How to Remove Kitchen Odors from your Hands

Stinky, Smelly

Kitchens produce some of the most wonderful, comforting, down-home smells. But getting to the end product sometimes involves handling food products that don't smell so nice: garlic, onion, fish . . . Even cleaning products, like bleach, can leave an unsavory smell on bare hands. How do we enjoy our scrumptious meal when our hands smell so foul?

The Aroma of Coffee

Coffee is not only on of the great smells coming from the kitchen, it's also a product that can be used to remove those odors from your hands. Coffee is often used to cleanse the palate and to cleanse the nasal passages between smellings. Wine tasters sometimes smell coffee in between bouquets.

It's suggested in some places to just take used coffee grounds and scrub your hands with them after handling less-than-pleasant smelling food products in the kitchen. However, there are also coffee soaps that offer the qualities of a good handwashing - softening, soothing, and odor reducing! While the soap may leave behind just a trace of the unwanted smell you are attempting to erase, it overall does a pretty good job of removing that smell while leaving hands soft.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also noted to remove odors. Wiping hands on stainless steel will not only remove unwanted odors, but even perfumed odors from soaps and lotions.

These "soaps" come in different shapes that are easy to hold in the hand. Wiping your hands on the inside of your stainless steel sink or the front of your stainless steel refrigerator might get part of the job done, but these smaller, hand-held items allow you to get in between the fingers and folds of the hand, ensuring odor free hands.

Other Ideas

There are other suggestions floating around out there, all of which may be effective but will require a little more time for scrubbing/soaking, and completely intact skin as some of these may burn or sting cuts and scrapes. Try out:

  • Lemon juice - citrusy!

  • Tomato juice - supposed to remove skunk smell, right?

  • Salt - water, salt and scrub!

  • Baking soda - water, baking soda and more scrub!

  • Toothpaste - not sure about this one, but give it a go!

  • Mouthwash - I guess the theory here is that if it will make your breath smell good, then why not your hands?

Trial and error - find what works best for you!

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Comments 15 comments

John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee


I've often used lemon juice to remove the unwanted odors. But I have never heard of using coffee grounds. What a wonderful idea. Thanks for enlightening us.

Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 8 years ago from India

best solution is avoid kitchen !!!

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

John! Lemon juice is so wonderful, what a light scent! I can't use it because my hands are often dry and a little cracked and the lemon juice stings - but for skin that is intact, how refreshing!

First Eagle profile image

First Eagle 8 years ago


Great and useful advice, thank you.

First Eagle, Thor Einar

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa Author

Thanks for reading, First Eagle!

anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

Useful tip! I never knew coffee could be used like that. Thx

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 7 years ago from Tampa Author

I like the coffee soap - it's pretty darn effective!

Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

Hi Kat07, You can remove the odor from your hands but how about clothes and the kitchen itself.

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 7 years ago from Tampa Author

As odd as this might sound, my mom uses vinegar to clean her kitchen - and there are no odors, barring the faint smell of vinegar for a few moments after cleaning. As for clothes, I swear by Oxy Clean and some Downy!

dale richter  7 years ago

odor can be removed with the soap on my this website .

dr r  7 years ago

removes kitchen odor from hands and utensils

queen cleopatra profile image

queen cleopatra 7 years ago

A salute to your mother :) I also use vinegar to remove odors from my hands; while chlorine and water for the utensils. To remove fishy smell from fish before cooking, I wash the fish fillets with vinegar and salt, then drain. Thanks for the tips about coffee grounds. A pity, I don't drink coffee anymore. :)

katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 6 years ago

Nice and informative hub.

ChilliWilly profile image

ChilliWilly 5 years ago from Kaunas, Lithuania

This is very useful hub. Thanks for sharing!

Kat07 profile image

Kat07 5 years ago from Tampa Author

I still use my coffee soap, works like a charm every time!

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