How to Get the Smell of Garlic Off Hands, According to Chefs

Garlic is a commonly used condiment during cooking, but the stubborn smell it leaves behind can be unpleasant. Getting rid of the smell of garlic on your hands is a common challenge for chefs. Fortunately, there are many proven methods that can help neutralize this strong odor and get your hands fresh again.

Stainless Steel

image from amazon

Rub your hands on stainless steel surfaces, such as stainless steel sinks or appliances, to neutralize garlic odors. You can also purchase stainless steel soap bars designed specifically for this purpose.

Lemon Juice or Lemon Slices

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Lemon is an effective savior in the challenge of getting rid of this smell. The citric acid contained in lemons has strong neutralizing ability and can neutralize the pungent smell of garlic, leaving your hands looking brand new. Simply rub your hands with lemon juice or lemon slices to quickly remove garlic smell, leaving a fresh scent. This natural method is not only simple and easy, but also safe and harmless, making it the first choice of many chefs when dealing with garlic.

Salt and Vinegar Scrub

Use a paste of salt and vinegar and rub it over your hands, focusing on areas where the garlic smell lingers. Then rinse thoroughly with water. The tiny particles of salt help remove dead skin and oil, while the vinegar effectively neutralizes the pungent smell of garlic.

Coffee Grounds or Coffee Grounds Scrub

image from The Thrifty Apartment

Coffee grounds are amazing for so much more than just drink residue, they are also an excellent deodorizer. When you’re bothered by the odor left behind after handling garlic, coffee grounds can be a great help in solving the problem. This is because coffee grounds have unique odor-absorbing properties that can effectively neutralize the pungent odor released by garlic.

Baking Soda Paste

image from The Kitchn

Take appropriate amounts of baking soda and water and mix them into a paste in a container. The alkaline properties of baking soda can neutralize the acidic smell released by garlic, thereby effectively removing odor from your hands. Next, apply this paste evenly on your hands, especially on the areas that smell of garlic. Gently massage your hands to allow the mixture to fully contact the surface of the skin. Then, rinse your hands thoroughly with clean water.


image from Health and Wellness

Some chefs recommend using toothpaste to neutralize garlic odor. It’s very easy to use toothpaste to get rid of garlic smell. Just squeeze out an appropriate amount of toothpaste, apply it to your hands, and start rubbing. The cleaning ingredients and deodorants in toothpaste help neutralize the smell of garlic. You can rinse your hands thoroughly with warm water to make sure any toothpaste residue and garlic smell are gone.


Alcohol has the ability to dissolve grease and help reduce the lingering garlic odor. However, be sure to moisturize your hands after use, as alcohol may dry out the skin. Choose a gentle, alcohol-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and soft. This way, you can easily get rid of garlic smell while protecting the health of your hands.

With these simple yet effective methods, you can easily get rid of garlic smell on your hands and make your kitchen experience more enjoyable. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be sure your hands are clean and fresh after cooking.

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