Rubbed Salt

Rubbing salt between palms under  cold water can have the effect of wiping out garlic odor within one’s hands.  Pour 1-2 teaspoon of salt in hands and rub between palms and fingers for a total of 30-60 seconds under a cold faucet.  It is important that enough salt is poured prior to washing to avoid the salt be liquid and carried away prematurely.

 

7 Splash of Mouthwash


Similar to toothpaste, mouthwash can be used to clear your hands from garlic odor.  Pour a small amount of mouthwash in hand and proceed to rub it between palms and fingers for 15-30 seconds.  If the smell persists after one use, try pouring and repeating an additional time for better results.

 

8 Drizzle Olive Oil

Many claim that using olive oil to helps diffuse the natural garlic oils and remove the smells from one’s hands.  Pour a teaspoon of olive oil in hands and rub between palms and fingers for 30 seconds.  After this time has passed, place hands under a cold running faucet and wash with dish detergent to remove both type of oil.

 

9 Apple Cider Vinegar (or White Vinegar)

The strong acid within vinegar works well in striping garlic odors from out hands.  This household acid directly lifts the natural garlic oils from palms and eliminates the source of the stench.  Pour a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar within hands and proceed wit rub between palms and fingers for 30-45 seconds.  Once complete, wash hands under faucet with dish detergent to remove any existing vinegar odor.

 

10 Rub a Bundle of Parsley

This method may not completely remove the garlic odor from your palms, but many stand by it’s ability to mask the stench within your hands. Select a small bunch of parsley and wad up and rub between palms and fingers for 45-60 seconds.  The fiber will work to strip some of the garlic oils while the parsley juices cover up the garlic smell.

 
 

Extra Garlic Hand Tips

 

1 Prepare Garlic With Cold Water


When preparing and washing garlic, always make sure that you do it with cold water.  The hot water has the effect of opening the pores within your hands and letting the odorous garlic oils within the palms.  Cold water has the opposite effect of contracting the skin pores and preventing garlic oil from making it’s way within the pores of your fingers and palms.

 

2 Preventative Latex Gloves

As a preventative method, latex gloves can be worn prior to handling garlic cloves.   It can be a bit of a hassle to if you regularly find yourself cooking with garlic cloves, however it is 100 percent sure to keep garlic oils off of your hands. Warning:  If you are serving to any one who may potentially have latex allergies, you may need to go without using this preventative method.

 

3 Stainless Steel Soap Bar

This product solution works under the same principle used while rubbing a steal utensil under cold water.  The increased benefit of rubbing stainless steel within bar form is that it will allow for faster deodorizing due to it’s ability to come in contact with more areas of your palms and fingers.


Photo Credit: Clay Irving

 

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