Joe asked: Please tell me, if you can, how I can remove the smell of household bleach from my hands (when I am not wearing gloves). Thank you
Bleach is a strong chemical that has a very distinct odor. It is quickly absorbed into any material it comes in contact with, including skin. While it’s best to use protective gloves, if bleach comes in contact with your skin, you’ll know from the lingering smell. There are a variety of items that will remove the smell. Here are a couple of the more successful options for you to try.
You Will Need:
- Lemon juice
- Stainless steel spoon
Steps to Remove the Bleach Smell:
- Begin by pouring a small amount of lemon juice/vinegar in your hand.
- Rub your hands together for 30 seconds.
- Rinse with cool water.
- If the smell remains, or is very strong, fill a bowl with a cup or two of the liquid.
- Soak your hands in the bowl for one minute.
- Repeat until the smell is gone.
- If the lemon and vinegar do not work, try a stainless steel spoon or other large utensil.
- Hold it under cool, running water, while you rub your hands on the stainless steel. This removes the smell.
- Milk can also be placed in a bowl and used with the stainless steel spoon. However, many find the spoon alone to be effective.
- Once the odor is gone, you can wash your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining odors from the lemon juice or vinegar.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Contrary to popular belief, you do not want to rinse your hands with hot water to remove smells. The hot water causes the pores in your skin to dilate and take in more of the smelly liquid. Instead, lather your hands well with soap, and then rinse with hot water. This will allow the soap to trap the molecules so they can be washed away.
- Bleach can be harmful to skin with prolonged exposure. It is best to always wear gloves when working with bleach.
- You want an acid to remove the bleach. Tomatoes are another acidic food that can be helpful in removing the odors. Try rubbing tomato paste or sauce between your hands.
- These steps will also remove onion, garlic and other food odors from your hands.
I was desperate, got on this website. Tried the vinegar, and it instantly removed the bleach smell from my hands. Thank you whoever posted it.
A drop of vanilla–also works on onion smells.
Usually lemon removed the bleach smell, but did not this time; maybe my hands were extra bleachy. I was getting so frustrated & literally sick to my stomach from the smell on my hands, so got on this website, thank the Lord! Using the vinegar twice worked! I was so happy for this great advice! I didn’t know what I was going to do otherwise. And everyone, please remember to wear gloves next time AND ventilate the area because only after I used the cleaner containing bleach did I realize that my chest hurt a little, so I’m sure I inhaled some, which of course can’t be good. Sometimes we’re in a hurry and forget to take precautions; I hope you all and I remember to next time. I don’t think we realize that when we clean things, the chemicals are always going into our skin, which goes into our bloodstream, and they’re going in our lungs if we don’t open windows and use fans! Thank you all!
Bleach does not enter your bloodstream when it gets on your skin. Very few substances are capable of making it into your blood through direct contact with your skin. That’s what your skin is there for. It’s a protective layer.
Also, bleach is not dangerous to ingest in very small amounts. It’s actually recommended to add several drops to a gallon of untreated drinking water in an emergency.
That is not accurate. Chemicals can and do get into your bloodstream through the skin. Here are some articles to see for more information:
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Public Health Statement for Propolyne Glycol
Huffington Post: Putting It on Your Skin Does Let It In: What’s in Skin Care and How it Affects Your Health
For an easier to understand example, even nail polish chemicals are absorbed into your bloodstream through the nail bed.
Source: EWG – Duke-EWG Study Finds Toxic Nail Polish Chemicals In Women’s Bodies
E. Conboy says
I agree with Melanie. We must read the information (small print) on every product before purchasing and using them. While we’re often influenced by the packaging, the products are combinations of many chemicals, many of which are lethal, as in herbicides and pesticides. Read and heed the warnings. I lost my sister due to her repeated exposure to garden care products and I think she would echo my advice to you.
Son of a gun; the vinegar worked like a champ! Thanks!
Just ordered a pizza. Had to fix this fast.
Lemon juice worked like a charm.
Thanks; you enhanced my dinning experience ten fold.
Thank you; This really worked for me… I used vinegar for a minute and rinsed it off under cold water while scraping my hands with a stainless steel table spoon, then washed with soap… scent gone! Be blessed.
It was crazy how the vinegar just magically made the smell go away! Thanks so much for this tip!
This worked great. I tried this today because I had bleach smell on my hands after cleaning my refrigerator and the bleach smell stood on my hands and was giving me a headache; so I found this and decided to try it. This site and instructions worked marvelous and the smell came off my hands immediately. Thanks for whoever posted this; I give you big ups for helping me out and everyone who tries this and helped them.
Rubbing a spoon for a minute on running cold water works!!! Now my hands are a bleach-free odor!
Thank you so much!
The vinegar + stainless steel worked like a charm! I’m sure it would have looked fairly silly for a family member to walk in on me meticulously stroking our stainless steel fridge, but I would have stood on my head for an hour singing my ABCs if that’s what it took to get rid of the bleachy smell all over my hands and legs. Thank you so much!
Only used a stainless steel spoon and it worked…so happy…hated that smell…all gone. Thanks for the awesome tip.
None of this worked for me… I tried the stainless spoon and the vinegar and the lemon juice and my hands still reek; please someone help!! What’s another way to get rid of bleach??
Bless you so very much! There should be a monument of you in Washington D.C! I have made the mistake of using bleach without gloves many times and have had to suffer till the next day. The lemon juice worked great. Used a little soap then lemon juice again. Pay attention and rub your hands at least 30 seconds. Are you married?
I would like to know how to get stains off your neck? I am thinking it is the mousse I use and it stains all of my white t-shirts and I not know what to do. I would like to find away to get this brown-looking stain off my neck without being in the pain of scrubbing and nothing has gotten better. Please help me.
If you dye your hair, the stain is most likely from the mousse loosening the dye; use the methods in the guide How to Remove Hair Dye from Skin. If you do not dye your hair, try the methods in the guide How to Remove Stains from Hands/Skin. Unfortunately, you will have to keep trying different remedies until you find the one that works for your specific mousse. However, you should never scrub to the point that you are in pain. Stains on skin will naturally be removed over time (if the cause of the stain is removed). Good luck!