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18 Really Easy Tips on How to Remove Onion Smell from Your Hands

How to Remove Onion Smell from Hands
Working with onions is a real hassle, not only because they make your eyes water, but because the smell is difficult to get off, of your hands. Read this post to know some tips to get rid of that onion odor.
Gauri Huddar
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Chopping onions for any recipe can put off the most interested and eager cooks. It is irritating for all of us who have to cook only for ourselves and our families, so if you are a chef or a professional cook, then you may have to handle huge quantities of onions everyday. My sympathies! Want to know how to remove onion smell from hands? Scroll through the article to find out.
A Whiff of Onions
Onions contain amino acids in the form of a compound called alliins. The odor of onions is due to this alliin and another compound called thioallyl. When we chop the onions, these compounds are set free, and they are free to react with other substances in the air. Enzymatic reactions convert the alliin into allicin, which is in turn converted into sulfide compounds. Sulfide compounds, as we know, smell awful, and awfully strong, hence the pungent smell after chopping onions!
Getting Rid of the Smell
While onions may be really good for health because of the antioxidants they contain, their smell is not something that you want to roam around with, on your hands long after the cooking is done. Here are a few tips to help you get rid of the smell of onions on your hands.
➦ One of the unusual ways to get onion smell off hands is by rubbing your hands against a stainless steel utensil for a couple of minutes, under running water. The molecules of sulfur, which give onion its strong odor, react with the metal and are neutralized, thus ridding your hands of the typical odor. Works like a charm
Washing The Spoon
➦ Another good option is vinegar. Just pour a few drops in your palms and rub vigorously. Most people swear by Apple Cider Vinegar. Don't know what's so special about that, but apparently it works, so who cares!
Apple cider vinegar
➦ If you don't have vinegar, worry not. I'm sure you must be having mouthwash in your bathroom cabinet. Try that. Pour a few drops and rub till the smell is gone.
➦ You can wet your hands and then take a pinch of salt and rub vigorously to get onion smell off your hands. Salt can be real harsh on your hands, so make sure that you moisturize your hands after, if you are using salt, else your hands will become very dry. If you do not want to try salt, then baking soda is a good replacement.
Sea Salt In Bowl
➦ Used coffee grinds work really effectively to get rid of onion smell, I've heard. Never tried them myself, but if you have them, try them out and let me know too.
Coffee Beans
Sugar! What better way to get your hands all sweet smelling again? Wet your hands and rub some sugar into them. Scrub till the smell is gone.
➦ Using toothpaste gives guaranteed results. I've tried this one. Do not use a gel based toothpaste. They're useless for this job. Try to use toothpaste with a fluoride base. They work the best.
Toothpaste with breath strips
➦ This is a really greasy solution, but you can rub your hands with butter or even peanut butter, whichever is handy. And if you do not mind a slight onion flavor, then you can even lick off the peanut butter, before you wash off the greasiness with soap!
Butter in bowl
Tomato juice can work if you dip your hands in it for a few minutes.
Tomato juice
➦ Ditto with lemon juice. Although, I'll say lemon juice is stronger, and it will give better and faster results.
Squeezed lemon juice
➦ Try rubbing some oatmeal into your hands after chopping onions. Or if there is no oatmeal, but luckily you have some celery, then chop some of it, and rub it into your hands. Celery juice works well too.
Celery Juice In Glass
Shampoo is a good option. Rub some into your hands, and work up a lather. Should help in getting rid of that pungent onion smell.
Shampoo in hand
➦ Try an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Usually sanitizers are not very effective, but if it has an alcohol base, it may work.
Woman washing hands
Dish washing liquid works too, in case that is what is within your reach. Take a few drops and rub vigorously to get rid of onion odor.
Green liquid
➦ Try mustard if you have some. Should do the work, and remove onion smell from fingers.
Mustard Seeds
➦ Cut up a raw potato, and rub your hands together till all the juice has been squeezed out from it. Let the juice sit for a minute, while you continue rubbing the potato, and the smell should be gone.
Sliced potatoes
Mint leaves are famous for their aroma. Pick a few mint leaves and rub them in your hands till they are crushed, and the juice flows out. Rub the leaves in your hands for a few minutes to get rid of the nasty onion smell.
Mint plants
➦ Same with aloe vera. Break off a part of the aloe vera plant if you have one in your backyard, and rub your hands with the thick, gooey pulp. It is renowned for its healing and moisturizing properties as well!
Aloe vera plant
That's a lot of solutions! Onion is a very necessary ingredient and gives a lovely flavor to any dish. It cannot be dispensed with, but the smell on your hands after chopping onions can remain with you long after the delicious meal has been safely tucked into your tummy. One thing to remember is that the longer you keep it that way, the harder it is to get rid of the smell of onions. So, follow the above tips as soon as you have finished chopping the onions, and you can have lovely smelling hands again.
Health Benefits of Onions
According to studies, the onions that smell the most pungent are the ones that are best for you. They contain an antioxidant called quercetin, and although apples and tea also contain the same antioxidant, the quercetin in onions is more easily absorbed by our bodies, almost twice better than that from tea, and thrice better than that from apples! Onions have many other benefits as well, which make them indispensable while cooking. Here are a few:
  • Negligible cholesterol and fat content
  • Low sodium and calorie content
  • Rich source of fiber
  • Help in fighting colon cancer
  • Help in fighting off cardiovascular diseases
  • Effective in fighting off flu, cold, cough, nosebleeds, etc.
  • Help in fighting off many bacteria, and also help in reducing high blood pressure
There are a host of health benefits of onions, which is why they are good for us, and we should eat them in spite of the way they smell.