Martha Stewart's Hack To Getting That Garlic Smell Off Of Your Fingers

April 19 is a prestigious date in the annual American calendar. Obviously, you won't need your memory refreshing: it's the famous National Garlic Day (per USDA) – basically Christmas Day for garlic lovers. Although you may scoff at the idea of celebrating a vegetable, it's only fair that the popularity of garlic is respected – 346 million pounds of garlic worth $264 million were produced in 2020 alone, according to the USDA.

Despite its fame, garlic has a nasty side – its smell. Oppressive and seemingly unstoppable, the scent of garlic oozes into every exposed element of our existence like a virus invading the human body, ripping tranquility apart during its tirade as a culinary hurricane. However, from the thick stench of the garlic haze emerges a hero: Martha Stewart.

Helping to tackle the scourge of lingering garlic odor (caused by allicin, a compound containing sulfur that is released when garlic is damaged during slicing, explains a study by the journal Molecules), Stewart has shared a method for removing the smell of garlic from your fingers after cooking, according to TikTok. So, let's take a look at this simple but effective hack.

Stainless steel is key to eradicating garlic odor, according to Martha Stewart

Even though the smell of garlic is notoriously difficult to alleviate, Martha Stewart's TikTok trick is really simple, involving nothing more than running warm water and rubbing your fingertips along a stainless steel object underneath. "The smell of garlic disappears," claims Stewart. Her object of choice in the video was a knife.

Although multiple TikTokkers broadly agreed with Stewart's method, some argued that wiping your fingers along the side of the basin, using a stainless steel bar, or utilizing a spoon would be far safer options than rubbing your hand over a knife. "Instructions unclear, I cut my fingers off" says user Jamie, while another adds: "My anxiety went from 0 to 10,000 when she started rubbing her fingers on the knife." Perhaps even more worrying though is the claim from viewer Chris, who says: "I LOVE the smell of garlic on my fingers."

There is some scientific wisdom behind the theory of caressing steel. According to BBC Science Focus, the chromium that prevents stainless steel from rusting forms an oxide layer that might react with the allicin in garlic to reduce the smell. If you're a little uneasy about the obvious risks of rubbing your fingers along a knife for eliminating the pesky garlic smell from your hands, then maybe a duller option will make the cut.