How To Get Rid Of Garlic Breath And Body Odor (11 Smell Busters)

Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is said to fight off vampires and keep evil spirits away, but if you want to keep your friends, here are some effective ways to get rid of the garlic breath and body odor.

A man with bad garlicky breath

Garlic is super tasty, great for flavor, and has numerous health benefits. But like all good things, there is also a downside to it. The downside to the daily use of raw garlic is the disturbing smell and mouth odor, also called Halitosis.

Make sure you read to the end of the post, where I will give you a bonus tip that nobody is telling you. Discover how you can eat as many cloves as you like without suffering from bad breath or body odor, ever!

Why Does Garlic Make Your Breath Smell So Bad? 

a woman with a bad smelling breath

Garlic smell is created by the sulfuric compounds that are present inside it. Furthermore, garlic is also known to be a promoter of some microbes inside the mouth that are often held responsible for causing unpleasant breath. [1]

Sulfuric Compounds responsible for the bad breath are:

  • Allicin: Bulbs contain a substance called Alliin, which is oxidized into allicin on exposure to air. The allicin, in turn, changes into many sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its strong smell.
  • Allyl methyl sulfide: This is the compound responsible for body odor when garlic is consumed. It enters the bloodstream after the digestion of garlic and is emitted by the pores in your skin and your lungs. [2]
  • Cysteine sulfoxide: This is the easiest to deal with as it causes bad breath immediately after you eat a few cloves. Brushing, flossing, or scrapping your mouth thoroughly and immediately after eating garlic will help you get rid of Cysteine sulfoxide.

How Long Does Garlic Smell Last?

A woman checking her breath

You may experience mouth odor for up to 24 hours or more after eating raw garlic. The reason why the garlic breath is hard to get rid of is primarily due to the fact that it is simply not just on your tongue.

The compounds that produce bad breath are also in your bloodstream and your lungs and are emitted through various pores in your body.

Twenty-four hours is a very long time for your mouth to be smelling bad. Especially if you intend to interact with people, need to go to work, or if you have a partner who can’t stand the odor.

In this post, I will cover how to get rid of garlic or onion taste on your tongue as well as the various ways to neutralize and get rid of garlic breath fast.

11 Ways You Can Eat Garlic Without Smelling Bad

woman eating a garlic clove

These methods are for those who consume garlic raw or in meals and cannot reduce their consumption rate due to its health benefits or some other reasons.

The following methods will teach you how to mask, reduce, suppress, or completely get rid of the bad breath you get from eating garlic.

Just make sure you do not have an allergy or any negative reaction to any of the methods described below.

Here’s How to Get Rid of Garlic Breath Naturally

1. Brush And Floss

Good oral hygiene is essential for combating bad breath.

Full transparency? There is no avoiding brushing and flossing when it comes to eating garlic. It is too important a first step to miss.

Some bacteria in your mouth act on the sulfur-containing compound, producing a pungent bad smell in the process. Brushing reduces the amount of these bacteria.

Depending on your kind of toothpaste, brushing also temporarily masks the bad breath in your mouth by getting rid of garlic residue on your tongue, on your teeth, and below your gumline.

Of course, you have to use some of the other methods below to be able to get rid of the odor completely. Still, brushing your teeth thoroughly is an inevitable and necessary first step.

2. Eat Fresh Fruit And Herbs

Studies have shown that the chemical composition of fresh fruits like apples, mint, parsley, or spinach can effectively mask bad breath.

Besides easing heartburn and indigestion, chewing fresh mint leaves will help get rid of compounds in your mouth that cause bad breath. Mint, as well as parsley, contains chlorophyll, and the act of chewing the leaves may help scrape the odor-causing compounds from your tongue and teeth.

Like brushing and flossing, fresh fruits are quite effective, yet temporary remedies that do not cost much and are easy to use. 

3. Drink Hot Green Tea

Green tea has a plethora of amazing uses, so it is no surprise that it makes this list one of the most important methods for keeping your breath fresh.

Green tea is very high in antioxidants called polyphenols. As with the enzymes in the mint, parsley, spinach, and apple, polyphenols are very beneficial, covering up the odor-causing chemicals left in your mouth from eating garlic.

