How To Get That Fish Smell Out By Using These 3 Methods!

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how to get fish smell out of house

Fishing is fun; eating fish for dinner gives us a unique enjoyment, but the fishy smell is another serious matter. Removing those fishy smells can be challenging from your fish as well as from your home afterward.

Fishing is a wonderful adventure that we experience in our lives. However, when you want to cook fish for your lunch or dinner, the stinky smell stays in your hand and the kitchen for so long.

The smell of the fish is so strong that it stays everywhere with which the fish has come into contact; on the fishing boat, in the kitchen, pots and pans, car, on your hands, clothes, etc.

Therefore, in this article, you will learn some of the best ways to help you enjoy your meal without bearing that fishing smell and getting rid of it.

How To Get That Fish Smell Out

Various methods explain how to get rid of fish smell. However, the methods depend on the odor and how deep-rooted it is. So, I have decided to list the best ways to get rid of the fish smell. You can use these ways according to your needs and situation.

image of a person cutting fish

It’s always good to have a successful day on the water, but it’s time to bring your catch home when the day is over. After dealing with many fish, people always encounter the fishy smell that seems to linger on them.

Over the years, anglers have found many practical ways to deal with the seemingly long-lasting smell that stems from their love of fishing. Most of these options you may already try at home. So, let’s get into those methods for details.

Related readings:
How Should You Pass A Fishing Boat? – (The Right Way)
What Is Magnet Fishing? Everything You Need To Know!

1 – Removing Fish Smells From Your Hands

#1.1 Cold Water.

According to different researches by local anglers, washing your hands with lukewarm water after cleaning dozens of fish does not help. It may be the worst method to do so for getting the smell out of hands.

Even if you wash your hands ten times, the smell just won’t go away.

image of a person handwashing

Therefore, the simplest thing you can do is wash your hands with cold water because it is considered the first and essential key to removing the smell. In addition, the cold water helps to remove fish remains or scales from your hands.

So, I suggest that you wash your hands with cold water. After the cold water step is complete, washing your hands with hot soapy water afterward can also help.

#1.2 By Using Toothpaste.

Another way to get rid of the fish smell from hands is by using toothpaste. After cleaning fish, your hands need scrubbing or scraping off to remove the remains of fish. Therefore, toothpaste can play the role of the Holy Grail in this regard.

image of a Toothpaste

Toothpaste is abrasive that cleans the dirt and stains that form on the teeth. These abrasive properties can scrape the hands’ superficial skin and remove any oil (from the fish’s body).

Just squeeze enough toothpaste into the palms and use clean water to foaming on the hands. Some fishermen often add a pinch of baking soda to their toothpaste because it seems more effective in removing the fishy smell.

#1.3 Stainless Steel.

One of the standard techniques that have been used for many years is washing hands with stainless steel. This technique has been used by many professional anglers in the past and is worth trying.

When you hold the fish, the sulfur compounds in the fish will be transferred to your hands, and stainless steel can remove these compounds from your hands and fingers.

A stainless steel bar soap looks the same as a simple soap that you used daily, except it contains the properties of stainless steel. You can simply rub the stainless steel soap in your hands like regular soap and then wash.

image of stainless steel bar soap

If you don’t need to put money into a stainless-steel bar soap, you may use a stainless-steel cooking or multi-cause tenting knife instead. Then, simply rub your hands thoroughly on the knife’s blade (carefully), and the scent would be eliminated out of your hands.

However, be very cautious when deciding to walk down this route, as a simple slip of a knife can harm you. Also, please make sure to clean the blade before you rub it into your hands.

#1.4 Lemon Juice Or White Vinegar.

Another method is to use lemon juice and white vinegar to get rid of the fish smell.

Some people prefer the former because the vinegar itself has a more pungent odor; however, both effectively remove the odor of fish because they contain acids that react with amines transferred from the fish to the skin.

image of lemon and vinegar bottle

Amines are compounds that produce fishy smells, and vinegar has the properties to reduce those amines. Just rub your hands with lemon juice or vinegar (or rub a few slices of lemon on your hands), and then rinse them off with water.

