General Question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

What's the best way to get oils from hot peppers off your hands?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12532points) September 14th, 2009

Say you chop hot peppers with bare hands, and then your hands feel really hot, especially around the fingernails. What do you do, besides just soap and water?

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28 Answers

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I use copious amounts of lemon juice and a vegetable scrubbing brush, then wash your hands with soap and water, and apply some nice moisturizer. Lemon juice will really dry out your skin.

wildpotato's avatar

Ug, I hate that feeling. That’s why I make Mr. Potato handle the hot stuff. I know that handling something made of steel works for garlic. But I think a better thing for hot peppers might be to soak your fingers in milk for a few minutes – the base should cancel out the acid (capsaicin).

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

You might also try keeping some disposable rubber gloves around. That’s what I do when I have to chop up habaneros.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra: Oh I definitely will from now on! It’s weird, my tongue used to be super-sensitive to hot things, so I never ever cooked with peppers, but now I’m starting to really like them, so I thought I’d give it a try tonight. Everything tasted amazing in my mouth, now it’s my hands that can’t handle it!
Yeah, we made fajitas for real. The only thing pre-made was the hand-rolled tortillas from Central Market. My belly is on cloud nine right now.

rooeytoo's avatar

What ever you do, don’t rub your eyes or any other delicate part of your being. I always have itchy eyes and forget about the chilis on my hand, wow, I remember pretty damned quick then!

YARNLADY's avatar

I think you could use an oil based product to remove it, like peanut butter, olive oil, or butter. Maybe toothpaste

Judi's avatar

I think that the hot in pepper is a base, so lemon, vinegar or orange juice should help. If it’s an acid, try baking soda. (Science geeks will you clarify if peppers are an acid or a base? My experiements never worked in chemestry. )

oratio's avatar

It seems as if Capsaicin is a base.

Curiously, I just read that products containing Casein protein works well to remove it. I have no idea if that is true. Does it help eating dairy cream against a burning mouth?

sandystrachan's avatar

Same as if your mouth was on fire due to chillies , use milk , milk and more milk .

sandystrachan's avatar

@oratio Milk is the best thing for chillie burn mouth syndrome , if you drink lager or fizzy drinks . The bubbles burts on the tongue and heighten the sensation and makes the burning sensation last longer

sandystrachan's avatar

Chop chillie with gloves on , saves on milk :P

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critter1982's avatar

This just happened to me the other day. I tried everything, soaking my hands in milk, rubbing stainless steel on them, soap and water, salt, goo gone, and butter. Nothing seemed to work so I just waited it out. It took about an hour before I fell asleep.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

My husband makes stuffed jalepeno peppers all the time. He wears latex gloves. The easiest thing is to not get the peppers on your hands in the first place.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Trust me, lemon juice works well. Citrus is a good counter agent to capsaicin. I keep a bottle of generic lemon juice from concentrate in the fridge just for this purpose. I use lime juice for my Mexican food cooking. And I drink non carbonated lemonade for the mouth burn. Doesn’t work as quickly as milk, but if you eat hot food only to need something to immediately kill the burn, why are you eating it in the first place? I eat hot peppers for the endorphin rush. A way better high that marijuana, and its legal.

wundayatta's avatar

This discussion is making my fingertips tingle!

Soap and water works for me. I just scrub for a while. Like @rooeytoo, I learned the hard way the hazards of touching other, sensitive parts of your body without getting the capsaicin of my hands, first.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@critter1982: Yeah same, I tried everything! it’s been about 15 hours, and I can still feel the chili oil under my thumbnails!
@rooeytoo: That’s the worst part! I knew I still had chili oil on my hands last night, but I HAD to take my contacts out. It burned like a m*f* for a second, but luckily it stopped immediately. I’m thinking of throwing those contacts out…

I love all the people telling me not to do it in the first place, even though I had already explained that in the future I wouldn’t..

hearkat's avatar

@rooeytoo: And make sure not to touch any of your partner’s “sensitive parts”!! A lesson learned the hard way many years ago… unforgettable! >.<

sdeutsch's avatar

Lemon juice definitely works well – that’s what my mom always used, and now I do too!

In case you need to chop more peppers and don’t have rubber gloves around, putting plastic sandwich bags on your hands works well too!

YARNLADY's avatar

@La_chica_gomela sometimes the question is answered with the future users in mind, not just the current asker

Response moderated
La_chica_gomela's avatar

@YARNLADY: Sometimes three people have already said the same thing, so saying it again is quite repetitive, even for future users.

Garebo's avatar

Yes, it only take experiencing the pain of hot peppers once after touching your eyes, nose or nuts before you learn you will never ever do that again. Gloves, alcohol, vinegar or acids, are all required as remedies – as said.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@hearkat although, if you using a less volatile pepper than the habanero, say the jalapeno, and in small amounts, the warming sensation of the pepper juice can have some uses in the bedroom, on your partners sensitive bits.

hearkat's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra: These were oils from raw jalapeƱos, fresh from our garden, on my sensitive bits… it was accidental overstimulation, to say the least.

sandystrachan's avatar

Somepeople enjoy chillie oil/ sauce on the nether regions , it’s some kind of a turn on and saves money on those heat/ tingly lubricants

rooeytoo's avatar

@sandystrachan – based on the burning in my eyes when I have absentmindedly rubbed them after chopping chillies suggests that activity should come under the heading of serious sadism and masochism. Makes me wiggle to just think about it!!!

goodmoodgirl's avatar

hand sanitizer it will also remove gas instantly

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