How to Remove Garlic Smell from Hands

chopping garlic
Westend61/Getty Images  

You love garlic, don't you? How can you not, after all, when it is the foundation flavor of nearly every savory dish out there. Except that, maybe, you sometimes choose to omit some of that amazing flavor because you are afraid of getting garlic smell all over your hands and not being able to wash it off. Come on, admit it. We all do it. We skip those flavorful little orbs in favor of a jar of garlic powder. And yes, garlic powder can add a lot to a recipe. It is more aroma than flavor but, after all, aroma is a big component of flavor. But still, somewhere in the back of your mind you know you are short changing your dish. But that smell! We understand. Nobody wants to walk around smelling like garlic all day, unless, of course, you live in a high vampire infested area.

Some Tips

But, not to worry. Assuming you are not trying to ward off advances from Count Dracula, getting rid of that highly potent garlic smell is actually pretty easy. So, after chopping the garlic, you can remove the garlic smell from your hands by simply rubbing your hands with a stainless steel spoon or other stainless steel utensil.

It seems too easy, right? You want the science behind this, don't you? OK, here goes. That potent odor residue on your hands comes from sulfur molecules in the garlic. The molecules in stainless steel bind with the sulfur molecules and transfer those molecules (and that garlic smell) from your hands to the stainless steel. Presto! Then, just wash the stainless steel utensil as you normally would and all the offensive sulfur smell will be gone.

Want another fun science tip? That same stainless steel trick will also get rid of onion smell which, to many, can be equally as offensive as garlic. We can't imagine not cooking with onions but that raw onion smell needs to go. Fish for dinner? Tasty and healthy. Hands smelling like you work at a fish market? No fun. Once again, stainless steel to the rescue.

Don't have stainless steel utensils on hand? A spritz of citrus spray should also do the trick. Just steep some citrus peel (lemons, limes, grapefruit or orange) in hot water. Allow to cool, strain out the peel and transfer to a spray bottle to keep around for garlic emergencies.

Breath smelling like garlic? Keep yourself kissable by chewing on some parsley or mint. You can also drink some green or cinnamon tea.

So, as you can see, that garlic smell is easily dispatched so there's no need to skip the flavor!