Lemon and vinegar are considered the most useful homemade solution to remove fish smell.

Moreover, it does not only help to get rid of the fish smell from the hands, but it also works best to remove fish odors on other things such as fillet knives, kitchen counters, chopping boards, and boning knives used in preparing the fish.

#1.5 Rub Some Salt Into Your Palms.

Many professional anglers claim that salt is the easiest and simplest method to remove fish odor. It can help to remove fish remains from the hand and eliminate the stinky smell in no time.

image of a bottle of salt

All you have to do is, wet your hands and take a small amount of salt into your palms, scrub the salts within your palms and wash your hands while cleaning. Fishermen promise that after using this method, the fishy odor will be gone in no time.

2 – How To Get Fish Smell Out of House/Kitchen

Even if you like to fish, cooking it in the kitchen can be a challenge: long after you have eaten fish, washed the pots, and put the dishes in the dishwasher, the smell of fish will still exist.

Chefs from all over the Internet have come up with various ways to cook fish without leaving an unpleasant smell. So, the following are some techniques that you can use to explain how to get fish smell out of the house.

#2.1 Boil Water & Vinegar.

When you have finished cooking fish, take a pot and add 3 to 4 cups of tap water; add 3 to 4 cups of distilled white vinegar and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame and let the pot seethe and steam for at least 18 to 20 minutes.

image of a bottle of Vinegar and water

When the steam of that mixture spreads over the kitchen, the fish smell will be removed gradually. This is the simplest and easiest trick; in 15 to 20 minutes, the fish smell will be gone. Many people consider this method a safe and affordable, moreover, a time saver.

#2.2 Bake Cookies Or Something Sweet.

Baking cookies and something sweet can really help to kill the fish smell. So when you have finished fish cooking, try to bake something sweet, whether it is cookies, cupcakes, or cakes.

image of cookie baking stuff

A sweet scent can remove the fish smell from the home and kitchen in no time. When the sweet scent starts to spread over the kitchen and home, the stinky smell of fish will be gone.

#2.3 By Using Essential Oils.

Essential oils are the best way to eliminate the fish smell from home. Their fragrance is strong enough to lessen the fish smell and even remove it.

image of seven bottles of Essential oils

You can use citrus essential oil in boiling water to remove the fishy smell in the kitchen. Take a pot, add tap water and mix essential oil into it. Let it simmer and steam so the fragrance can spread over the home and kitchen.

If you don’t want to put an extra pot of water on the stove for cooking, you can use an aroma diffuser to diffuse the citrus oil. Orange, tangerine, or lemon essential oils work well to remove the smell.

#2.4 Light a Candle.

Scented candles work great to remove the fishy smell. Especially those with lemon and mint scents. They can perfectly mask the smell of fish. Before cooking, light a candle and let it burn during and after the meal.

image of a person lighting the candle

One candle is enough to extinguish the smell. And instead of a fishy smell, you will be left with a pleasant aroma of the candle.

Moreover, the best thing is that you can also select your favorite fragrant candle. So, when you start cooking, your favorite candle will make your home smell good.

#2.5 Open Windows And Doors.

When you start cooking, make sure the windows and doors are open.

The reason behind this is, when you cook fish, the smell stays in the kitchen and home and is absorbed into the furniture and curtains; when you open the doors and windows, fresh air comes in, and the fish smell finds the way to go out.

This is the most used method to eliminate the fish smell. Moreover, many people use different techniques with this one if they do not find satisfying results because it mainly depends on the environment, atmosphere, and, most importantly, the location.

#2.6 Place A Cinnamon Stick.

The cinnamon stick is another method that many people use. You only have to place 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks and place them in the pot. Then, add some tap water into it and boil.

image of cinnamon sticks

You can also add some lemon slices to make the fragrance stronger. However, only cinnamon will also work great. When the cinnamon stick starts to boil, let it steam.

