• Onions are a kitchen staple, adding depth and flavour to countless dishes. But once you’ve chopped, diced, or minced them, you’re often left with a stubborn odour on your hands that lingers long after the meal is served. Fortunately, there are several tried-and-true methods to banish that pesky onion smell and leave your hands smelling fresh and clean.

    How to remove the onion smell from your hands after cooking:

    The basics: soap and water

    washing hands (1)

    The most straightforward way to eliminate onion odors from your hands is to wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Use cold water instead of hot water, as hot water can open up your pores and allow the smell to penetrate deeper. Be sure to scrub your hands, including between your fingers and under your nails, to ensure all traces of the onion are removed. Rinse and dry your hands completely.

    Stainless steel magic

    Stainless steel has remarkable odour-neutralising properties that can work wonders on onion-scented hands. Rub your hands against a stainless steel sink, faucet, or a specialised stainless steel odour-removing bar, which is available in many kitchen supply stores. The chemical reaction between the steel and the sulfur compounds in onions helps eliminate the odour.

    Use lemons

    how to remove onion smells from hands

    Lemons are not only known for their refreshing aroma but also for their natural deodorising properties. Cut a lemon in half and rub it over your hands, paying attention to the areas most affected by the onion smell. The citrus will neutralise the odours and leave your hands smelling lemony fresh. Rinse and dry afterward.

    Baking soda scrub

    Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that can tackle many household tasks, including removing unpleasant odours. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water and gently scrub your hands with it. Rinse and dry thoroughly to reveal odour-free hands.

    The coffee grounds trick


    Used coffee grounds can do more than make your morning brew. They can also help eliminate stubborn onion odours. Simply rub your hands with a handful of used coffee grounds, and the coffee’s strong scent will overpower the onion smell. Rinse your hands afterward and enjoy the pleasant coffee aroma.

    Vinegar soak

    Vinegar is another effective odour eliminator. Create a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water and soak your hands in it for a few minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly to remove the vinegar scent, leaving behind clean-smelling hands.


    Say goodbye to onion-scented hands with these simple and effective techniques. Whether you choose the traditional soap and water method or experiment with the power of lemon, stainless steel, or baking soda, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite onion-infused dishes without worrying about lingering odours. 

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