How to Take a Smell Off of Your Hands

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Sometimes washing hands isn't enough to remove strong odors.
Sometimes washing hands isn't enough to remove strong odors. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Strong odors from cooking, smoking or diaper-changing can linger on your hands, even after you've thoroughly washed them. While these offensive smells eventually wear off, you don't necessarily want to endure stinky hands. Repeated washing with soap can mitigate the smell but may not remove it entirely. Natural supplies found around the home are effective at getting rid of the olfactory evidence that you've been slicing fresh onions.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee grounds
  • Bowl
  • White vinegar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • Clean towels

Pour coffee grounds into the palm of one dry hand. Place your palms together and rub the dry coffee grounds all over your hands, including between the fingers. Coffee grounds help remove stinky odors from your hands.

Coffee grounds act as an odor absorber and neutralizer.
Coffee grounds act as an odor absorber and neutralizer. (Image: making fresh ground coffee image by scalesy from Fotolia.com)

Brush the coffee grounds off your hands. Pour undiluted white vinegar into a bowl large enough to soak your hands in. Soak your hands in the undiluted vinegar for a few minutes to remove odors.

Rinse your hands with plain, warm water. Place 2 tsp. baking soda into the palm of your hands and rub your hands together the way you would when washing with soap. Rub the baking soda all over the palms, tops and between your fingers.

Hold your hands under warm water to wash away the baking soda. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Soft, absorbent towels soak up moisture effectively.
Soft, absorbent towels soak up moisture effectively. (Image: a pile of folded plush towels in a bathroom image by nextrecord from Fotolia.com)

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear rubber kitchen gloves when handling smelly foods like onions and garlic.
  • Rub lemon slices can also be used to remove offensive odors, if you have some handy. Rub them against the skin.
  • Wash your hands with toothpaste, instead of soap, if the steps provided fail to remove the odor.

References

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