7 Ways to Get Fish Smell off Your Hands

Ever went on a fishing trip with your friends, only to come back smelling like you have spent the entire day underwater with Sebastian the crab?

The unpleasant odor is the karmic price you have to pay for having great time fishing with your buds.Well, below are some pointers to help you get that lingering stench off of your hands.

First off – let’s try to get to the bottom of why our hands smell so bad in the first place.

Why Do Fish Make Your Hands Stink

The fish tissue has an odorless chemical known as trimethylamine oxide. When you catch a fish and it’s out of the water, this chemical is broken down by the body due to exposure to air and bacteria. The compounds are derived from ammonia therefore; the fish smells well ‘fishy’. And when this gets on your hands while handling fish, it can be a challenge to get it off.

How to Get that Fish Smell off Your Hands

1 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel may seem like an odd method to remove fish smell from hands, but it really works.

The chemicals excreted by the fish, such as sulfur, combine with the steel and neutralize the bad odor. A stainless steel spoon may come to mind, but stainless steel bars are better.

They’re readily available at most hardware stores and should be a part of your fishing kit.

How it works

For this particular method, you can use any stainless steel bars, kitchen utensils or even a steel sink, if you’re out of options.

  • Massage your hands with the stainless steel bar, spoon or sink for a couple of minutes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

2 – Baking Soda

Baking soda is a rare gem that has many uses in home remedies – from unclogging your sinks, to washing your clothes, using it as a teeth whitener and so on.

But one of the most useful aspects of having baking soda in your kitchen pantry is its ability to neutralize or remove strong odors.

Baking soda has properties that can neutralize acids because it is an amphoteric compound.

How it works

  • Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water to make a smooth paste. Add in a few more drops of water if required to get the right consistency.
  • Massage your hands thoroughly with the mixture for a minute or two and then rinse your hands with water.

3 – Ground Coffee Beans

For all the coffee lovers out there, the aroma of a fresh cup of coffee is second to none.

Yet, few people are aware that coffee grounds are great odor neutralizers, and the grounds do a great job of absorbing the oils left on your hands by the fish. They may be a bit on the expensive side compared to baking soda, but they are incredibly effective.

The caffeine in coffee contains nitrogen which can absorb sulfur. Make sure to use ground coffee beans that have not been used yet.

How it works

  • Rub ground coffee beans on your hands for a couple of minutes
  • Wash your hands in warm soapy water.

4 – Ketchup

Another great ingredient you will find in your kitchen pantry easily. Ketchup works the same way as coffee grounds and baking soda.

How it works

This method is pretty straight forward.

  • Simply massage your hands with the sauce until they are completely covered.
  • Rinse your hands with warm water after a few minutes.

5 – Toothpaste

If none of the other options work for you, toothpaste most definitely should.

The thing with toothpaste is that it has properties that combat the bacteria in your mouth. It can work the same way on skin too.

If you want to go the extra mile to remove fish smell from your hands, you can add a bit of baking soda to your toothpaste.

How it works

  • Take a small amount of toothpaste and massage it in your hands for one or two minutes followed by a warm water rinse.
  • Another way you can use the toothpaste is by mixing it with a pinch of baking soda, rubbing it on your hands, and then washing with water.

6 – Lemon, Vinegar, and Dishwashing Detergent

Lemon, vinegar and dishwashing liquid are probably lying around everyone’s kitchen.

They work differently than other solutions on this list in that they don’t eradicate smell-causing bacteria. Rather, they do the job by replacing the smell with their strong odor. They may dry your hands, but that’s what moisturizers are for.

How it works

  • Mix a cup of vinegar, a quarter cup of lemon juice and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl.
  • Thoroughly mix the ingredients and let the mixture sit for half an hour
  • Massage your hands with the mixture, and then rinse with warm water.
  • Be careful not to wash your hand with the mixture for more than a couple of seconds as it can be harsh on your skin
  • Moisturize afterwards

7 – Baby Wipes

If you are a parent, you know how handy baby wipes can be. With multiple uses, it’s a great product to keep in your purse or your car, especially when traveling. Baby wipes contain substances that work towards neutralizing all types of foul smells.

How it works

  • Take a few baby wipes and clean your hands, how you usually do and you will find that the odor has disappeared.

It is effective for cleaning your fishing reels and rods as well.

Fish smell bad and after handling fish, you start dreading the rest of the day. Simply washing your hands with soap and water does not work.

However, as mentioned above, there are plenty of great natural ways to remove the fish odor. You can even use a combination of methods, if one is not providing the results you want.

Now you can wear your fish smell like a badge knowing you have effective odor removal methods on your fingertips. You know what they say, the more fish you catch the smellier your hands are.