How to get bad smells off your hands

Whether you love cooking, or you cook occasionally, you have to handle ingredients that leave a bad smell on your hands, like onion, garlic, fish etc. Those smells linger, regardless of how many times you may wash them with water and soap. No one likes smelly hands, so here are a few methods you can use, in order to remove those persistent smells immediately.

First you have to wash them with cold water and soap and then choose one of the followings:

1. Rub them with a stainless steel item.

Under running cold water, take a stainless steel item (a spoon, for instance) and rub it all over your hands. This method is very effective, especially for removing garlic odor. You can even find stainless steel objects that are shaped like soap. They are easier to use and they are made specific for this use. You have to use a stainless steel object, and not any other kind of metal.

2. Antiseptic mouthwash

You can pour a little antiseptic mouthwash into your hands and rub them well. This will eliminate both smells and bacteria.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and rub it all over your hands. Then rinse them well with cold water. All odors will disappear! As an alternative, you can fill a bowl with cold water and then add baking soda. (The ratio is one glass of water with two tablespoons of baking soda). Soak your hands in it for a while and then rinse them with cold water.

4. Salt and lemon

Put a teaspoon of salt into your palm and then add some lemon juice. Rub your hands well and then rinse them with cold water. Your hands will obtain a fresh lemon smell. It’s very effective for any kind of smell.

5. Toothpaste

Put a little toothpaste (preferably mint flavor) into your palm and rub it on your hands. Then rinse them with cold water.

Warning: If you have any cuts or bruises, the last four methods (mouthwash – baking soda and vinegar – salt and lemon – toothpaste) will irritate them.

Those methods will help you get rid of any persistent smell on your hands. Why don’t you try them!

Do you know any other ways to remove odors from hands? Please, share them in your comments.

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42 thoughts on “How to get bad smells off your hands”

  1. Posts like these are great as it’s the kind of info I read and then unknowingly store away for future use. I had no idea about the stainless steel and toothpaste tips! Brilliant.

    1. I also hate the smell of onion on my hands. I cook a lot and I love using onion, so I had to find a way to remove it. My favorite is the one using salt and lemon. It leaves a great lemon smell on the hands!

    1. I am glad I could be helpful. You should definitely try them. I hate smelly hands, so I had to find ways to remove all those unplesant smells. I can’t stop cooking, that’s not a solution. So, there is always a way. I found 5! πŸ™‚

  2. I figured lemon and salt and baking soda with vinegar, but I had no idea about the rest of the items in your list! this article came at a perfect time, as I just had fish for lunch!

  3. Thank you so much for this. When I prepare food, no matter how much I wash my hands it sometimes has a lingering smell. I will try these methods next time!

    1. I cook a lot and I always was so annoyed of the smells that stayed on my hands afterwards. Now, I have nothing to worry about. You should try them and see what works better for you.

    1. Well, sometimes you have to know the right tricks, right? πŸ™‚ Try what I am suggesting and let me know what you think.

    1. It looks funny, but it works. It’s all about chemistry… I am not good at that! πŸ™‚ My favorite is the salt with the lemon juice. I use it all the time.

  4. There’s nothing worse than the smell of fish remaining on your hands after you cook. Very good tips. I usually try to get rid of the smell by using dish-washing liquid and it sometimes works.

    1. I can’t stand bad smells on my hands. That’s why I had been looking for ways to get rid of them. Now, I can cook without thinking about that.

  5. Thank you for sharing such great tips! I hate lingering smells from cooking so so much and it gets so annoying but I can never figure out how to get rid of them apart from washing my hands over and over.

  6. I have tried using lemon before and it works pretty well but I love these other alternatives too. The stainless steel is a great idea because it is so easy to get to!

    1. My favorite is also the salt with lemon, but the others work as well. As for the stainless steel method, if you have a stainless steel sink, getting rid of smells is fast and very easy. πŸ™‚

  7. Interesting post, I usually use a lot of garlic in cooking and no matter how much I wash, my hand still smell like garlic, I’ll try your methods out and hopefully no more garlic hands.

    1. Trust me, you will feel releived! I use a lot of onion in my cooking and I used to have a huge problem. Not any more!

    1. Yes, you should try it. It’s easy and effective and fun. πŸ™‚ I cook a lot and I have to deal with bad smells on my hands very often.

  8. We don’t have much lemon in PH, but we have plenty of Calamansi (Calamondin). Aside from its health benefits, refreshing juice and condiment use, it’s also being used to for cleansing and removing odor.

    1. I never would have imagined that lemon is not common everywhere. I guess we take some things for granted! πŸ™‚ I researched Calamansi – I admit I did not know what it was – and I found out that it’s some kind of citrus, so I beleive you can use it instead of lemon in order to remove odors. Any kind of citrus can be used. Thank you for helping me expand my knowledge. <3

  9. I actually already knew about all of these, except for the toothpaste tip. Toothpaste is rather expensive to use on your hands, though. I generally use lemons to remove stubborn smells from my hands since I usually have some on hand.

  10. I have never heard that spoons can take of the bad smell of my hands. Those are great tips, I will definitely try them out!! Thank you Rodanthi!

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