When you work with metal for long hours, your hands tend to smell like iron. Hands that smell like metal are common among people who work in iron mills or any other place where they handle to iron on a daily basis. The good news is that this isn’t an indication of any serious medical condition. It’s just the natural result of your body excreting excess sulfur as a byproduct of metabolizing protein. Your hands smelling like metal after working with it for extended periods is completely normal; however, it can be quite annoying and uncomfortable at times. So if you find yourself in this situation often, read on to find out more about why your hands smell like metal and how you can get rid of the unpleasant odor.
Why Do My Hands Smell Like Metal After I Wash Them?
The chemical composition of skin is very similar to that of the metal itself. Both contain a lot of calcium and magnesium, which explains why hands can sometimes smell like metal. However, if the hands are washed with soap after work or after playing sports, the skin’s natural oils can counteract this effect. If you wash your hands with plain water, the smell will be even stronger.
What Does It Mean When Your Hands Smell Like Metal?
- Your hands are not washed properly and need to be washed with soap after work or after playing sports.
- You have a severe skin disease that is causing you to sweat more than normal.
- You have a metal allergy and your hands are reacting to the metals on your body, like jewelry or keys.
- You are working in an environment where metallic dust is present and the metal in your hand is rubbing against it, which is causing the smell of metal.
- The smell of metal is coming from your hair and skin as well as from your hands, which means that you might have a scalp infection with an open sore or an open wound on your head or wrist (possibly from a fall).
- You are allergic to metal, metal particles are in your environment or you have a metal allergy.
- You are working in an area where there is a lot of metal dust or metal on the floor that is getting rubbed into your skin, causing the smell of metal.
- You have a skin disease that is causing you to sweat more than normal and you do not wash your hands properly after work or after playing sports, which causes the smell of metal to be stronger than normal.
- Your hands are burning from cold temperatures and you have been exposed to cold for too long, which causes the smell of metal to be stronger than normal.
- Your hands have been exposed to chemicals and they need to be washed with soap after work or after playing sports to remove the chemicals from them and get rid of the smell of metals (like if you were working with chemicals).
How To Make Your Hands Stop Smelling Like Metal?
Avoid metal-containing foods and supplements
As mentioned above, the smell of metal originates from the body’s reaction to the sulfur-containing amino acids in food. This reaction is caused by the production of hydrogen sulfide, which is created when you consume foods containing sulfur-containing amino acids. For example, if you include garlic in your diet, your body will convert these amino acids into hydrogen sulfide and cause that metallic smell. Therefore, one of the best ways to avoid this odor is to cut down on foods containing sulfur-containing amino acids.
Take a bath with Epsom salt or baking soda
Another way to eliminate this smell is by bathing with Epsom salt or baking soda (a small amount). The reason why these two ingredients are effective is that they neutralize hydrogen sulfide by absorbing it from your skin and preventing its production in the first place. It’s easy to use them every time you take a shower; simply add a few drops of either one of these ingredients into your bath water before stepping inside and leaving them there for about 20 minutes, or until you feel like getting out again. Afterward, splash some water on your face and pat dry with a soft towel before going out into the world!
Use tea tree oil to reduce sulfur odors in your hands
Tea tree oil contains an essential oil called terpinene-4-ol that has been known for its ability to effectively eliminate odors. It’s also known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which can help you prevent bacterial infections and reduce the number of germs that you come in contact with. Because of these qualities, terpinene-4-ol is commonly used in products for personal hygiene, such as deodorants.
Apply a few drops of lavender oil to your hands before bedtime
This oil has been known to effectively eliminate odors by absorbing the sulfur compounds from your skin, thus neutralizing them before they can cause any harm to your body. To use it effectively, simply apply a few drops onto your hands before going to sleep and letting it absorb into your skin overnight. In the morning, wash off with soap and water; if you have a severe case of sulfur odor on your hands that won’t go away no matter what you do, then you may want to consider using this solution on a regular basis so that it can work at its best without fail!
To get the most out of it, add 3–5 drops (about 1–2 ml) into 1 cup (250 ml) of water and soak in your hands for 20 minutes. Then wash off with warm water or soap. You could also add 2 tablespoons (30 g) of rosemary essential oil into 2 cups (500 ml) of boiling water and let simmer for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water or soap; this solution is also effective for eliminating odors.
Use tea tree oil to naturally eliminate sulfur odors from your home
The oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help you prevent bacteria and mold from taking over your home and causing harmful health effects, such as influenza and bronchitis. It’s also known for its ability to neutralize hydrogen sulfide, which is a kind of sulfur compound that can cause an unpleasant smell in your home without you even realizing it. By using a few drops of tea tree oil on a regular basis, you can prevent this type of odor from occurring by absorbing the sulfur compounds before they can cause any harm to your body or the environment.
To use it, simply add a few drops of tea tree oil into a spray bottle filled with water and spray onto nearby areas where you can smell a strong sulfur odor.
The good news is that the metallic smell from your hands is completely normal. It happens because of your metabolism metabolizes the sulfur-containing amino acids into hydrogen sulfide, which is responsible for the pungent odor that resembles rotten eggs. The most common way to get rid of the metallic smell from your hands is to dry them thoroughly after washing. You can also use a drying agent inside the gloves, such as cornstarch or baking soda, to soak up the moisture and reduce the smell. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of iron deficiency, which may lead to more serious health issues.