How to get Garlic Smell Off Your Hands

Handling garlic leaves a distinct garlic odor on your hands. One that simple washing alone does not remove.

So, how do you get the smell of garlic off your hands?

Many have tried, but if you don’t know the trick then the chances of succeeding are slim. You might be able to recognize the substance responsible for removing garlic odor from hands in the picture below and can certainly read all about it in the paragraphs below.

garlic off hands

How to get Garlic Smell Off Your Hands

Rubbing your hands against a stainless steel surface while washing them with soap and water actually removes the garlic smell from hands!
This is weird, but true. We use this piece of stainless steel made in the shape of a bar of soap, handy but not necessary. If you have stainless steel flatware, then use a spoon to rub your hands against and the garlic odor will dissipate. Anything made of stainless steel will work just fine, but please don’t use your knives!

The science behind this interesting solution is that the sulfuric molecules from the garlic are transferred from your hands to the stainless steel as you rub. With the molecules, goes the smell.

Consider purchasing this rocking tool instead of a typical garlic press. You never really have to touch the garlic with this tool, except for placing the full clove onto the cutting board. Simply rock the tool back and forth to get uniformly chopped garlic. Use a spoon to remove the chopped garlic from the tool. Then, when washing the tool be sure to rub your hands along the sides of the stainless steel tool. Doing so will release the garlic smell from your hands at the same time. We find this tool easier to wash than the typical garlic press and our hands smell better when the task is done.

garlic off hands

Alternate methods include rubbing cut lemons on your hands before washing them thoroughly and rubbing a paste of salt and baking soda onto your hands before washing. These methods also work but are wasteful of other foods in the process and can be rough on hands.

How to get Garlic Smell Off Your Hands

Additional Info

The rocking garlic press mentioned above is available on Amazon or specialty stores such as Williams Sonoma.

To find out more about garlic shelf life, see our garlic page.

For information on planting garlic, see our garlic planting page.

For information on cleaning sponges, see how to clean a sponge.

For information on cleaning cutting boards, see how to clean a cutting board.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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