How to Get Rid of Garlic Smell in House

Having garlic in your kitchen is essential if you love having tasty meals. You can significantly improve a dish by adding 1 or 2 cloves. It’s also a great way to experiment with new flavors. It has some medicinal properties that can help with sore throats, muscle aches, and stomach bloating, among other afflictions.

However, crushing and chopping garlic releases Allicin, a malodorous compound. The problem is the smell won’t dissipate even after a few days. If you’re facing such an issue, your answer lies in using a little chemistry to neutralize the smell. That way, you get to free your kitchen of the pungent odor.

If that sounds easier said than done, you’re in the right place. We’ve spent a lot of time finding the best ways to get rid of the garlic smell in your house. As a disclaimer, we’d like to inform you that most of these methods are easy and convenient – How to get rid of garlic smell in house couldn’t be easier!

Anyway, enough with the pleasantries –Let’s get down to business!

how to get rid of garlic smell in the house

How Long Does It Take for Garlic Smell to Go away Naturally?

To answer this question, first, we must understand the mechanism behind the garlic smell. The chief culprit behind this is Allicin (or allyl methyl sulfide). This chemical agent is so potent even in minor doses. It stinks up your breath and is also present in your sweat and urine.

The only way to remove garlic smell from your breath, clothing, or household surfaces is to find a neutralizing compound. Otherwise, it can take weeks to get rid of it. Sulfer molecules are not volatile but have strong chemical bonds.

It can take weeks to break down these bonds through natural processes. That’s why it’s advisable to drink some milk or have citric fruit after a meal with loads of garlic. Such a move helps break down the sulfur molecules behind the stink. However, this makes it tricky to get it off your hands, clothes, or kitchen surfaces, which can make you regret making your favorite garlic dish.

Fortunately, you won’t have to endure the stink as you wait for garlic smell to go away naturally. The following

How Do You Get the Garlic Smell out of Your House Faster?

Stuffy rooms accumulate smells due to poor air circulation. The first thing you want to do is open all the windows and doors of your house. The wind blows in the fresh air that circulates and dilutes the strong garlic smell.

After an hour, you may completely neutralize a weak garlic smell. But, a stronger garlic smell may need more drastic interventions.

So let’s look at a few ways you can get rid of garlic smell in house faster. Today, we won’t be using any special cleaning tools or detergents. What you need is available in your home.

So, let’s run down the items on the following scavenger list before we get started: 

  • Cinnamon Sticks or Cinnamon Tea
  • Lemons
  • An Oven
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea Leaves
  • Old News Papers
  • Essential Oils
  • Scented Candles
  • Orange Peels
  • Salt
  • Toothpaste
  • Stainless Steel Soap

Once you have some of the items on the list, you can proceed to use the following steps to rid your home of garlic smell finally:

Method 1: Using the Exhaust Hood or Fans

Opening all the windows may be impractical at certain times of the year. And it may also not eliminate all traces of garlic smell in your house. So, you may want to turn on the fans or exhaust hood to let more air into your home.

This method works for both before and after chopping garlic while preparing meals. You can hop to the next step if the results aren’t as satisfactory as you had hoped.

Method 2: A Baking Soda and Vinegar Wash

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Baking soda works as a fantastic scrubbing agent, and vinegar is one of the strongest bases you have in the kitchen. What do you get when you combine them? You get a powerful acid neutralizer that scrubs tough stains off objects. So, it can deodorize garlic odor if used correctly.

You’ll need to mix both ingredients into a paste for this to work. Then you can blend this mix into your cleaning supplies. For instance, you can use a sponge or kitchen towel to apply it to a stinky surface. Or, you can add it to your dish scrubber while washing utensils covered in garlic stink. You can also pour some down your kitchen sink to deodorize your garbage disposal unit.  

