Skip To Content

    I Tried Getting Rid Of Garlic Smell With A Weirdly Fascinating Stainless Steel Soap

    We're leaving garlic hands behind from now on.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    I absolutely love cooking with garlic but the one thing that puts me off is the strong smell that lingers, even after washing my hands.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    So with the help of Proper Tasty producer Chloe Morgan, I tested out four products to see which would eliminate the strong smell of garlic from our hands.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    The products we decided to test were: Regular hand wash, ground coffee, the stainless steel soap bar, and antiseptic mouthwash.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    • Regular hand wash - £1 at Boots.

    • Ground coffee - £2.80 at Marks & Spencer.

    • Stainless steel soap - £9.95 on Amazon.

    • Antiseptic mouthwash - £1 at Boots.

    To get the garlic smell to stick, first Chloe chopped the garlic into a fine paste, and then rubbed the paste between her hands.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    To ensure a fair test, we lathered our hands with each product for 40 seconds. Afterwards, we washed our hands under lukewarm water and simply sniffed our hands to determine how much of a garlic scent still remained.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    First to the test is the stainless steel soap bar that claims to remove all odours, no matter how strong.

    Zwilling

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    Garlic contains sulfur molecules that are transferred to your hand when you handle garlic. When you wash your hands, the smell becomes stronger because the sulfur turns into sulfuric acid.

    When you wash your hands with stainless steel, the molecules in the steel bind with the sulfur molecules on your hands. This then transfers the molecules and the smell to the stainless steel.

    TEXTURE

    The texture of the soap was smooth and not messy at all since it's just a slab of metal.

    SNIFF TEST

    It ended up getting rid of a lot of the garlicky smell but there was definitely a hint of it left on the hands.

    Rating:

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    Pro(s):

    • It also removed the stickiness from garlic, which some methods didn't tackle.

    • Unlike all the other products, you only need to buy it once.

    Con:

    • It didn't remove all of the smell like it claimed it would.

    We then tested good old ground coffee.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    Coffee grounds are supposed to emit a strong odour that is should over power or neutralize other strong odours like garlic and onions.

    TEXTURE

    The texture of the coffee grounds was coarse, unlike the steel soap.

    SNIFF TEST

    Unlike the steel soap, the grounded coffee completely masked the garlic smell.

    Rating:

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    Pro:

    • Not only did it remove the smell, it also doubled as a light exfoliant, leaving the hands baby smooth. We expected it to stain our hands but it didn't!

    Con:

    • It seems like too much of a waste to use grounded coffee each time you want to remove strong odours.

    I had previously read that antiseptic mouthwash works wonders. We were sceptical but we tried it.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    I've heard claims that mouthwash neutralises odour causing compounds and kills and the bacteria that’s left over.

    TEXTURE

    The texture of the mouth wash wasn't great (as expected), it left a sticky residue which requires soap to get it off and that defeats the whole purpose of this method.

    SNIFF TEST
    It didn't get rid of the odour like the internet claimed, it just left a mixed garlicky and mouthwash smell. Which by the way, doesn't smell pleasant.

    Rating:

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    Pro:

    • None that come to mind.

    Con(s):

    • Sticky.

    • Smells kinda' bad.

    Finally, we used soap just to see if it's better to stick with that instead of these new methods.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    The hand wash we're using has perfume in it, which claims to masks any unpleasant odour.

    TEXTURE

    The texture was... like regular soap.

    SNIFF TEST

    Unsurprisingly, it fulfilled its purpose and removed most of the garlic smell.

    Rating:

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    Pro(s):

    • Actually removed most of the garlic smell

    • Removed the stickiness from garlic

    • Practical and cheap

    Con(s):

    • Left too much of a perfume-y smell, which could potentially feel weird when chopping up meat.

    I asked our expert, Chloe, to rank the method from best to worst.

    Cee / BuzzFeed

    1. SOAP

    She said that conventional soap wins (no surprise there) but as mentioned earlier, she raised the concern that some people might not like the strong perfume-y smell and that some could be worried that this smell could be slightly transferred to the meat.

    2. COFFEE

    She ranked this as the second best option as it did remove the smell and had exfoliating effect, which is a win-win. The only downside she claimed was that we were using perfectly good coffee, which is a waste. Perhaps it should be tested with used coffee?

    3. STAINLESS STEEL SOAP

    This followed closely behind the coffee, so it was difficult to rank them. Whilst it did remove a large portion of the smell, it left us with a tinge of the garlic smell. Perhaps it works much better with less strong odours?

    4. ANTISEPTIC MOUTHWASH

    This is perhaps one that you should steer clear from. There's a reason why it's called mouthwash instead of hand wash. It was sticky and left an unpleasant smell.

    Garlic smell, be gone!

    Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com