Do you know this too: Your stomach is growling and you want to quickly shove something edible between your gills. But as soon as the onions or garlic are peeled, an unpleasant smell spreads on your hands that cannot be neutralized with ordinary soap. However, there is said to be a tried and tested solution made of stainless steel.

You read that right: We are talking about a so-called stainless steel soap. As the name suggests, it is a stainless piece of metal with a micro-structured surface. This is (like normal soap) rubbed between the hands under running water after contact with raw onions, garlic or even fish and gasoline – and is intended to neutralize bad odors. Sounds absurd to you? We also asked ourselves how this would work. And we quickly decided to test a stainless steel soap. What came out of it? Read for yourself.

For our test, we used a teardrop-shaped stainless steel soap, which – in contrast to other models – is a little more expensive, but has a small special feature: the tip is flattened, so you can also get it under your fingernails if there are food residues there. If you don’t want to dig deep into your pockets, you can also choose cheaper models, such as the anti-odor soap from WMF or an even cheaper version from Goods Gadgets. But back to our practical test: To find out whether a stainless steel soap can actually neutralize unpleasant odors, we took on the final enemy: garlic. The fine tubers were professionally peeled and then cut as small as possible with a kitchen knife.

As usual, after just a few minutes, an acrid smell spread on the inner surfaces of the hands, which could not be removed even after washing with normal soap. Then the stainless steel soap was used: it was also rubbed back and forth between the hands under running water for an estimated 20 to 30 seconds. And sure enough: the pungent garlic smell was gone. To make sure it wasn’t just a coincidence, we tried again, this time peeling and chopping onions. Again an unpleasant smell spread on my hands, which this time could be significantly reduced by using the stainless steel soap, but could not be completely neutralized. In order to eliminate any remaining skepticism, a fresh fish was filleted – and this smell on the hands could also be easily minimized by using stainless steel, but a residual smell still remained on the hands.

Unfortunately, exactly how this effect comes about cannot be 100 percent scientifically proven. A possible explanation, however, would be that the odor-causing substances from garlic, onions, etc., which remain on your hands after cooking, could form a bond with a component of the surface of the steel soap. This would temporarily bind them to the steel and remove the smell from your hands. By washing the steel soap under water, this compound could finally be removed again.

So it’s all just your imagination? Even if there are no scientific studies on whether and to what extent stainless steel can actually neutralize unpleasant odors – and that the stainless steel soap was not as convincing on onions and fish as it was on garlic: we are still a fan. The very idea that smelly fingers at least after Peeling garlic is a thing of the past, making the gadget an absolute must-have in the kitchen for us. Aside from that, the reusable material is significantly more sustainable than regular soap that has to be constantly repurchased. It remains to be doubted whether it necessarily has to be the higher-priced model, as the lower-priced models (except for the flattened tip) are made of the same material and serve exactly the same purpose. So in the end it’s just a question of personal taste and wallet.

Note: Do you also have a special kitchen utensil at home that you no longer want to be without? Share your experiences with our readers – and tell us your favorite gadget that makes your everyday (kitchen) life easier. Send an email to:

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