The Garlic Smell




While the smell of garlic may be appetizing even mouth-watering when it’s cooking into a pot of spaghetti sauce, baking into a piece of garlic bread, or made into a dip, there are times when the smell of garlic is, to say the least, a nuisance and can even be repugnant.

For years I’ve struggled with finding storage containers that are appropriate for storing foods with a heavy garlic smell (ditto for onion). When food with this strong smell are stored in plastic containers the smell is next to impossible to get out, and thus can be transferred to whatever is next stored in the container. I have adopted two rules for storing foods with heavy garlic or onion smell 1)store these foods in disposable containers, or 2) do not save leftovers.

A few days ago I broke my own rules and saved some (heavy on the garlic) clam sauce in a plastic container (one that I really didn’t want to throw away). Yesterday, after I emptied the container, I attempted to clean it. While it looked clean the garlic odor lingered in the bowl. In the past I have tried soaking plastic bowls in vinegar or lemon juice to get rid of the garlic smell, I’ve  also tried scrubbing the plastic with baking soda, and combining the baking soda with vinegar to get rid of it, all to no avail.

Yesterday, after I realized my mistake, I remembered reading about, and then blogging about, cooks who use coffee soap to wash the smell of garlic from their hands,    I thought maybe coffee would work in this instance. I took the used coffee grounds from the morning, which were still on the top in the compost bucket, and put some in the bowl. I filled the bowl with hot water, put the lid on, I shook the bowl up, then let it sit for 10 minutes. When I opened the bowl and poured the coffee and grounds down the disposal, the garlic smell was replaced by a coffee smell. I washed the bowl with dish soap and hot water and all odors were gone.

I do not know if all of these steps were necessary. It is possible that soaking the bowl with brewed coffee (no grounds) would have removed the odor, or that a simple scrubbing with a few coffee grounds would have done the trick, and I will probably experiment with these options in the future. I just thought I would share with you the method that did work.

Now that I have discovered this trick I’m wondering if drinking coffee is the solution to garlic breath.

I would love to hear from you.

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