15 Ways How to Remove Fish Smell From Hands

Discover 15 ways to remove that fish smell from your hands. But before we dive in, let’s understand something. What makes fish smell, well, fishy?

Fish have a compound called trimethylamine that gives them their distinctive smell. When exposed to air, this compound breaks down and can cling to your skin, causing that lingering odor. All our methods below will help to break down this compound or mask it, leaving your hands odor-free.

How to Remove Fishy Smell From Your Hands

Lemon Juice

Lemon’s citric acid acts as a natural deodorizer that neutralizes the fish smell. Squeeze a fresh lemon and rub the juice all over your hands. After about a minute, rinse it off with warm water. It’s as simple as that – clean, fresh, and lightly lemon-scented hands.


Vinegar, being acidic, breaks down the fishy smell well. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, soak your hands in this solution for about a minute, then rinse. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell; it will dissipate once your hands dry.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has been a trusted odor absorber for generations. To use it, make a paste using baking soda and water. Rub this paste on your hands, let it sit for a minute or two, and then rinse. You’ll be left with odor-free hands.


Salt, particularly coarse sea salt, not only scrubs off the fishy smell but also removes any lingering fish scales or residue. Rub your hands with salt under running water, scrubbing particularly well between fingers and nails.


Toothpaste isn’t just for fresh breath; it can freshen your hands too. Rub a dollop of toothpaste on your hands as if it’s soap, then rinse. Its ingredients are designed to break down the compounds causing foul smells, including fish.

Stainless Steel

This method might sound a bit odd, but it works. The molecules in stainless steel bind with the fish smell-causing molecules when rubbed together under running water, effectively neutralizing the odor.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are excellent at absorbing odors, and they also exfoliate your hands. Rub damp coffee grounds all over your hands, then rinse. This method may leave a faint coffee scent, which many people find pleasant.


Mouthwash, particularly alcohol-based types, can kill odors fast. Pour a bit on your hands, rub them together, then rinse. As a bonus, your hands will feel exceptionally clean afterward.

Tomato Juice

The acid in tomatoes can counteract fishy smells. Simply soak your hands in tomato juice for a few minutes, then rinse. Be aware that this method might leave a faint tomato scent.

Dish Soap and Sugar

Dish soap cleans, while sugar exfoliates and removes smells. Mix equal parts together to create a scrub. Massage it on your hands, then rinse. This combination will leave your hands squeaky clean.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are gentle, moisturizing, and good at removing odors. Simply use a wipe or two to clean your hands thoroughly. This method is great for on-the-go cleaning, especially when water is not readily available.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract’s strong, pleasant aroma can overpower fishy smells. Just dab a few drops onto your hands, rub them together, then rinse. You’ll be left with a sweet, vanilla scent.

Potato Slices

Potatoes can absorb unwanted smells. Just cut a raw potato into slices and rub them over your hands. Rinely thoroughly afterward. While it’s not the most common method, it’s a neat trick to try!

Tea Bags

Tea contains tannic acid that can help neutralize fish odors. After making a cup of tea, use the cooled, wet tea bag to scrub your hands. Then, rinse them off. You’ll notice that the fish smell is significantly reduced.


Parsley’s fresh, strong scent is great at masking fish odors. Just crush fresh parsley leaves, rub them over your hands, and then wash them off. The smell of parsley is generally considered pleasant and refreshing, making it a good last step.


Fishing is a whole lot of fun, and cleaning your catch is part of the adventure! But that fishy odor that hangs around on your hands afterward?

Not so much fun!

But don’t worry, you’ve now got 15 ways to tackle that problem. From using simple kitchen stuff like lemons and vinegar to surprising things like toothpaste and a stainless steel spoon, you’ve got plenty of options.

Try them out and see which one you like best. So, next time you’re done fishing and cleaning up your catch, you know exactly what to do to keep your hands smelling fresh!


Does lemon juice really remove fish smell?

Yes, it does! Lemon juice contains citric acid that neutralizes the fishy smell. By rubbing a lemon slice on your hands and then rinsing, you can effectively remove the odor.

Will the vinegar method leave a vinegar smell on my hands?

Initially, your hands may have a slight vinegar smell, but this goes away once your hands are dry. The vinegar smell is generally less potent than the fish smell it replaces.

Can toothpaste damage my skin if I use it to clean my hands?

Generally, toothpaste should be safe to use on your skin occasionally. However, if you have sensitive skin or if irritation occurs, it’s best to try a different method.

How does stainless steel remove the fishy smell?

The molecules in stainless steel can bind with the sulfur-containing molecules that cause fishy smells. When you touch stainless steel, these molecules transfer to the steel, reducing the odor.

Can I reuse the coffee grounds after using them to remove fish smell?

After using coffee grounds to scrub your hands, they should be disposed of. The grounds will have absorbed the fishy smell and won’t be good for another use.

Will the dish soap and sugar method dry out my skin?

This method can be slightly drying due to the soap. If you notice your skin feels dry afterward, simply apply a hand moisturizer. However, the exfoliating sugar can also help make your skin feel smoother.

Does the potato method work with all types of potatoes?

Yes, all raw potatoes should work for this method. The starches in the potato help to absorb the fish smell. Just make sure to rinse your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Leave a Comment