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Food & Recipes

How to Get Rid of Stinky Onion Smell on Your Hands Fast


If your hands smell like onions after chopping some up for your latest meal, you’ll be happy to know there’s an easy way to get rid of onion smell fast. The trick is to skip the soap entirely.

Why do my hands smell like onions?

When it comes to cutting onions, these pungent roots can cause all sorts of trouble. You can reduce the tears they cause depending on how you cut the bulb, but you can’t prevent onion juices from making your hands smell, short of using cut-proof gloves (Buy on Amazon, $11.49). The reason for this is the chopping process releases enzymes that create sulfenic acid, the smelly chemical that ultimately causes your tears and adheres to your hands. Your hands may smell of onions for days because the acid needs to be neutralized, and the soap you often reach for after chopping veggies won’t do the trick.

How to Get Rid of That Bad Onion Smell

So, how do you get rid of the onion smell on your hands? The secret is to rub your hands on something made of stainless steel — and that includes your sink basin. Yes, you read that right. Once you’re done chopping your onions, you can wash all your dishes and then brush your hands up against the sides of a stainless steel sink to remove any lingering onion odor. 

If you don’t have a stainless steel sink, you can use stainless steel cookware or stainless steel cutlery. There are even stainless steel “soap” bars that absorb onion, fish, and garlic smells (Buy on Amazon, $8.99).

This cooking trick may seem a bit far-fetched, but it really works. The same acids that make onions smell and tears flow bind to steel, leaving your hands odor-free. 

With this tip in mind, you can go back to whipping up your favorite onion recipes, like Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese, and Sour Cream and Onion Potato Casserole without fear that you’ll smell like your meal for days!

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