Although its effect is also temporary, it is highly effective for a short time.

Tests have proven that green tea is more effective than chewing gum, mints, and parsley oil and is as effective as antiseptic mouthwash.

4. Use Chlorine Dioxide Mouthwash

Chlorine dioxide is a widely used ingredient in many over-the-counter bottles of mouthwash.

CloSYS Ultra Sensitive Mouthwash, 32 Ounce (Pack of 2), Unflavored (Optional Flavor Dropper Included), Alcohol Free, Dye Free, pH Balanced, Helps Soothe Entire Mouth


Many studies suggest that using a mouthwash like the one above that contains chlorine dioxide is very effective at removing bacteria, plaque, and tiny food particles, making it very effective in the treatment of halitosis.

For the best result to mask the smell, immediately swish with mouthwash right after eating a garlicky meal.

You can get a four-bottle kit of ProFresh Mouthwash with Molecular Chlorine Dioxide technology on Amazon. It is considered the best mouthwash when it comes to tackling unpleasant mouth odors.

If you don’t have chlorine dioxide mouthwash at hand, using a strong peppermint mouthwash would also help to keep the garlicky breath at bay for a while.

5. Try Essential Oils

Peppermint, Rosemary, Myrrh, and Eucalyptol are only a handful of essential oils that you can use to get rid of bad breath. These oils are usually added to mouthwashes for freshening breath and can even have antibacterial properties.

You can also make your own mouthwash by adding a few drops of oil to water, then rinse your mouth vigorously for 30 seconds. Spit it out – you don’t have to swallow this mouth rinse.

You can get some essential oils here on Amazon to make your own mouthwash.

6. Chew Strong Spearmint Gum

Chewing gum serves two purposes when getting rid of garlic breath.

Firstly, depending on the gum flavor, the scent of the gum should mask the smell. That’s why the stronger the gum, the better. Something like Epic Dental Gum With Xylitol is a good choice.

Secondly, chewing gum stimulates your saliva production by up to 10 times the usual rate, which, in turn, will erode food particles and bacteria from your tongue and mouth as a whole.

7. Use Tongue Cleaners, e.g., Brushes And Scrapers

As I have already mentioned, maintaining good oral hygiene is absolutely essential. Yes, brushing your teeth is a must, but you can take it up a notch by using special tongue brushes and scrapers.

If you are not familiar with tongue scrapes, then you can check them out on Amazon here>>>

8. Remove The Garlic’s Core

You should probably try this first. Remove the core of the garlic all the way from the stem by slicing it in half. This will significantly decrease its effect on your breath and will also make it easier for other methods to neutralize the odor.

9. Drink Milk

Drink a glass of milk. It is not just an old wives’ tale, but even scientists say that drinking a glass of full-fat milk can really get rid of garlic breath and stop the lingering odor. The researcher has shown that drinking milk significantly reduces levels of the sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent smell and flavor.

For the best result, sip the milk slowly as you eat the cloves or mix milk with garlic in your mouth before swallowing.

So, if you are worried about garlicky breath, then drinking milk is an excellent option to consider.

10. Drink Lemon Water

Drinking lemon juice mixed with water can also help to reduce and neutralize the odor in your breath.

Add 1-2 tsp of lemon juice to a glass of water, then drink it right after eating a garlic-rich meal.

11. Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an ancient folk remedy, and it has been used for weight loss, health, cooking, and many household purposes. The number of uses for this miracle elixir is absolutely staggering.

You can read my other post here about apple cider vinegar’s benefits and uses.

It is reported that drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in water after a meal has helped to minimize and remove garlic and onion breath quite effectively.

How To Get Rid Of The Body Odor?

All of the above methods will help you mask or eliminate bad breath, but where garlic is the most stubborn is in body odor. When you eat garlic, some of it is actually absorbed into your bloodstream and then released through your lungs and skin pores.

So, how do you get rid of garlicky body odor?

Well, I’m glad you asked because there are a couple of ways to do this.

