Onions, Garlic, Stainless Steel
Name: Judi F.
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
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.
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.
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