Garlic is a staple ingredient in many dishes, but its extremely pungent odor can sometimes linger on your hands and breath LONG after the meal is over. Luckily for you, there are several effective ways to get rid of that garlic smell. Here’s how to get rid of garlic smell!
What Causes That Garlic Smell?
Garlic and Allicin
Consuming garlic often leaves a strong odor on the breath and skin, which can be unpleasant for some people. Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is responsible for its distinct smell. When garlic is chopped or crushed, the enzyme alliinase converts alliin into allicin, which then reacts with other sulfur-containing compounds to produce the characteristic odor.
The amount of allicin in garlic can vary depending on the age and storage conditions of the garlic. Fresher garlic tends to have more allicin, which can result in a stronger odor. Additionally, cooking garlic can reduce the amount of allicin and decrease the intensity of the smell.
Allyl Methyl Sulfide and Body Odor
Another compound found in garlic, allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), is responsible for the body odor that can result from consuming garlic. When AMS is metabolized by the body, it is excreted through sweat and breath, leading to a persistent odor.
The intensity of garlic body odor can vary depending on the individual’s metabolism and the amount of garlic consumed. Some people may be more sensitive to the odor than others, and consuming larger amounts of garlic can lead to a stronger smell.
To reduce the smell of garlic on the breath and skin, it is important to understand the compounds responsible for the odor. While there is no guaranteed way to completely eliminate garlic smell, there are several methods that can help reduce its intensity.
How to Get Rid of Garlic Smell
Fortunately, there are several immediate solutions to get rid of garlic smell.
Lemon is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate garlic odor. Here are a few ways to use lemon to get rid of garlic smell:
- Squeeze lemon juice onto your hands and rub them together for a few minutes before rinsing with water.
- Drink lemon juice or chew on a lemon wedge to freshen your breath.
- Rub a lemon wedge on your cutting board and knife to remove garlic odor.
Mint and Parsley
Mint and parsley are also natural deodorizers that can help eliminate garlic odor. Here are a few ways to use mint and parsley to get rid of garlic smell:
- Chew on fresh mint leaves or parsley to freshen your breath.
- Add fresh mint or parsley to your dish to help mask garlic odor.
- Rub fresh mint or parsley leaves on your hands to remove garlic odor.
Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products contain enzymes that can break down the compounds in garlic that cause odor. Here are a few ways to use milk and dairy products to get rid of garlic smell:
- Drink a glass of milk or eat a spoonful of yogurt to neutralize garlic odor in your mouth.
- Soak your hands in a bowl of milk for a few minutes before rinsing with water.
- Add milk or cream to your dish to help reduce garlic odor.
By using these immediate solutions, you can quickly get rid of garlic smell and enjoy the delicious flavor of garlic without any unpleasant after-effects.
Long-Term Solutions to Garlic Smell
One of the most effective ways to get rid of garlic smell in the long-term is to make dietary changes. Certain foods can help neutralize the sulfur molecules responsible for the odor. For example, green tea, onions, vegetables like lettuce, and sage can all help reduce garlic smell. Eating an orange after a meal can also help freshen breath.
On the other hand, some foods can make garlic smell worse. Avoiding hot water, salt, fish, and red meat can help reduce the intensity of the smell. Additionally, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those high in fiber, can help neutralize the odor.
Maintaining good hygiene practices can also help reduce garlic smell in the long-term. After handling garlic, washing hands with soap and water can help remove the odor. Using a steel soap bar can also help eliminate the smell from hands and nails.
When cooking with garlic, using a separate cutting board can prevent the smell from seeping into other foods. Storing garlic in a separate container in the fridge can also help prevent the odor from spreading.
Brushing teeth and tongue with baking soda or apple cider vinegar can help reduce bad breath caused by garlic smell. Chewing parsley or drinking lemon water can also help freshen breath.
Using citrus spray or home remedies like celery and herb leaves can help neutralize garlic smell in the air. Placing fans in the kitchen or opening windows can also help dissipate the odor.
Garlic Smell Removal from Household Items
Stainless Steel and Soap
Stainless steel is a great material for removing garlic odor from hands and utensils. The smooth surface of stainless steel is easy to clean and doesn’t absorb any odor. To use stainless steel to remove garlic smell, simply rub the affected area with a stainless steel object, such as a spoon or a knife, under running water.
Adding soap to the stainless steel method can also be very effective. The soap helps to break down the garlic oils and remove them from the skin or utensil. Apply a small amount of soap to the stainless steel object and rub it onto the affected area under running water. Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are two common household items that can be used to remove garlic odor from cutting boards and other surfaces. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can absorb strong smells, while vinegar has antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
To use baking soda and vinegar to remove garlic smell, first sprinkle baking soda onto the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, pour vinegar over the baking soda and let the mixture bubble and fizz for a few minutes. Scrub the area with a brush or sponge and rinse thoroughly with water.
It’s important to note that while these methods can be effective, they may not completely eliminate all garlic odor. If the smell persists, try repeating the process or using a specialized odor-eliminating product.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does garlic breath last?
Garlic breath can last anywhere from a few hours to a day or two. The duration of garlic breath depends on various factors such as the amount of garlic consumed, how it was prepared, and individual metabolism. Typically, the stronger the garlic smell, the longer it will last.
How to get rid of onion breath even after brushing teeth?
Brushing teeth and using mouthwash can help to a certain extent, but it might not be enough to completely remove the onion smell. Chewing on parsley, mint, or fennel seeds can help neutralize the odor. Drinking water and eating foods that are high in fiber can also help to remove the odor-causing compounds from the mouth.
Does coffee get rid of garlic breath?
Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not get rid of garlic breath. In fact, coffee can actually make the garlic smell worse by adding another strong odor to the mix. It is best to avoid coffee or any other strong-smelling foods when trying to get rid of garlic breath.
What causes garlic breath?
Garlic breath is caused by the sulfur compounds present in garlic. When these compounds are broken down in the body, they produce a pungent odor that is released through the mouth and lungs.
Why does my husband’s breath smell like garlic?
If your husband’s breath smells like garlic, it could be due to the consumption of garlic or other sulfur-containing foods. It could also be a sign of an underlying health condition such as acid reflux or liver disease. If the garlic smell persists even after brushing teeth and using mouthwash, it is best to consult a doctor.
How long does it take for garlic smell to go away?
The garlic smell can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two to go away completely. Drinking water, eating foods that are high in fiber, and avoiding strong-smelling foods can help to speed up the process.