Why Is Garlic Sticky Here’s What’s Going On

Garlic has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. It was even mentioned in the Bible. Garlic is also known as a superfood because it contains high levels of antioxidants and nutrients.

There are many health benefits associated with garlic including lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, fighting cancer, boosting immunity, improving digestion, and much more.

It’s a genuine nuisance to peel and crush, as good and tasty as garlic may be in a dish. Some because it’s so laborious and tiny, but sticky, too. You’re in a world of sticky, messy misery once you chop your garlic, or worse when you smash it. You, knife, board, garlic press, and anything else you have ever touched will stick with crushed garlic. Everybody’s going to smell like garlic.

But why is that sticky garlic? Does it exist in any way? And how do you smell the garlic once you’re done? All these and more, come up.

Why is garlic sticky?

The reason garlic gets stuck on everything is due to its natural oil content. The main ingredient found in garlic is allicin which gives off an odor called “garlicky”.

This aroma comes from the sulfur compounds within the compound. When chopped into small pieces, this chemical reaction occurs faster than if they were whole. As such, the scent becomes stronger over time.

Garlic is sticky because it contains mercaptan, a sulfur molecule that attracts other sulfur-containing compounds like cysteine, which is present in skin, nails, and hair. When the two sulfur molecules (garlic juice and cysteine in your skin) come into touch, they establish an extremely strong connection that can persist for days.

This manifested itself in physical connections, making your hands sticky. It’s also why garlic juice will almost always get stuck under your nails and won’t come out for days. Garlic juice builds upon the knife, which causes it to get sticky. It dries and then piles up on itself, finally resulting in a sticky knife.

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Is sticky garlic bad?

No! In fact, there are several ways to use garlic without getting it stuck onto things. For example:

1. Use a garlic crusher instead of chopping it by hand. This allows you to control the amount of garlic juice released at one time.

2. Don’t put garlic directly on food; rather, rub it around the surface before adding it to dishes.

3. If you want to make sure no garlic remains after cooking, simply add some lemon juice to the water while boiling the vegetables.

4. To remove garlic juice from clothes, soak them in vinegar overnight. Then wash thoroughly.

5. Rubbing raw garlic cloves against your face helps reduce acne breakouts.

6. A paste made from ground garlic mixed with olive oil makes a great body scrub.

7. Mixing minced garlic with honey creates a delicious spreadable topping for bread.

Sticky garlic isn’t a bad thing; it’s just an indication that the garlic juice is fresh and delicious. As you can see, the sulfur component produced by garlic can only occur if the garlic was grown in the right soil. As a result, it’s the polar opposite of a rotten garlic clove.

It’s an indication that your garlic has gone bad if it’s sticky when raw and uncut. In this scenario, you’ll see that the garlic has likely developed blue mold, or is on the verge of doing so.

How do you keep the garlic from sticking?

There are many methods available to prevent garlic from sticking to surfaces. Some involve using different types of utensils, others require special tools, but most work well enough.

Here are three simple tips to help avoid sticky garlic:

Wet your knife and hands

When cutting garlic, wet your blade first. You don’t need to be too thorough about it as long as you’re not leaving any residue behind. Just wipe down the handle with a damp cloth afterward.

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Garlic juices are diluted by water, which reduces their adhesive power and allows them to be rinsed off more easily. You’ll still have to clean everything thoroughly afterward; it’ll just be easier. If you’re going to cut it, just be careful not to slide your hands on the knife.

Using an olive oil drizzle and a crusher

If you have access to a garlic crusher, try crushing the garlic yourself. The process takes less time than buying pre-crushed garlic. Plus, you know exactly how much garlic you’ve used.

Sprinkle coarse salt

Coarse sea salt works best because its large crystals allow it to penetrate into the skin of the garlic bulb. Once inside, they absorb moisture and create tiny pores where the liquid can escape.

The salt draws moisture away from the garlic, preventing it from becoming sticky. Salt also acts like glue, holding the garlic together until you’re ready to chop it. You may find that you prefer crushed garlic over chopped garlic.

Garlic cloves should be cut and peeled as normal, then crushed. Crush them in a bowl, then season with coarse salt after all of the garlic is in there. Start combining and crushing the garlic with the back of your spoon using a tablespoon. You’ll smash the garlic a little more to release more juice, and then add a few drops of water. The end product should be a thick, somewhat frothy garlic juice that is hot, pungent, and 100% garlic. It also means that only the spoon comes into direct touch with the smashed garlic, rather than your hands.

How to Get Garlic Smell Out of Your Hands

You might think that washing your hands would get rid of the odor, but it won’t. Instead, use baking soda mixed with warm water. This will neutralize the odors left behind by cooking, cleaning, etc. while removing stains.

Lemon juice

This one sounds weird at first, but lemon juice actually helps remove some of the smell. Simply rub your hands under running cold tap water for 10 minutes before scrubbing them with soap. Then rinse again with cool water. Lemon juice doesn’t leave a stain either.

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Fresh parsley

Parsley has been known to mask smells, so if you want to make sure no trace of garlic remains, sprinkle fresh parsley leaves onto your hands when rubbing them with baking soda.

To tone down the impact of garlic, many people advocate adding fresh parsley with it. Crop the raw, fresh parsley after the garlic if you’re using both. Although your hands may become green, the odor should be almost gone. Some people will benefit from this, while others will not. Parsley hasn’t always had positive outcomes.

Deep scrub with dish soap

Dish detergent removes grease better than anything else. Use this method instead of handwashing whenever possible.

If you want a cleaner to go at this, wash your hands with dish soap first. It’s a really powerful and abrasive chemical, and if you use it on a regular basis, it’ll dry up your hands. However, you should be alright this time. Unless you have a skin problem, in which case garlic will also be ineffective. If you’re washing your hands, make sure to use the dish sponge as well. To make sure you got every spot where the garlic may have penetrated, use a little soap under your nails and along your cuticles. Rinse your hands thoroughly with hot water. After patting dry, add a moisturizing lotion right away.


I hope this article provided what you were looking for and helped you with all your food curiosities about garlic.

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