How to Get a Bad Smell off Your Hands

How to Get a Bad Smell off Your Hands

Three Methods:Choosing a Quick FixMaking Scrubs and PastesSoaking Your HandsCommunity Q&A

Whether you were dealing with gasoline, cooking with onions, or bleaching your clothes, you may have an unpleasant smell lingering on your hands. Fortunately, there are a variety of home remedies you can use to help your hands smell nice and clean again.

In a Hurry?

After you’ve washed your hands with soap and water, try splashing some mouthwash on them to get rid of the bad smell — mouthwash can kill smelly bacteria. If that doesn’t help, try washing your hands with vinegar or rubbing alcohol. For really strong smells, soak your hands in a bowl of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 3 parts water for several minutes. For more ways you can get a bad smell off your hands, like using baking soda or coffee grounds, keep reading!

Did this summary help you?


Choosing a Quick Fix

  1. 1
    Wash your hands with soap and cold water. Always use cold water for this, as hot water can dilate your skin’s pores and let the odor-causing oils and dirt penetrate further. Create a nice lather with the soap and scrub your hands together thoroughly before rinsing them with cold water.[1]
  2. 2
    Splash your hands with antiseptic mouthwash. In addition to neutralizing odor-causing compounds, mouthwash can kill the bacteria on your hands that can cause odor. Scented varieties will also lend a minty smell to your hands that can cover up any remaining odor.[2]
  3. 3
    Remove the odor from your hands by rubbing a stainless steel item. Simply take any stainless steel item (such as a piece of silverware or a mixing bowl) and rub it all over your hands under cold running water. Continue until the odor is neutralized.[3]

    • Any stainless steel item will work for this method, including the basin of your sink if you have a stainless steel model.
    • You can buy stainless steel bars of soap that are designed specifically for removing odors from your hands.
    • This method is great for removing the smells left from garlic or onions.
  4. 4
    Rinse your hands in vinegar to suppress the stench. When you rinse your hands with vinegar, you don’t need to rub your hands together. Simply splash on some vinegar and let your hands air dry. If you want to reduce the vinegar smell, you can wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.[4]

    • Vinegar is good for removing smells left from fish or onions.
  5. 5
    Rub your hands together with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Pour 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) into your hands and rub them together until the rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer evaporates and your hands are dry.[5]

    • Since alcohol can be very drying on your hands, it’s best to only try this method once and move on to another if the odor still lingers.


Making Scrubs and Pastes

  1. 1
    Squeeze toothpaste onto your hands to tackle the smell. Squeeze a little section of toothpaste — the kind that has baking soda in it is best — onto your hands and rub them together. After you’ve been rubbing them together for a couple of minutes, wash your hands off with clean water.[6]
  2. 2
    Rub your hands together with wet salt to create a scrub. Pour a small amount of salt into your hands and rub them together. You may want to moisten the salt with some water to improve its adhesion. When finished, rinse the salt away with water and dry your hands.[7]

    • You can also lather your hands up with dish detergent before sprinkling salt on your hands. Scrub them together to begin eliminating the odor, and rinse your hands with clean water once you’re finished.[8]
  3. 3
    Cover your hands with coffee grounds for great-smelling hands. If you don’t mind your hands smelling like coffee, use coffee grounds to eliminate any odors. Cover your hands entirely with coffee grounds and then gently scrub your hands together in a bowl of water. As an alternative, you can also rub whole coffee beans together in your hands until the odor starts to disappear.[9]
  4. 4
    Make a paste of 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water. Mix together 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water in a bowl to create a paste. Rub the paste all over your hands thoroughly for at least 1 minute. Rinse the mixture off with clean water afterwards.[10]


Soaking Your Hands

  1. 1
    Combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 3 parts water. By mixing together hydrogen peroxide and water, you’ll create a disinfectant that’s safe for your hands. Soak your hands in the mixture for 1-3 minutes, and then rinse your hands off with clean water before drying them.[11]
  2. 2
    Neutralize the odor on your hands with lemon or lime juice. Lemon juice can be used full-strength, or it can be diluted with a small amount of water to reduce its harsh effect on your skin. Lime juice works as well. Just squeeze the lemon/lime in a bowl of water and soak your hands in it.[12]

    • Putting 1 part lemon or lime juice in a bowl with 1 part water is an effective method for soaking your hands.
  3. 3
    Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar to water for a diluted option. Fill a small bowl with regular water and pour in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar. Soak your hands in the mixture for 2-3 minutes. Rinse your hands with clean water after the time has elapsed.[13]

Community Q&A


Add New Question

  • How do you get pee smell off your hands?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Wash your hands, and if it doesn’t get off your hands with just soap, try using toothpaste.
  • What can I do about a rotten egg smell?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Take used coffee grounds and rub it into your hand, wait for at least 30 minutes and rinse with cold water.
  • How do I quickly get the smell of dry dog food or cat food off my hands?
    Wash your hands with soap and water, and afterwards apply hand sanitizer and hand lotion.
  • How do I get fish smell off my hands?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Rub vanilla extract on your hands for about 30 seconds, then wash with a scented soap and moisturize with lotion.
  • How do I remove ham smell from my hands?
    Anthony Loglisci
    Wash your hands using soap and warm water. This is what helps get rid of the smell and bacteria.
  • How do I remove chemicals from hands?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Select a stain remover from the list above. Apply to the stained area on the hands and scrub. Once the stain is removed, wash with hand soap and warm water to remove the cleaning agent. Dry with a soft towel.
  • How do I get vinegar smells off my hands?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Rub your hands with dry baking soda, then wash your hands with soap.
  • How do I get rid of a vinegar smell?
    wikiHow Contributor
    First, wash your hands with a strong smelling soap. After this, even if your hands don’t smell any more, use some antibacterial hand wash on your hands. Then, moisturize your hands after the antibacterial soap has dried.
  • How do I get rid of the smell of poop from my hands?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Wash your hands with soap and water, and rinse. Repeat as necessary until the smell is gone.
  • How can I get rid of a bad smell on my hands?
    Wash your hands with sweet smelling soap.

Show more answers

Unanswered Questions
Ask a Question

200 characters left

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.



    • Wearing gloves when working with strongly scented ingredients will help prevent lingering odors on your hands. You can also purchase specific tools designed to peel and cut ingredients like garlic without requiring hand contact.


    • Note that salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and solutions containing alcohol can irritate cuts and bruises on your hands. You may want to avoid these methods if your skin is cut or otherwise irritated.

    Let’s block ads! (Why?)

    How to of the Day

    Click to comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    To Top
    Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :