6 ways to remove bad odors from hands

Everyday activities such as chopping garlic or onion can leave a strong odor on your fingers. The same can be said about fish. The strong odor does not disappear soon after your work is done. But don’t worry, you can get rid of the stink from your hands by trying some home remedies for smelly hands.

What causes smelly hands?

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

1. Poor hand hygiene

Insufficient hand washing can cause sweat, bacteria and dead skin cells to build up, resulting in an unpleasant odor, says Dr. Sonali Gupta, Consultant – Dermatology and Cosmetology, Accord Super Specialty Hospital.

Poor hygiene can make your hands stink. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Hyperhidrosis

Excessive hand sweating usually provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to a foul odor that won’t go away.

3. Fungal infections

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

4. Eczema

Chronic hand eczema can cause your hands to become very dry and cause red, irritated skin patches to develop. It may be accompanied by an unwanted odor due to sweat and breakdown of skin cells.

5. Smoking

When you hold and smoke a cigarette, its smell can remain on your hair, clothes, and also on your fingers. The odor can be challenging to eliminate.

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Tips to get bad odors out of your hands

Sometimes just washing your hands with soap and water to remove the stench 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 odor. It has acidic properties that can help neutralize odors, the expert says. Rinse with water after you are done with the lemon juice.

2. Baking soda

Make a paste of baking soda and water, then gently scrub your hands to remove odor-causing bacteria. Rinse thoroughly for clean hands.

3. White vinegar

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

tea tree oil in a bottle
Tea tree oil can help 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 reduce bacteria and odors from your hands. Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of water and soak your hands for a few minutes.

5. Activated carbon

Place activated charcoal, a black and odorless powder, in a bowl. Keep your hands in the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes to absorb odors, says Dr. Gupta.

6. Soak salt water

This is the easiest way to get rid of smelly hands. Dissolve salt in warm water and soak your hands for 10 to 15 minutes to minimize bacteria and eliminate bad odors.

While trying these home remedies, remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after activities that make you sweat or are exposed to dirt and chemicals. You can also wear breathable gloves when performing tasks that cause excessive sweating or come into contact with food that leaves an odor. Keeping your nails clean and trimmed is a must if you don’t want the buildup of dirt and bacteria.

If the stench does not go away despite your efforts, consult a dermatologist.

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