The top 12 home remedies for getting rid of garlic smells

USA - There is hardly anything better than the scent of garlic in a good meal – if only it didn't refuse to leave, and linger on your breath for hours afterwards! Luckily, many home remedies can prevent or eliminate the notorious smell from your mouth, hands, and your kitchen. TAG24 has picked out the best solutions for you.

Why does garlic smell?

While garlic is very popular, the innocent-looking bulbs have an annoying side effect.
While garlic is very popular, the innocent-looking bulbs have an annoying side effect.  © 123RF/Iurii Stepanov/Unsplash/Mike Kenneally/TAG24-Fotomontage

When the insides of a garlic clove are exposed to air, a substance called alliin turns into sulfur-containing allicin, which gives garlic its distinctive smell.

Nutritionists believe the compound has a number of positive effects.

Allicin can fight off viruses, bacteria, and all kinds of fungus.

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Tattoos Mom told she'll "go to hell" for her tattoos, but she says "Jesus would love my ink"

Garlic also appears to be a very effective remedy against high blood pressure – a true superfood!

But why does garlic make me smell bad?

When you consume garlic, allicin breaks down in your gastrointestinal tract quickly after consumption and transforms into other sulfur-containing compounds. From the gut, it slips into the bloodstream and moves freely through your body, where it gets circulated to the lungs and shows up on your breath again. It also finds its way into your sweat and urine, lending them the distinctive odor.

In fact, the intensity of the smell in fact depends on the way it is prepared.

If garlic is consumed raw, the smell will be particularly strong afterwards. If, on the other hand, it is fried, boiled or steamed, the smell will be considerably less intense. However, some of the valuable nutrients are also lost in this way.

Remove the smell of garlic from your hands

Stainless steel soaps like these are effective in fighting food odors on your hands.
Stainless steel soaps like these are effective in fighting food odors on your hands.  © 123rf/Valeriy Novikov

The garlicky odor sticks to your hands almost as soon as you start chopping it up. If you don't do anything about it, chances are you'll still smell it hours later.

Fortunately, there are some promising home remedies to remove garlic odor from your hands:

1. Rub coffee - either whole beans or grounds - on your wet hands and rinse thoroughly.

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Tattoos Tattoo addict Remy reveals crazy white face tattoos

2. Baking soda also helps: pour approximately 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 teaspoons of baking soda in your hand. Add a tiny bit of water, and then rub your hands together and rinse off with water.

3. Lemon is great at neutralizing odors. Rub fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt together in your hands, leave for a while, and rinse off.

4. A teaspoon of the versatile home remedy vinegar rubbed between your hands can also drive away unpleasant garlic odor. And don't worry: unlike garlic, the smell of vinegar vanishes quickly.

5. Rubbing your hands on stainless steel under cold water for at least 30 seconds is the most effective way of removing the post-chop smell. You can use a stainless steel soap bar, a sink faucet, a pan, a spoon, then wash with soap and rinse with cold water. The smelly sulfur compounds will quickly bind with molecules in stainless steel.

How to get rid of garlic breath

Eating raw parsley is said to reduce garlic odor in the mouth.
Eating raw parsley is said to reduce garlic odor in the mouth.  © Unsplash/Syd Wachs

Bad breath is the price many garlic lovers are paying for their hearty meals.

During a pandemic, it might even be quite helpful as people will voluntarily stay six feet away from you.

But let's be honest: having bad breath stinks! Especially when you're forced to breathe your own air under a face mask.

Unfortunately, brushing your teeth only helps to a certain extent.

But don't worry! Below are five simple remedies for getting rid of garlic breath:

1. Parsley, mint, sage, or ginger are great weapons against garlic breath, as chewing on them will reportedly set free essential oils.

2. Chewing on coffee beans also fights off the garlic odor.

3. According to popular belief in India, chewing on some cardamom capsules after a meal is the most effective anti-garlic remedy. After all, they should know – a majority of Indian dishes contain garlic.

4. Lemon is a true superhero when it comes to fighting off bad odors, as drinking lemon juice helps to neutralize the odor of garlic.

5. Alternatively – and much more pleasantly – drinking a glass of full-fat milk during or after a garlic-heavy meal will reduce the concentration of compounds that contain sulfur and cause bad odor.

Preventing the smell of garlic during preparation

Garlic mixed with lemon juice is supposedly less smelly.
Garlic mixed with lemon juice is supposedly less smelly.  © Unsplash/Alexander Lyubavin

With the right method, you can prevent bad smell when preparing the garlic-rich meal.

One way to reduce any unpleasant smell, is to cook whole garlic cloves instead of chopping them up.

Just before serving, remove them from the dish as a whole.

This way, the delicious aroma of the garlic cloves will be all over the meal but the post-dinner garlic breath won't be as intense.

It may also help to mix the garlic cloves with lemon juice before cooking them.

This remedy will keep the intriguing flavor that garlic brings in your food, but away from your kitchen and your breath.

Home remedies usually only help for a short time

Although the home remedies listed here will be of great use for small amounts of garlic, anyone who can't get enough of its delicious flavor will have to deal with the consequences. Large quantities of garlic will cause garlic-like body odor and bad breath – that's just the price to pay.

If you want to get rid of the smelly garlic quickly and naturally, speed up your metabolism with a heavy workout or an extensive sauna session. And make sure to drink enough water. This way, you'll quickly sweat out the sulfur-containing compounds.

However, if you have an important presentation or a romantic candle-light dinner planned for the next day or hours, you'd be better off avoiding garlic altogether.

Cover photo: 123RF/Iurii Stepanov/Unsplash/Mike Kenneally/TAG24-Fotomontage

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