What to do when your hands smell like onions.

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You know, I’ve got a lot of feelings about onions. There’s nothing better than the smell and taste of freshly ground pepper or minced garlic mixed with some sautéed onions cooking inside butter on low heat until it becomes brown and sweetened all over; but what happens to your hands after cutting onions?

Well, let me tell you. After cutting up an onion or two, your hands start smelling like an old pair gym socks after they’ve been worn for hours despite being washed regularly.

Soap doesn’t always work when trying to rid that onion smell from your hands!

What do you do when your hands smell like onions?onions

Let’s see if we can find some answers on this common kitchen problem.

Yes, I know the Capitan Obvious answer to this question is to also use something like a food processor to cut onions instead of by hand. This post offers solutions for ridding your hands of the smell of onions when you have no other choice but to cut onions by hand..


 Rub your hands on stainless steel.

You can literally rub your hands on stainless steel  to get the onion smell to go away. I don’t mean large scale stainless steel like your refrigerator door. Scale your thoughts back to smaller stainless objects like the kitchen sink or a spoon. Start with the sides of your sink or a spoon under running water. Rub your hands on the stainless steel and rinse with tap water for about 3 minutes.  How effective is it? You can’t see it, but there is a chemical reaction happening between the onion smell in your pores of your hands and the stainless steel. I tried this because I was already at the sink while cutting the onions. This works!

Dip your hands in lemon juice or listerine.

Tried it. This method burned! I tried the lemon juice trick once and forgot that I had a cut on my finger. The acid of the lemon juice took over and did leave my hands smelling fresher, but my feelings and hands were left hurt by the sting of the lemon juice. If you attempt to try this method, the recommended hand soak time is about 2 or 3 minutes.

Rub coffee grounds on your hands.

I really should have put this one first because it is my favorite. Not just because it involves coffee, but because it works. The downside would be if you have problems with textures. It is a lot like washing your hands with dirt. If you can get over the texture issue and trick your mind in to believing it’s something luxurious, then you can make it through a 3 minute hand washing session with coffee grounds.

DIY epsom salt and liquid soap mix

When we ran out of Goop hand wash in the garage, I went running for the epsom salt and liquid hand soap. I put a half cup of epsom salt in a small bowl and added  in a few liberal squirts of liquid hand soap. Then, use the mix to scrub your hands under warm water in the sink. It’s like a spa session for your hands because the epsom salt exfoliates and softens your skin while removing the offending smell of freshly chopped onions.

Got a fool-proof method to getting the stink of onions off your hands? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

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