Smelly hands? Try these 6 home remedies to remove the stink

Just chopped onions and the smell won't go away from your hands? Let's find out how to get rid of smelly hands.
Home remedies to get rid of smelly hands
Smelly hands no more with these home remedies! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 16 Nov 2023, 07:28 pm IST
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Daily activities like chopping garlic or onion can leave a strong smell on your fingers. The same can be said about fish. The strong odour doesn’t disappear soon after your work is done. But don’t worry, you can get the stink off your hands by trying out some home remedies for smelly hands.

What causes smelly hands?

It’s not just cooking, there are other factors that can cause smelly hands.

1. Poor hand hygiene

Inadequate hand washing allows the build-up of sweat, bacteria and dead skin cells, resulting in an unpleasant odour, says Dr Sonali Gupta, Consultant – Dermatology and Cosmetology, Accord Super Speciality Hospital.

Hand washing
Poor hygiene can make your hands stink. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

2. Hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating of the hands tends to provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to a foul smell that refuses to go away.

3. Fungal infections

Certain fungal infections such as tinea manuum can cause an unpleasant odour on the hands. They also leave your hands itchy and red.

4. Eczema

Chronic hand eczema can make your hands really dry and leave you with patches of red irritated skin. It can be accompanied by an undesirable odour due to sweat and skin cell breakdown.

5. Smoking

Holding a cigarette and smoking can leave its smell on your hair, clothes and also fingers. The smell can be challenging to eliminate.

Tips to get bad smell off your hands

Sometimes, just washing hands with water and soap to remove the stink doesn’t work. You need more, and that’s where your kitchen ingredients come in.

1. Lemon juice

Rub freshly squeezed lemon juice on your hands to remove the odour. It has acidic properties that can help to neutralise odours, says the expert. Rinse with water after you are done with the lemon juice.

2. Baking soda

Create a paste using baking soda and water then gently scrub your hands to remove the odour-causing bacteria. Rinse thoroughly for clean hands.

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3. White vinegar

Soak your hands in a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water for a few minutes. This is another effective way to eliminate unpleasant smells from hands.

tea tree oil in a bottle
Tea tree oil can help to get rid of smelly hands. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

4. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a popular skin care ingredient, especially in anti-acne products. It can also help to reduce bacteria and odour from your hands. Just add a few drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of water then soak your hands for a few minutes.

5. Activated charcoal

Place activated charcoal, which is black and odourless powder, in a bowl. Keep your hands enclosed within the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes to absorb odours, says Dr Gupta.

6. Salt water soak

This is simplest way to get rid of smelly hands. Dissolve salt in warm water and soak your hands for 10 to 15 minutes to minimise bacteria and eliminate bad odour.

As you try these home remedies, don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after activities that induce sweating or exposure to dirt and chemicals. You can also wear breathable gloves while performing tasks that cause excessive sweating or involve contact with foods that van leave their smell behind. Keeping your nails clean and trimmed is a must if you don’t want the accumulation of dirt and bacteria.

If the stink doesn’t go away despite your best efforts, consult a dermatologist.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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