So, the cinnamon fragrance will diffuse all over the kitchen and home. When it starts spreading, the fish smell will go away in no time.

#2.7 Using A Lemon-Scented Cleaning Product.

Lemon-scented cleaning products have been used for many years to remove any type of smell from the kitchen. These products contain a lemon scent and some citric properties that make the environment smell fresh and good.

When you have finished cooking fish, you can wash your utensils with lemon-scented soaps, clean your cutting boards and kitchen slabs using lemon-scented cleaning products.

It is a great way to make your utensils and kitchen items smell good and eliminate the fish smell that can stay for long in your kitchen tools.

#2.8 Garlic Cloves & Fresh Thyme.

Garlic cloves and fresh thyme can work great to remove the fish smell. You can simply cook the fish in the garlic cloves and fresh thyme to eliminate the fishy smell, and it will also taste perfect.

Suggested readings:
What Is Fly Fishing? (Everything You Need To Know)
How To Set Up A Fishing Pole? – (The Absolute Beginner’s Guide)

How To Get Rid Of The Fish Smell From Your Clothes

The smell of fish is the most disgusting thing. When fishing, the fish oil fragments come into contact with clothing, and the fabric absorbs the smell of fish.

Washing alone cannot completely eliminate the fishy smell. Therefore, you have to follow some of the ways to remove the fishing smell from your clothes.

#3.1 Baking soda.

You can quickly eliminate the fish smell by using baking soda. It works great to remove the fishing odor from the cloth and make it fresh again.

image of a bottle of Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda on the cloth. Expose the fabric to the sun. Baking soda can eliminate odors, and sunlight helps disinfect fabrics. Leave the fabric in the sun for two hours.

#3.2 Vinegar.

Vinegar is another method that helps a lot to eliminate the fishing odor from the fabric. You only have to take a tub with cold water in it. Add one cup of vinegar into the cold tub. Pour the cloth into the vinegar water to distribute the vinegar through the fabric.

Leave the fabric in the tub for 20-30 minutes. Vinegar will remove all fishy smells. This is the most used and affordable method that everyone can use.

Moreover, it has been used by many professional anglers when they want to remove the fishing smell from their clothes.

#3.3 Vodka.

When trying to remove the fishy smell from clothes, vodka may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is actually very useful. Because it is transparent and contains a lot of alcohol, it can be applied to most clothing.

The alcohol content helps remove odors. Once dried, it should remove the fishy smell from the clothes without leaving the alcohol odor.

If possible, take a clean spray bottle, put alcohol in it, spray it evenly on the clothing, and hang it to dry. Once dried, you can rinse it in water.

Why Do Fish Smell?

When cooking meat such as chicken or ground beef, there is no smell unless it has been in the refrigerator for a long time. In most cases, you just need to throw the meat out of the package and season it.

image of a fish on the table

On the other hand, the fish smells very strongly. It seems strange that raw fish smells so strong, while the raw meat of terrestrial animals is tasteless.

But, why does fish smell?

It turns out that there is an exciting reason for this. When fish are caught, killed, and exposed to the air, they produce a fish odor. When these chemicals are released into the air, a process is called carboxylation.

The odor is caused by the production of amine in this process. The longer the fish is outside or exposed to air, the stronger its smell.

However, not all fish have the same smell. This enzyme is most commonly found in fish, primarily found on the surface of cold water. Therefore, if you hate smelly fish, avoid saltwater fish such as haddock or cod, and choose freshwater salmon or trout instead.

Final Verdict:

The smell of the fish is the most offensive part of fishing. Everyone loves to eat and cook fish, but the scent stops many people from doing so.

Therefore, you have to use the best way to get the smell out of your clothes, home, kitchen, and hands. The fish smell-preventing methods are supposed to be a game-changer in the fishing experience for many people.

Those people couldn’t resist eating and cooking fish. So use the techniques and enjoy fish on their regular meal.

However, not every method works great to remove the fishing smell, but the ways I have mentioned above are a tested and proven technique that helps you remove the smell and give this stinky fishy smell a tough time.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – How do I get rid of the fishy smell fast?

