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How do you get rid of garlic or onion breath?

Garlic and onions add flavor to meals, which can be beneficial to health. Alas, both can also cause bad breath, known as halitosis, particularly when eating raw.

The distinctive smell in garlic and onion is caused by sulphur-containing chemicals. The smell can last for hours and even overnight on a person’s breath which discourages some people from eating these vegetables.

Fortunately, many home remedies may prevent bad breath, or remove it. We’ll describe 12 simple methods below.

12 ways to get rid of the smell

Garlic and onions
Some home remedies may help to prevent the bad breath associated with garlic and onion consumption.

There is no need to forgo the advantages of garlic and onions in terms of taste and wellbeing. Seek the following suggestions to prevent certain vegetables being associated with poor breath.

1. Drink water yourself

Drinking water after meals can wash any remnants of garlic or onion from the tongue or between the teeth.

It also stimulates saliva production, which helps remove some of the fragrance-producing bacteria from the mouth.

2. Brush and floss

The bacteria that lead to bad breath are normally located on the teeth in a plaque and under the surface of the gum.

Brushing the teeth and flossing after meals can reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth significantly, and eliminate other causes of bad breath, including plaque and food particles.

3. Use a tongue scraper

A person often neglects to brush the tongue and mouth roof, and the back of the tongue is the perfect place to collect bacteria. An individual might even notice the formation of a white film on the tongue.

Every day, the use of a tongue scraper or brush can remove dead skin cells, microbes and tiny food particles. Begin to scrap until no residue remains on the scraper.

4. Rinse with mouthwash

A strong-smelling mouthwash, such as one with peppermint, may hide the smell of garlic or onions at breath.

Some research suggests that the use of a chlorine dioxide mouthwash is particularly effective in removing plaque, bacteria and tiny particles from food.

5. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Eating fresh produce with or after meals can hide the odors of garlic and onions.

Researchers found in one study that consuming raw apple or raw lettuce dramatically reduced the odor of garlic at breath.

6. Eat herb leaves

Chewing parsley after eating is an age-old remedy for garlic or onion breath. This herb purifies the palate and masks unpleasant smells.

It has also been shown that mint leaves greatly minimize the breath from garlic.

7. Try apple cider vinegar

Some people say drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water before or after meals gets rid of breath from the garlic or onion.

That’s not a medically approved method, though. Before using apple cider vinegar as a home remedy a person should always check with their doctor.

8. Have a cup of green tea

If you sip green tea after eating it can help cover up strong odours. One research indicated that green tea more effectively removed bad breath than mints, chewing gum, or a drug containing parsley oil.

Green tea may have additional benefits for the oral health. Another study found that the plaque could be reduced as effectively as antiseptic mouthwash by a mouthwash containing catechins which are beneficial compounds in green tea.

9. Chew gum

The minty-flavored chewing gum will mask unpleasant odors on the go. It also stimulates the production of saliva, which may help to wash away bacteria and particles from food.

A person who chews sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can also reduce their risk of tooth decay according to the American Dental Association.

Full-fat milk may reduce the odor caused by garlic.
Full-fat milk may reduce the odor caused by garlic.

10. Drink some milk

Drinking a glass of milk before or after a garlic-heavy meal can lower the concentration of sulfur-containing compounds in the mouth and cause bad odour.

Research has shown that whole-fat milk is better than fat-free milk in reducing odor.

11. Drink water in limon

Lemon juice can help in neutralizing the breath smell of onions or garlic. Try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon) to a glass of water and drinking it after a meal that is rich in onions or garlic.

12. Remove core of garlic

The risk of producing garlic breath can be reduced while cooking a meal. Cut growing garlic clove in half and cut the stalk from the center of the bulb before adding the bulb to the platter.

Why do garlic and onions cause bad breath?

Some compounds may be responsible for bad breath and even body odour in onions , garlic, or both. Including:

  • Allicin. When the insides of a garlic bulb are exposed to air, a substance called alliin turns into allicin, which then changes into several sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its smell.
  • Allyl methyl sulfide. This compound is released from both garlic and onions when they are cut. Once eaten, the substance is absorbed into the bloodstream, and emitted through the lungs and skin pores.
  • Cysteine sulfoxide. This sulfuric compound in garlic and onions causes an unpleasant odor on the breath almost immediately after the vegetables are eaten.


Although the bad breath induced by garlic or onions doesn’t really last long, there are many ways to get rid of it. It can help you practice proper oral hygiene, drink green tea or milk, eat fresh produce and mask the smell.

What works for one person may not work for another, so try a few different remedies to find out which one is best to get rid of breath from garlic or onion.

Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka Martins is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.