How to Get Rid of Essential Oil Smell on Hands

washing hands

Using essential oils is a popular way to enjoy their various benefits, such as relaxation or invigoration. 

However, these concentrated oils often leave a strong and persistent scent on the hands. 

If you’re looking for effective ways to eliminate the smell of essential oils from your hands, this article will guide you through some simple and natural methods.

Let’s get started.

Why Essential Oils Leave a Lingering Smell

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that contain aromatic compounds. 

When applied to the skin, these compounds tend to stick to the surface, resulting in a lingering smell on the hands. 

The intensity and duration of the scent can vary depending on the type of oil used and its concentration.

Tips for Immediate Odor Reduction

Using Soap and Water

The first step to reducing the smell of essential oils on your hands is to wash them thoroughly with soap and water. 

Choose a gentle, fragrance-free soap and rub your hands together vigorously, ensuring all areas are properly lathered. Rinse your hands with warm water and pat them dry with a clean towel.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

A mixture of lemon juice and baking soda can help neutralize the odor of essential oils. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a bowl and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it well to form a paste. 

Apply the paste to your hands and rub them together for a couple of minutes. Rinse with water and enjoy the refreshing citrus scent.

White Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is known for its odor-neutralizing properties. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl or basin. 

Soak your hands in the solution for a few minutes, allowing the vinegar to break down the essential oil scent. Rinse your hands with water and pat them dry.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can effectively dissolve the essential oil residue on your hands. 

Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball or pad and gently rub it over your hands. 

The alcohol will evaporate quickly, taking the oil smell with it. Wash your hands with soap and water afterward to remove any residue.

Exfoliating with Salt or Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating your hands with a salt or sugar scrub can help remove the lingering smell of essential oils. 

Mix a tablespoon of salt or sugar with a few drops of your favorite moisturizing oil, such as coconut or olive oil, to create a paste. 

Massage the scrub gently onto your hands, paying extra attention to the areas where the oil scent is concentrated. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

Natural Remedies for Odor Removal

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is known for its ability to absorb odors. You can find activated charcoal powder or capsules at health food stores or online. Wet your hands and sprinkle a small amount of activated charcoal onto them. 

Rub your hands together for a minute or two, allowing the charcoal to absorb the essential oil scent. Rinse thoroughly and wash with soap and water.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds not only have a strong aroma but also work as a natural deodorizer. Take a handful of used coffee grounds and rub them onto your hands for a few minutes. 

The coffee grounds will help neutralize the essential oil scent. Rinse your hands with water and wash with soap if necessary.

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is effective in removing strong odors, including essential oil smells. Pour some tomato juice into a bowl and soak your hands in it for about five minutes. 

The natural acids in the tomato juice will help break down the oil residue. Rinse your hands thoroughly with water and wash with soap to remove any residual smell.


Getting rid of essential oil smells on your hands is easier than you might think. 

Experiment with these methods to find the one that works best for you and enjoy your essential oils without worrying about the persistent smell on your hands.

By following the tips and remedies mentioned in this article, you can effectively eliminate the lingering scent. 

Spilled some essential oil on the fabric? Read How to Remove Essential Oil Smell from Fabric.  


Can I use any soap to remove the essential oil smell from my hands?

It’s best to use a fragrance-free soap when removing essential oil smells from your hands. This will ensure that the soap doesn’t add any additional scents that may clash with or mask the oil smell.

How long does the smell of essential oils usually last on the hands?

The duration of the essential oil smell on your hands can vary depending on factors such as the type of oil used and its concentration. In general, the scent can last anywhere from a few hours to a day or two.

Can I use essential oils to mask the smell of other substances on my hands?

While essential oils have their own distinct scents, they may not effectively mask strong odors from other substances on your hands. It’s best to use methods specifically designed to remove or neutralize the odor, such as washing with soap and water or using natural remedies mentioned in this article.

Are there any other natural remedies for removing stubborn odors from hands?

Yes, there are several other natural remedies you can try. Some options include rubbing your hands with stainless steel (e.g., a spoon), applying a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, or using a paste made of crushed mint leaves and water.

What should I do if the smell persists even after trying these methods?

If the smell of essential oils persists despite trying the suggested methods, you can try repeating the steps or seeking additional remedies. It’s also a good idea to ensure proper ventilation in your surroundings to allow the scent to dissipate naturally over time.

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