Method 3: Brewing some Lemon Juice

Lemons contain citric acid that can dissolve the oil and grease that bind garlic to surfaces. It also has a refreshing smell that doesn’t repulse most people. However, you’ll need to do something more drastic than squeezing lemon juice if you were not to smell garlic in your house. 

First, fill a medium-sized crock pot with lemon slices. Top it off with some clean water. Put the pot on your stove and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Such an action infuses larger doses of citric acid into the lemon juice.

Leaving the lid off also diffuses the rich lemony scent on your kitchen and household surfaces. You can also try using limes, oranges, citrus, grapefruit, or any other citric fruit if fresh lemons are unavailable.

NB: Please store this lemon juice in your fridge instead of throwing it out. To improve their deodorizing power, you can also add this lemon tonic to baking soda, vinegar, and liquid dish soap. It also makes a mean ice tea mix or tonic for your gin or vodka!

Method 4: Boiling Some Cinnamon Sticks or Tea

Cinnamon tea is widely available due to its medicinal properties. Some people also burn cinnamon sticks to cleanse rooms of bad vibes or karma. This may sound like some superstitious mumbo-jumbo, but there’s a scientific basis.   

Cinnamon sticks and most spices are highly acid that’s we add small amounts to dishes. It also has a pleasant and calming smell, so it not only eliminates lingering odors but adds a sweet cinnamon fragrance.

To do this, start by adding some cinnamon sticks or cinnamon tea to a pot of water. Please turn on the stove and bring it to a boil. Let it brew and simmer for another 5 minutes before turning off the heat.

Put the cinnamon sticks brew in a jug. Now you can leave it in the spot with the most stubborn odor. This will absorb stubborn odors and replace them with a faint whiff of sweet cinnamon sticks.

Method 5: Brew Some Coffee Grounds or Green Tea

If you love to brew coffee grounds or green tea, you can probably attest to the aromatic nature of the experience. The same is especially true for people that live to roast coffee grounds.

But did you know that both activities can also neutralize pungent odors like garlic, fish, or onions? What’s even more surprising is how you’ll ease into this solution. You can cover the offensive surface or item with coffee grounds or green tea leaves. Let it sit for a few hours, then wash with liquids soap and rinse to lift the pungent smell off the item. 

Alternatively, you can add coffee grounds to a baking soda and white vinegar solution to create an odor absorber. You can place this on your kitchen countertop overnight to absorb the smells as you prepare your garlic meal.

Method 6: Diffuse Some Essential Oils

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Essential oils neutralize a very pungent odor while adding a fresh fragrance. This is a far cry from most air fresheners which only mask the smells. So, you’re halfway to solving your garlic stink issue if you have an odorizer or an oil lamp just lying around the house.

Start by fishing your oils lamp or diffuser from wherever you stow it. Then light it and place it in your kitchen or whatever room needs some deodorizing. Leave it on until it runs out of essential oils. This will replace the offensive odor with a fresh fragrance.

Sure, this is one of the least cost-effective measures on this list, but it won’t be able to smell garlic for some time to come. 

Method 7: Simmer Orange Peels

Eating an orange is a sure way to beat garlic breath. It effectively alters the chemical state in your mouth, changing the way your body releases breath, so it should work as excellently on surfaces as it does against garlic breath.

You can place some orange peels in the corners of your room to absorb the smell. But simmering the orange peels in a crock pot as (as we did with the cinnamon tea or sticks.) Then you can store the orange peel juice in the fridge. That way, you won’t have to look for orange peels the next time you’re in need. You can simply take it out of the fridge and boil it to release the fragrance.

Method 8: Scrub with Old Newspapers

Old newspapers have more use beyond wrapping fragile items when moving out. Like books, old newspapers have a soothing aroma that reminds us of simpler times before the death of print media. They are also absorbent because we use them to give windows an excellent buffing.

Start by spritzing the offensive surfaces with a light lemon juice mist. Then cover the surface with a few sheets of old newspaper. Let it stay on the countertop overnight to absorb all the fats and oils that bind the odor to the surface.

