Last Updated on 17th December 2021 by
Why is it the spicy foods that tend to stick to your fingers? After cooking with chilli powder to slicing hot peppers, I can feel and see the residue on my fingers afterwards. As much as I love cooking with hot and spicy stuff, I don’t like having to struggle to get my fingers clean.
You just know that after you bake something using hot peppers that there will be an itch near your eye and you will be tempted to scratch at it. Then there is pepper in your eye, and no one wants that. How to get capsaicin off hands and other spicy stuff? How do you make your hands safe for rubbing eyes after you have been making spicy foods?
There are a few methods you can use for how to get capsaicin off your hands. If one doesn’t work, just try another one, as I’m going to list a few of them here for you.
Hopefully, you won’t be stuck with spicy fingers for long. It is important to clean off spicy oils and powder from your hands as soon as possible, not just because of the irritation to your skin and eyes that could happen but also because you could end up flavouring other food that should not be spicy at all.
If you want to avoid having capsaicin or anything spicy on your hands in the first place, you can wear gloves when you are cooking with this kind of food. Just your normal food preparation gloves will work- disposable, clear, plastic gloves that can be tossed after you are done using them. They don’t have to be thick gloves at all to protect your hands from having spicy substances stuck to them.
Just be sure to put on the gloves before you start working with anything spicy, and then toss them after you are done with the spicy stuff. That way, you will avoid cross contamination.
Alcohol is a solvent, so it is good at removing substances from your hands that are stuck on there. Soap and water don’t work as well as a simple solvent like this. Any kind of alcohol will work, as it dissolves the capsaicin quickly and effectively and better than water does. Together, these two substances are more soluble than water and capsaicin.
You can use rubbing alcohol, and that’s probably the most cost effective kind of alcohol to use, but even a high proof alcohol will work. Just pour a little on your hands and rub your hands together. Then dry your hands with a paper towel to clean them. It takes very little alcohol to remove capsaicin, so don’t overdo it.
I like oil as a pepper remover as well. The oil combines with the chili oil, pepper oil or capsaicin oil to take it off the skin efficiently. You will still need to dry your hands with a paper towel or some kind of cloth.
It takes very little oil to remove chili oils and capsaicin. This is also an effective way how to get capsaicin cream off hands. Rub your fingers together gently and the spicy oil will come off of them. You can also use oil as a preventative measure. Pour a tiny bit on your fingers before you start working with peppers to prevent the oil spicy oil from sticking to your hands. What kind of oil should you use? Vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and just about any other oil you use for cooking will work just fine.
If you try to use hand soap to get capsaicin off of your hands, you might not find it very effective. The oils from the pepper can still cling to you, and you might start looking up how to get hot capsaicin off your hands.
Dish soap work so much better than hand soap does, as it is specifically designed to remove oils from surfaces. All you need is a couple of drops to get capsaicin off of your hands and have clean fingers again. Just rub the dish soap between your fingers and then rinse it off. Or you could just dry your hands after applying the dish soap. Either way, this is a lot more effective than using hand soap and water to try to get off the capsaicin.
I am firm believer in using baking soda for every kind of cleaning task you can. It works so well at removing stains, saving your aluminium, cleaning tiles, and doing just about everything else.
Baking soda is pretty powerful, and when you combine it with enough water to make a paste, it can be very effective for how to get capsaicin off of your hands. Only use a little water, and then use the baking soda paste to rub your fingers together and remove the capsaicin. It’s so easy, and most people have a little baking soda on hand in their kitchen.
You may be a little hesitant to put bleach on your fingers to try to remove anything. You might be concerned about the bleach changing the color of your skin or making your skin peel off. Relax, though- I am recommending using a very diluted solution of bleach. You will be mixing the bleach in water, using five times as much water as you do bleach. Once again, you only need a little of this powerful substance to remove the capsaicin or other spicy substance.
You can keep a solution of it nearby to dip your hands into as you work with the spicy peppers. This way, your hands will stay clean and you won’t have to worry about them spreading spiciness to anywhere else.
Once you are done cleaning up with the bleach and water solution, you can wash your hands with soap and water and then dry your hands thoroughly. Always be careful when working with bleach, as it can remove colour, leaving behind a white stain on fabric. It is also harmful in large quantities or if it gets into your eyes, nose, or mouth. Be sure to clean your hands completely after using bleach, even when it is diluted like this.
Now you know how to get capsaicin off of your hands and remove the spiciness from your fingertips. These are a few of the ways I use, but it is always better to prevent the spiciness from sticking to our hands in the first place. Just wear protective gloves when you work with the people and protect yourself from ever coming into contact with it.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here