5 Tricks to Remove Garlic Smell from Your Hands

How to Remove Garlic Smell

Garlic always seems to give food that extra special, homemade feel. The primary drawback is the strong smell that stays on your hands long after you touch it. Allicin, a compound made by the combination of two enzymes, gives garlic its disease- and pest-fighting abilities.

If you, too, find it unpleasant, here’s how to keep it from becoming a weekly fixture in your cooking. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of the garlic smell on your hands in the quickest and most cost-effective way possible, using just common household items.

How to Remove Garlic Smell from Your Hands Step by Step

You can start using one of the basic at-home options we suggest right away. Be sure to use only cold water at all times. Why is that? Because hot water dilates the skin’s pores, the fragrance will linger for a longer period of time after being applied. Because some of these techniques can leave your hands feeling dry, there’s nothing quite like putting on your go-to moisturizer afterward.


Lemon is great for getting rid of the garlic smell from your hands as well as hiccups and unpleasant fridge scents. All you have to do is split one in half and use each half as a sponge. Focus on the fingers in particular. Cold water is recommended for rinsing, after which you can continue with your regular washing routine.

Stainless Steel Spoon

When you’re done working with the garlic, quickly run your hands under cold water without rubbing them together by turning on the faucet with your elbow or wrist. Then, pierce your palm and fingers with a stainless steel spoon. It may sound counterintuitive, but the compounds that give it its “fragrance” are actually drawn to it. If you leave it out in advance, you won’t have to worry about the smell migrating to other surfaces, like the drawer handle.

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Sodium Bicarbonate

Another one of baking soda 15 uses around the house is to neutralize the garlicky smell left on hands after cooking. Make a paste by sprinkling some onto wet palms, then rubbing it in completely. You should wash it normally by rinsing it off. Instead of bicarbonate, salt can be used if you don’t have any, but this won’t work if you’ve been injured and can’t use your glasses.


Vinegar’s many uses include as a salad dressing, a metal polish, and a deodorizer. The apple one is preferable because it is equally potent and powerful. Just take a quick dunk and then spend a few minutes massaging your palms and fingers. Let it sit for an additional 30 seconds, then wash it with water and neutral soap.


The potent yet pleasant aroma of coffee will mask the unpleasant smell of garlic on your hands. A small amount of ground coffee can be used to scrub your hands. But since it’s important to make the most of what you have and not waste anything, you can also get it by removing the filter from your used coffee machine (and cold). Here’s a neat bonus: it’s so powerful that it can even get rid of the stench in the trash can.

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