Remove the old newspapers when you wake up the following day – We guarantee that this will solve the problem.  

Method 9: Turn on the Oven

Baking releases warm and sweet cooking smells that can overpower very pungent odors like onions and garlic. When cleaned, you may also cover the kitchen surface with flour and other ingredients that lift garlic oils off kitchen countertops, stainless steel spoons, and other items.

However, not all of us know our way around an oven. But that’s not much of a deal-breaker as you can fake it! Real estate agents usually bake bought cookies inside their open houses. This action releases cookies’ aroma, which makes a house smell more like a home to lure buyers.

So, why not be as savvy and try this trick? 

How to Get Garlic Smell from Hands

Method 1: Washing with Lemon Juice

Real lemon juice is tough on stains (and odors) but gentle on your skin. It should do wonders with garlic breath, so it’ll work like a charm on your hands. Best of all, you can get these benefits as you prepare to drink lemonade.

Start by slicing and dicing lemons into small slices. Then rub them against your hands for no less than a minute and rinse –This should do the trick, but you can give your hands a quick wash with liquid soap for the max effect.

Alternatively, you can use oranges, limes, or other citric fruit if you don’t have any lemons lying around. You can move to the next step if the results are unsatisfactory.

NB: you can add a little table salt or baking soda to give lemon juice higher scrubbing abilities. However, it makes sense to avoid this method if you have open sores or wounds. Lemon juice can be very irritating.

Method 2: Washing with a Baking Soda and Salt Mix

Baking soda is an excellent deodorizing agent, while salt is the world’s most common anti-septic. So, adding a little salt to baking soda stabilizes the mixture and makes it safe for your hands as they readily absorb the odors.

Start by adding ½ a teaspoon of table salt to 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Add a little water and mix the ingredients till you have a fine paste. Now, rub your hands thoroughly to absorb stubborn odors.

You can scrub your nails with a light nylon brush for the best results. Finally, rinse with running tap water until the bad smell goes away.

Method 3: Washing Hands with Toothpaste Until You Can’t Smell garlic

Brushing your teeth with toothpaste leaves your mouth with a pleasant smell. So, it can do the same for you if you don’t mind the gooey consistency of this cleaning agent. However, adding baking soda and home baking flour gives it more texture.

To use this method, simply work the ingredients into a thick paste. Then use it as you would liquid soap. Once you rinse with loads of water, all that’s left are normal smells.

NB: you can opt for a gel with a pleasant smell. You’re left with sweet phantom smells instead of tacky peppermint.

Method 4: Rubbing Stainless Steel Soap

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Washing your hands with stainless steel soap may seem unsafe and a bit of an overkill. But, we guarantee you it’s as safe as it is effective. You unknowingly release loads of molecules as you chop garlic on a wooden cutting board. These elements stick to your hands and cutting board. And, rinsing off your hands with water can give them a gas leak smell.

Why does this happen? It is because adding water creates even more pungent sulfur oxides. And when it combines with body odor, you get sulfuric acid that’s even tougher to remove. Such measures can transfer the same molecules to a stainless steel spoon or other utensils.

The best way to stop is by scrubbing your hand with stainless steel soap. Such actions bind sulfur molecules in garlic to the metals in the stainless steel soap instead of mixing with water to create pungent sulphuric acid.

However, this method makes it hard to reach the crevices in your nails. It also leaves your hands with a slight smell of steel. So please consider combining it with one of the other methods for the best results.


Now you can enjoy preparing garlic meals in your home since you know how to get rid of garlic smell in house. The best thing about these methods is they are very mild on your hands, walls, utensils, and wherever you apply them.

We’re optimistic that these life hacks will help you rise to this embracing issue. So, feel free to share them with other people going through the same challenge. Please have a healthy and productive day. We hope to see you in the next article.

All the best in all your endeavors! 

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