Cooking fish will produce an unpleasant smell. It can occupy the entire house for several hours. Therefore many people asked about how to get rid of the fish smell after cooking. Distilled white vinegar is a holy grail to remove the fishing smell very fast.

You can wash your hands with distilled white vinegar. Moreover, you can also add it to your fish dishes to eliminate the fishy odor and enhance the taste. Additionally, add vinegar and a little baking soda to remove the fishy smell from things.

#2 – How do you make the fish taste less fishy?

The fish tastes fishy when it wasn’t handled properly. First, make sure the fish is fresh. To check this, it should have a fresh, mild fragrance. It should feel firm. If you press into the fish and see your fingerprints or a strong smell, then the fish is old.

Do not buy cooked seafood such as shrimp, crab, or smoked fish displayed on the same field as raw fish. Raw fish juice can transfer bacteria to cooked or ready-to-eat fish.

For frozen seafood, look for frost or ice crystals. This indicates that the fish has been stored for a long time or has been thawed and refrozen.

#3 – How do you get rid of the fried fish smell?

To get out of the fried fish smell, do some simple steps:

Place a pot into the stove, add 1 to 2 cups of water, and the same quantity of vinegar. Boil the water, and let it steam. The fish smell will go away in no time.

#4 – Should you eat fish that smells fishy?

The fish began to smell when caught and killed because the bacteria on the surface decomposed them. The bacteria start to oxidize and trimethylamine compounds into stinking triethylamine.

As long as the meat is firm, the skin is shiny, and not sticky, this fish can be cooked and eaten.

#5 – What is the best thing to absorb odors?

Scented candles are the best way to absorb odors. When you start cooking fish, make sure to light the scented candle; these candles lessen the fish odor.

Moreover, if you want something affordable while cooking fish, open the doors and windows to allow the fresh air into the home.

#6 – Does lemon make fish less fishy?

Lemon juice or any acid reacts with the TMA in the fish and removes the odor. You can add lemon juice to your fish to make it less fishy. Citric acids such as limes, oranges, vinegar, and tomato sauce also work great to make the fish less fishy.

#7 – Does the fishy smell go away on its own?

The fishy smell definitely goes away on its own in a few days. However, it takes a lot of time, maybe a week or 3 to 5 days. When the smell stays in the place for long, it can create severe problems like irritation.

Therefore, it is better to use some methods to remove the fishing smell from the house, kitchen, clothes, and utensils.

#8 – What type of fish does not taste fishy?

Arctic trout is similar to salmon, but it is not as oily; therefore, it has a less fishy smell. Spiny and catfish are as soft and easily available as rainbow trout and haddock. Tilapia is a boneless and skinless sea breast; it has a neutral aroma.

#9 – Does soaking fish in milk take away the fishy taste?

It is true. You have to soak fish or shellfish in milk for 20 minutes, then drain and dry. The casein in milk combines with TMA, and it takes over the culprit causing the fishy smell.

Soaking a fish into milk gives you the best result. Your seafood will taste sweet and tender.

#10 – How do you get rid of the fishy smell before cooking?

Lemon juice can work great to get rid of the fishy smell before cooking. Lemon juice and any citric acids such as oranges, vinegar, and tomato sauce react with the TMA in fish to eliminate the fish smell before cooking.

#11 – Why does frozen fish smell fishy?

Frozen fish is not a problem; however, if it is frozen for a long time, it can enhance the aroma of the fish. There are generally many reasons for the frozen fishy smell.

Sometimes the type of the fish depends or even in the refrigerator; its aroma will become stronger and stronger before it starts to deteriorate.

#12 – Will boiling vinegar remove odors?

Yes, boiling vinegar works great to remove fish odor. The steam of the boiling vinegar gradually spreads around the house and kitchen, so the smell reduces steadily.


Your Author

  • Since 2009 I've been writing on different media portals about fishing. Here on this website, it's time to share those experiences I've witnessed in my entire life so far. Let me help you get the best stuff you need while fishing.

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