Cleanse In A Cool Salt Bath With Lemon And Mint

A cool bath is a great way to mask garlicky body odor. Cool baths will cleanse your body’s pores and clean your skin of the skunky smell. You can try the salt, lemon juice, or mint, all with their own unique scents that help to mask the body odor.

If you want to smell nice and remain fresh after eating a few cloves, a cool body bath is the way. Just make sure you do not sweat too much, which leads us to our next cleansing method or precautions.

Try To Avoid Sweating

It is probably easier said than done, but there are a few steps that you can take.  

  • Stay in air-conditioned areas.
  • Schedule your yearly intake of garlic in the winter.
  • Halt any sports activity on the days you eat it.
  • Do anything possible or necessary to make sure you stay cool and heat-free on your garlic-eating days.

If you have to eat garlic on a hot day, shower a lot, or take these cool cleansing baths I mentioned above, and keep stressful activities or exercises to the bare minimum.

BONUS – Eat Magic Garlic That Doesn’t Make You Smell

This last tip is not about trying to get rid of the smell or attempting to suppress it or mask it in some way. Eating a clove of this magic garlic won’t actually come with any bad breath or body odor at all, and it’s not just that; it also has more benefits than regular raw garlic, and it tastes amazing.

This magic clove is called Black Garlic.

So, what is the Difference Between Regular and Black Garlic?

Black garlic

Anyone who eats this garlic does not suffer from the odor that usually comes with consuming raw bulbs.

Black garlic basically tastes like regular garlic but without bitterness and bad breath. If you eat the bulb directly, you will have no issues in these areas.

The more apparent difference is the color. Black garlic is black, and the regular one is white.

Black garlic actually comes from the regular raw bulb. To make it, you put regular bulbs through a fermentation period, which lasts between 3 and 5 weeks.  

Fermented bulbs vs regular cloves

Read more about how the bulbs are fermented >>>

Raw cloves do have a very strong smell. If you eat a fresh clove, it’ll definitely give you bad breath. Not only that, but your clothes and hands will reek too.

On the other hand, fermented garlic does not have much of a smell at all because the fermentation process has altered certain molecules in the cloves, which are responsible for the odor.

When you compare the taste of black garlic to regular raw bulbs, you’ll notice a difference. Black garlic has more of a nice bittersweet caramel taste to it.

Raw garlic also tends to make some people uncomfortable when they try digesting it. But you won’t have this issue with black garlic because the fermentation process has softened it up. That means your stomach can more easily process it.

It also has different nutritional advantages than raw garlic. 

Again, this is due to the fermentation process. First, it has all the same nutritional benefits as raw garlic. However, it has a few more nutritional benefits too.

aged garlic cloves

Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Promotes better heart health.
  2. Lots of antioxidants to stop free radicals.
  3. Protects cognitive function.
  4. Balances blood sugar.
  5. Boosts the immune system.

Due to the work and preparation involved in making black garlic, it is more expensive than regular raw bulbs. Just two bulbs of black garlic cost about $4-5 on average in health food shops. Meanwhile, two bulbs of regular raw garlic cost only 50c. in most supermarkets.

If I don’t make my own, I usually buy it here on Amazon, where you can still get it for quite a reasonable price.

An unpleasant body odor can affect anyone. Luckily, in most cases, you can prevent it by practicing good hygiene, trying out some of these odor-elimination methods above, or just making some dietary changes.

So, if your goal is to smell as good as possible, then you might also want to check out my other article: How To Stop Farting: Gassy Foods To Avoid And Tips For Quick Relief.

2 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Garlic Breath And Body Odor (11 Smell Busters)”

  1. Some good point I must say but I would stay with the basics. Cleanse With Lots Of Water And Keep Calm. Also, if you drink enough liquid (not juice), you should be able to neutralize the smelly breathe the next day, depending on how many cloves you eat. And just try all the methods, one man’s bad breathe fix simply may not work for another man. Just try out all of these methods to figure out which of them or the combination of which works for you. But personally, I don’t care, If people don’t like how I smell then it is their problem. If it is such a big problem then get new friends.

  2. Great article! I loooove garlic. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all the toxic chemicals in your life with healthy organic alternatives. It completely changed my life and how I feel every day! 🙂

    Keep up the great content!


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About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.