5 Ways to Get the Smell of Fish off Your Hands

How to Get the Smell of Fish off Your Hands 5 Ways to Get the Smell of Fish off Your Hands gearweare.net

Ah, the joys of fishing. Casting a line out, relaxing, pondering life, and the excitement of reeling one in. However, if there is one downside to this exciting yet relaxing sport, it is the aftermath.

The overpowering smell of fish on your hands after fishing, cleaning, filleting, or cooking can feel nearly impossible to get rid of. In most cases, good old soap and water won’t cut it.

Never fear; we have the solutions for you.

Continue reading to learn how to get fish smell off hands once and for all.

5 Ways to  Remove Fish Smell

Luckily, you have a few options to choose from when wondering, “How can I get rid of fish odor on my hands?”.

Here are a few of the most popular methods:

1. Rub your hands with toothpaste, ketchup, lemon juice, fresh coffee grounds, or fresh cilantro. 

Note: Choose one of these ingredients, do not combine them. Some of these options will alter the pH levels and eliminate the smell. However, all of these options have a potent smell that will overpower and remove the smell of fish from your hands.

You should rub the ingredient on the front, back, fingers, and all crevices of your hands. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then continue to wash your hands like normal with antibacterial soap and water.

2. Use hand sanitizer.

The alcohol and antibacterial properties of hand sanitizer help kill bacteria and neutralize odors.

After using the sanitizer, you can proceed to rinse your hands if you want, but it isn’t usually necessary.

3. Mix baking soda or salt with water.

Saltwater is the fisherman’s go-to solution. Mixing a heaping amount of salt into a bowl of water and using that to wash your hands will quickly eradicate the fishy smell on your hands.

Another option is to mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your hands, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash your hands normally.

4. Use a stainless steel soap bar.

This metal bar of soap is a bit of a miracle. The metal binds the molecules of sulfurous foods, and as you rub your hands with the bar, it transfers the smells/molecules from your hands to the bar. After this, wash your hands normally.

The only downside to this option is that you probably don’t have one lying around in your house.

5. Rinse your hands with cold water first. 

This method gets the fish off your hands without cooking it with warm/hot water. Some people swear by this trick. If the fishy odor isn’t overly intense, it works.

After you have rinsed them with cold water, continue to wash them normally with warm water and soap.

How Do You Get Rid of Fish Smell Quickly?

The quickest and most effective way to get rid of the fish smell on your hands is to wear gloves while handling fish. If the fish don’t come into direct contact with your skin, you won’t need to focus on how to get the unpleasant odor off your hands.

You can use a durable pair of rubber or latex gloves. Latex gloves are disposable and more likely to rip. But if that’s all you have, they will work. To wash rubber gloves, you can use laundry detergent and soapy water.

You’ll want to soak and scrub them until the smell is gone and then hang them to dry.

Why Do My Hands Still Smell Like Fish After Washing?

If you have followed our advice, it could be that you didn’t leave the solution on your hands for long enough or that the smell is under your fingernails. You can use a small brush to scrub your fingertips and nails to ensure you get rid of all the smelly bacteria hiding in the shadows.

You should also be cautious to wash the other areas of your kitchen or boat. If you touched your countertops, faucet, steering wheel, or any other surface with fishy hands, you should wipe those down with an antibacterial towel. The bad smell won’t linger there as long as it will on your hands, but if you touch it, the smell could transfer to your skin.

Finally, if you simply washed your hands with regular soap and water, they are likely going to smell a little fishy for at least 24 hours. Try one of our hacks to leave your hands smelling fresh, or at least not fishy.


Now that you have learned multiple methods and home remedies of getting fish smell off your hands, you can continue cooking, fishing, and exploring without fear. The two best and easiest options are to wear rubber or latex gloves to avoid the issue entirely or invest in a stainless steel bar.

However, the other options also work well to change the pH levels and eliminate the fishy odor from your hands.