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How do I get chili oil off of my hands?

Westy Sep 28, 2004 10:52 AM

After I finish chpping spicy chilis, the oil stays on my hands. Even after scrubbing with soap and water - the darn stuff remains. I rubbed my eyes the other night and felt like I had been tear-gassed. Any suggestions welcome.


  1. a
    Attknee Sep 29, 2004 05:40 PM

    Just make sure that you don't pee until you get it off, or you will think what happened to your eyes is a picnic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Attknee
      robstew48 Nov 5, 2010 03:12 AM

      To LATE { just been chopping and freezing home grown scotch bonnets then went for a pee, ouch}.

    2. c
      cap Sep 29, 2004 12:00 PM

      I use lemon juice (the cheapo bottled stuff even).

      1. g
        Gary Rolin Sep 28, 2004 04:38 PM

        You may not believe this, and I'm sure that someone will post me saying that I'm insane, but if you run your hands under cold water and rub your hands with an item of stainless steel (I use one of my teaspoons), the offending oils come right off.

        If you want to get superfancy, you can plunk down the $10.00 and get the official Stainless steel soap at http://wishingfish.com/steelsoap.html, but a spoon seems to work just as well.

        I've cut habaneros, done the stainless steel spoon bit and taken out my contacts, without major problems.

        In any case, it's a good stopgap for when you accidently run out of gloves...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gary Rolin
          Quazi Sep 28, 2004 09:45 PM

          This has always worked like a charm for me. This works for any odor or essence you may get on your hands - fish, garlic. peppers. Though I just rub my hands against my stainless steel coated faucet neck.

          1. re: Quazi
            adamclyde Oct 1, 2004 11:38 AM

            I know the stainless steel works for odors, but does it really work for chili oil? We need someone to explain the chemical bonds at play here... somehow the molecules that cause the odors, when they come in contact with the stainless steel release their bonds to your hands... but is that the same case with the chili oil? Do the molecular bonds that connects the capsaicum to your hands release in the same way as it does with garlic odors?

            I don't know... I'm hoping someone else has an answer on this one.

            - Adam

        2. b
          beth Sep 28, 2004 12:10 PM

          "Fast Orange" hand cleaner made by Permatex. It is a pumice cleaner with orange extract and will clean anything of your hands as well as remove the smell.

          1. f
            foo d Sep 28, 2004 11:44 AM

            never tried it myself, but does anyone know if would lemon or vinegar work?

            i know from first hand knowledge that rubbing chili oil-stained hands on the area surrounding my eyes doesn't work. ;-0 d'oh!

            1 Reply
            1. re: foo d
              Jon Sep 28, 2004 11:33 PM

              Try a mixture of baking soda and liquid soap. Coat your hands, let sit for a minute, and rinse. Baking soda is a great deodorizer and absorber. Repeat until the oils/smells are gone. I use this to get the perfume from those magazine inserts off my hands. If you have dry skin, put some moisturizer on afterward as the baking soda does have a drying effect.

            2. g
              gastronoman Sep 28, 2004 11:23 AM

              try some milk, or even beer (though i'd hate to waste a good bottle!). capsaicin, the spicy chemical in chilis, is soluble in fats or alcohol; barely in water.

              1. r
                rebs Sep 28, 2004 11:20 AM

                i posted this same question a few months back and i found that there really is nothing to get rid of it. it just takes time for the oil to wear off.

                since then though, i've purchased disposable gloves from the grocery store and they are definitely worth it.

                1. a
                  Alan408 Sep 28, 2004 11:15 AM

                  Wash your hands with rubbing alcohol, then with soap and water.

                  I use disposable gloves, cost ~$7 for a box of 100.

                  1. t
                    Tamar G Sep 28, 2004 11:11 AM

                    what about nail polish remover? stuff smells gross, but it takes paint off- why not chili oil?

                    1. s
                      Spencer Sep 28, 2004 11:06 AM

                      I haven't treid anything that works well- maybe someone has a good answer. I pour dry baking soda on my hands and rub it all over hands and fingers. Then I wash with soap and h2o. After about 2 hours, and not touching anything vital, it seems to be okay.

                      1. c
                        Chas Sep 28, 2004 11:03 AM

                        Next time I'd use rubber gloves.

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