If you cook anything from scratch at home, you’re probably handling onions, and that means you probably want to get that onion smell off your hands, too. Let’s face it: onions just aren’t the nicest vegetable in the world. The gas they emit whilst chopping makes us cry, and the smell tends to linger on our hands and cutting board for hours.
Soaps and degreasers don’t really seem to work, either. So what’s the best way for the home chef to avoid the stench of onions once the stove turns off and the meal begins?
The easiest and most obvious way to avoid the smell of onions on your hands is to wear latex gloves. A bit like wearing an apron to keep food from splashing onto your pants, the idea of wearing gloves seems like overkill at first. But once you try it, you’ll probably make it a part of your cooking routine forever.
Luckily, though, if you’re not ready to cook with gloves just yet, three other options do exist. The first option is rubbing your hands with lemon juice. Really, anything with a high acid level will work, but lemon juice is more fragrant than tomato juice, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol — yet all of them will work. If you have an open cut on your hand and don’t want to sting yourself with direct acidity, simply squeeze the juice of the lemon into a wet rag and wipe your stinky hands for a minute.
The best way to remove the smell of onion from your hands will surprise you
For our next method of odor removal, we’re going to borrow a tip from the laundry room. The same way to get out smells from a shirt will work on your hand, too: salt water and baking soda. If your hands smell like onions, just make a little homemade paste of hand soap, salt, and baking soda. Rub it generously between your fingers and under your finger nails, let it sit for about a minute, and then rinse. The smell should be long gone.
The last method of removing the smell of onion off of hands is by far the strangest, yet it may work the best — it’s a real “old wives tale” and we couldn’t believe that it actually worked, but it did. Sulfur is the reason for all of the onion’s problems: smell, teary eyes, and bitter raw taste. If only there was a way to chemically remove the sulfur.
Here it is: after handling the onions, rub your stinky hands with a stainless steel kitchen utensil (or you can rub the sides of your stainless steel sink) for a few seconds with the water running. The sulfur binds to the stainless steel and magically (chemically) leaves your hands. The metal involved here is important, so don’t expect similar results with silver or some other kind of metal utensil. Make sure it’s stainless steel, and then be amazed at the results.