How to Remove Onion Smell From Hands [8 Simple Hacks]

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Claire

It is quite normal, once you cut a certain type of onions, your hands start to smell like onions. To make the matter worse, sometimes the smell lasts for days – even up to a week before it fades out. In this post, I will show you how to remove onion smell from hands immediately you are done with cooking.

Form fast removal of onion smell from hands, vinegar, tomato juice, alcohol solution, and lemon juice are all able to help you remove onion smell from hands due to their acidity level.

Another alternative might be to go out and buy food prep gloves just to prevent your hands from having onion smell. But the fact is that this wouldn’t help as much as you think because an onion is full of enzymes and when cut, the enzymes are released and turns into sulfur enzyme. Whether you wear a glove or not, your hand might still smell like onions.

Here are some few tricks that will help you remove onion smell from hands or even don’t have any smell after coming in contact with onions while cooking.

How to get rid of bad onion smell on hands

Removing onion smell from hands isn’t rocket science, just apply some of the tips here, and you are good to go.

Use the Yellow onion ‘Setton’ Variety

All onions aren’t the same, some are notorious for leaving a foul smell on your hands, while others don’t leave any foul smell on your hands.

remove onion smell from hands

Yellow onion ‘Setton’ Variety

In fact, using the “yellow onion setton” doesn’t leave any kind of foul smell on your hands, and it has been proven personally by many chefs – including myself.

This is a preventive measure next time you go shopping for the next meal you want to prepare.

Wash your hands with W5 Liquid Soap

You may have this in your location or may have something close to this, but this liquid soap is effective in removing the foul smell. It is also effective in removing the onion smell from plastic dishes.

remove onion smell from your hands with W5 liquid Soap

W5 Liquid Soap

The last time I experimented with garlic in my hands, it cleared it off within 3 minutes. I have it right in my kitchen, and it is my go-to soap for washing all my dishes and cooking utensils.

Alcohol Based Hand-Wash

Using alcohol-based hand-wash that contains Isopropyl alcohol is another best way to remove onion smell from hands right after cooking. Isopropyl alcohol is the common type that is found in several household products. It is also found in supermarkets and pharmacies.

  • Take a small amount of your alcohol-based hand wash and pour on your hands.
  • Rub your hands for about 10 seconds and target every part of your hands.
  • Rinse with warm water.

Compared to water, rubbing alcohol evaporates faster. As a result, when scents like onion smell come into touch with it, it has a chance to disintegrate the molecules before they have a chance to reabsorb into the hands. Your hands will smell fresh after those scents are gone!

If after using this method you still feel like something is off-smelling on you, try baking soda as well!

Baking Soda

For many items, baking soda is regarded to be an excellent deodorizer. It’s the same with the onion scent on your hands.

Use a 1/4 cup of cold water, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a teaspoon of salt to make a handwashing solution.

After giving them a good scrub, properly rinse your hands to get rid of the stench.

By acting as a scrub, the deodorizing mixture of baking soda and granular salt will remove the odour from your skin and relieve you of the revolting scent on your hands.

Lime Solution

Use the inside of a lemon, which has been cut in half, as soap. Rub it in between your fingers and all over your hands.

Put cold water on your hands to wash them. The lemon juice will definitely sting if you apply this procedure on any open wounds or sores on your hands.

If all you have on hand is lemon juice, you may still utilize it. Scrub your hands after pouring some juice on them. Afterward, cleanse your hands thoroughly with warm water to prevent sticking.


Coffee is not only fantastic for boosting your energy in the morning, but it may also be effective in masking unpleasant odours.

Use coffee beans or grinds to get rid of the onion smell if your hands smell like onions. In any case, use the coffee to clean your hands by rubbing them all over.

Spend about 30 seconds doing this, and then wash your hands with cool running water. We can almost all agree that a coffee fragrance that lingers is considerably more pleasant than an onion stench.

Use Toothpaste for Removal

I know what you’re thinking: you can only use the toothpaste to brush your mouth and not use it to get onion smell out of hands. Toothpaste gets rid of the sulfur compounds in the onions, which also gets rid of the smell. The zinc ions (Zinc +2) block the formation of sulfur gas, including subgingivally, according to the Smart Mouth.

Squeeze a small amount into your hands, scrub them for about 30 seconds, and then thoroughly rinse them. The onion smell on your hands can be eliminated if toothpaste can get rid of onion breath. Mouthwash also functions in the same way, so use it however you choose.

Use salt

Get your hands wet, then ask someone to liberally place salt on your palms. The most effective salt tends to be coarse salts, such as sea salt or kosher salt.

Your hands should be covered in salt, which you should then rinse off after letting the salt sit for a few minutes. Since it removes some of the dead skin cells from my exceptionally dry skin, this secret tip works best for me.

To give your hands a fantastic scent and a really smooth sensation, you might even try a salt scrub (like our lime salt scrub).

How long does onion smell last on hands?

It takes 24 hours for your body to metabolize the onion compounds and absorb the smell of onion completely. If you want to remove onion smell from hands faster, then you have to wash your hands with external solutions.

Onion smell on hands for days

Once you use the above techniques I listed here, after a day, you should already be rid of bad onion smell on hands. If smell persists, then you should check your fingers, as onion particles might be stuck in there, thereby causing the smell.

Soap to get rid of onion smell on hands

The best soap to remove onion smell from hands are alcohol-based soaps. The main ingredient should be Isopropyl alcohol, which is commonly found in many household items.

Alternatively, you can try the Fairy Ultra soap – should you find it in your location.

Why won’t my hands stop smelling like onions?

Fingers are the major reason why your hands continue to smell like soap. If you have fingers, cut them off and wash your hands again with any of the household items like lemon, coffee, baking soda, or toothpaste.

 Why do my hands still smell like onion after washing?

If you have washed your hands with an alcohol-based handwash, please wait for 24 hours or less before smelling your hands again. It takes time for the onion compounds to metabolize with the compounds of the handwash and absorb the smell.

How long does it take to get rid of the onion smell on your hands?

If you have used some of the substances recommended in this article, it takes less than 30 minutes to get rid of onion smell on hands.


Since prevention is better than cure, using the yellow onion ‘Setton’ that doesn’t allow smell for your cooking remains the best option if you hate the smell of onions on your hands.

You can also explore other natural alternatives like tomato juice to remove onion smell from hands.

Continuously using alcohol substances on your hands might have adverse effects, so if you experience any abnormality, please always contact your doctor.