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Name: Judi F.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Sunday, October 27, 2002

When I chop onions or garlic, a very strong and persistent odor gets on my hands. I've found that the best way to remove this odor is to rinse my hands while rubbing a stainless steel spoon, or the side of the stainless steel sink. You can even buy little blocks of stainless steel in kitchen supply stores for this purpose. Why does this work?


Metals that compose the alloy, stainless steel, catalytically enhance the oxidation of the odorous compounds. The products of the oxidation are no longer quite so persistent. Many are relatively water soluble and thus can be rinsed away. Not all kinds of stainless steel alloys will work.

ProfHoff 513

I use this method too. I have pondered this for a while, and I think it has something to do with the nickel in the stainless, but I have not figured out the chemical reaction/mechanism of neutralization of the onion oils.

Pat Rowe

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