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How Do You Get Garlic Smell Out of Your Hands?

A person peels garlic with their bare hands.
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We’re firm believers that garlic makes everything taste better. The downside of using this delicious bulb of flavor, though, is the unfortunate smell it leaves on your hands. While it can seem nearly impossible to get rid of, there is a simple solution.

According to The Kitchn, the only thing you need to get rid of garlic smells on your hands, is a bit of salt and baking soda.

The outlet tested a variety of methods for ridding your fingers of the pungent odor, but this one came out on top. Yes, they even tried that old stainless steel hack. While it was somewhat effective, the simple salt and baking soda blend eliminated the most smell.

OXO Good Grips Soft- Handled Garlic Press

Get the most out of your garlic with a press.

To use the method, add one teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking soda to your hands. Add a bit of water to create a paste and rub your hands together for 30 seconds. Wash with soap and water, and the smell should be nearly eliminated (no method was found to be 100% effective at scent removal).

Why does this work well? It’s likely due to the same reason why baking soda makes a great fridge odorizer. Foul smells bond to the neutral base of baking soda allowing it to neutralize them. Salt is also an effective odor removal, plus the abrasiveness ensures your hands are thoroughly cleaned of left behind garlic residue.

The next time you’re making pasta for dinner or roasting some garlic chicken, make sure you’ve got baking soda and salt on hand.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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