How to Neutralize Garlic Smell

By Seth Silberman

The medicinal properties of antioxidant-rich garlic may not convince those who do not like its smell to eat it—or to be around those who do. Whole garlic need not be avoided, however. Until someone cuts or crushes a peeled clove, it remains odorless. Breaking open the clove releases an enzyme that chemically alters garlic's molecules to make them smell. The scent can attach itself easily to any surface. When eaten, garlic's smell can persist, not just on your breath, but through your pores as well.

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Neutralizing garlic's smell will enable those who are sensitive to enjoy its health benefits.

Step 1

Place hands or gloves that have come into contact with garlic under running water while holding a stainless steel object. Kitchen stores sell stainless steel bars shaped like soap with which you can do the same thing. If the smell persists, rub your hands with lemon juice and salt, or dip them in a bowl of coffee grounds. Before you try the former, make sure that you have no cuts on your hands.

Step 2

Scrub the cutting board and any utensil you used that is not stainless steel with baking soda and water. Empty the kitchen trash after dinner.

Step 3

Neutralize garlic breath after the meal by eating fresh parsley leaves or fennel seeds. Drink lemon juice or eat a distinctly lemon-flavored dessert like sherbet.