How to Get Fish Smell Off Hands

If there is one thing fishing for beginners need to explain, it is how to get rid fish smell off your hands.

Anyone who ever goes fishing has the same problem until they learn the effective ways you can easily get the smell off your hands.

You may think you have to purchase expensive masking agents or cleaners, yet this isn’t the case.

It is easy to remove fish smell using things you have around the home. So, next time you are hitting the river, doing a spot of ice fishing, or doing some kayak fishing.

Ways To Get Fish Smell Off Your Hands

Remember to keep some of the following items close, and you can quickly get the smell from your hands before you head off home.

Why Do Fish Make My Hands Smell?

Before you learn how to remove fish smell from hands, it is good to learn why hands have a fishy smell in the first place.

The tissues in fish are made up of a chemical called trimethylamine oxide, and this itself is odorless. However, once a fish is out of the water, the trimethylamine oxide is quickly broken down by bacteria.

The resulting compounds are variants of ammonia, and thus this leaves you with fishy hands after touching the fish.

You may already know that washing your hands with soap is of little use, and the smell stays there.

However, here are a few ways you can combat the fish smell, and get fish smell of hands in no time.

Best Methods How to Get Rid of Fish Smell

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda has been used around homes for centuries to remove bad odors. All you need to do is the following.

  1. Make a paste from 2 tablespoons of baking soda and water.
  2. Take the paste and rub your hands together for a couple of minutes
  3. Rinse your hands under running water

The way this works is because a soda and water paste will break down acids or bases. A smell can be either of these, so the smell can be neutralized, and thus remove the smell from hands.

2. Lemon & Vinegar

You can use either of these; however, many anglers prefer lemon juice because vinegar can be pungent in its own right for a while.

All you need to do is wash your hands with the juice of the lemon (or rub lemon slices in your hands), and then rinse with warm water.

This is of the oldest means of stopping your hands smelling. These two liquids can also remove fish odors around the home for the same reason. They also break down the compounds that create the smell.

3. Coffee Grounds

The first two here can be easy to carry when you go fishing. However, coffee grounds are another great way to combat fish hands smell. If you are off camping, save those coffee grounds from the morning cup, and you have an effective way to remove the smell.

Rub them around your hands and fingers, then wash with soap and water. You should note: coffee grounds don’t break down the smell, and they only mask it with the smell of coffee. You can also use ketchup in the same way, this also masks the smell, but you may find it too sticky.

4. Toothpaste

When your hands smell of fish, all it takes is for a drop of fluoride toothpaste. Rub this between your fingers with a bit of water for a minute or two. It will work as it does when you clean your teeth.

The bad odors will be neutralized, and once you wash your hands, you are left with a minty fresh pair hands.

Toothpaste also has the advantage of helping to remove any oils or dirt on your hands at the same time.

Mihey Magic Odor Absorber Stainless Steel Soap Kitchen Odor Remover Bar with Base Tray Effectively Eliminate Smell Like Fish, Onion and Garlic

How to Remove Fish Smell with Metal

All of the above methods are great to remove fish smell, yet when you see long-time anglers, they may not resort to any of these methods.

Stainless steel is an effective way of removing these odors. It is so effective; you can even purchase a stainless bar of soap. Being the regular size and shape, all it takes is to run your hands all around the bar.

It may sound strange, yet it is proven to work. What happens is the molecules of ammonia bind to the steel, and are neutralized. While they may not be neutralized in the same manner as soda or lemon does, but the smell does vanish from your hands.

You can also find, there is nothing magical with these stainless soap bars, and you can achieve the same with a stainless knife blade. The only thing is, you may need a large stainless blade, and you will need to be careful you don’t cut yourself on the blade.

Either way, rub against the stainless and then rinse with regular water and soap. You will quickly tell the difference, and it will remove the smell from hands.


It doesn’t matter what kind of fishing you do; it will be inevitable that you will encounter this smell after you pack up.

Now, rather than jumping in your vehicle, or sitting around your camp with hands smelling of fish, you have the best methods to get rid of this from items you will have on your person.

The only method above that requires you to purchase anything could be the steel soap, and even then, you don’t need to go to this extent.

Anglers of all ages use most of the methods here, and all of them are proven effective to prevent you from stinking of fish.

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