This Incredible Hand Soap Actually Eliminates Onion and Garlic Smells

published Jun 21, 2021
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Whether you’ve been cooking forever or it took all the time spent at home during the pandemic to discover you have a kitchen, there’s a good chance you’ve chopped onions, garlic, or some other food that left your hands with a lingering odor. Many soaps and cleansers promise to take care of this stinky problem — but in my experience, rather than eliminating the smell, they cover it up with floral, citrus, or some other strong fragrance.

So when I saw that Kirk’s hand wash had “odor neutralizing” in the very name of the product, I was skeptical but hopeful. Here’s the idea: Thanks to a natural fermentation process, enzymes in the hand wash essentially eat the odor-producing substances, thereby eradicating the offending smell.

I was curious about the claims behind this product, so I did my regular thing chopping onions and garlic for a recipe, then got to work on cleansing my hands with Kirk’s lemon and eucalyptus hand wash. With a really nice, satisfying lather and a pronounced-but-not-overpowering scent, this hand wash did the trick. The odor wasn’t 100% gone, but I would say it was about 96% — I could detect a tiny trace of onion and garlic when I pressed my nose to my hands. But if you aren’t sticking your hands in your face and taking a whiff (and really, why would you?), you’d never pick up on it. 

The true test: Using the fragrance-free version. Turns out, it worked just as well. There’s also rosemary sage, and all three utilize coconut oil and aloe vera to keep your hands from drying out (especially useful these days when we’re washing our hands so much). Plus, the soaps are not just good for eliminating smells — they’re also powerful against dirt. It’s made quick work of charcoal, soil, and other assorted types of grime on my hands from gardening and grilling.

I also feel good about my kid using these hand washes. They’re free of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, and colorants, and they’re safe for sensitive skin. The scented ones utilize essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances (which can be irritating). Plus, they’re vegan and gluten-free.