Hey Laura, how do I get jalapeno pepper residue off of my hands?

Kristina writes:

Tonight I was cutting jalapenos, and even though I rinsed and washed my hands afterward, I still got hot jalapeno chemicals on my face, in my eyes, under my nails, and on Tyler’s face!  Ouch!  This has never happened to me before.  What can I do to be more careful next time?

Ah, yes. I’m sure everyone has done this at least once! Capsaicin is a nasty bugger of a chemical!

Probably the best solution for next time is prevention - wear gloves when you do your chopping. What I’ve done in a pinch is to put my hands inside plastic produce bags while I remove the seeds and membranes (that’s where the capsaicin oil is most concentrated).

There are as many home remedies for capsaicin burns as there are people who’ve gotten them. Here are a few of the most often cited:

- Capsaicin oil is soluble in casein - milk protein. So try soaking your hands in milk to get the oils off

- It is also oil-soluble, so scrubbing or soaking your hands in vegetable oil seems to work as well

- Many people have had luck with baking soda; make a paste with mlk and baking soda and spackle your afflicted bits with it

- Washing with alcohol (rubbing alcohol or otherwise) seems to get the oil off as well

- Lemon juice and vinegar have been cited to be helpful

Here and here are some additional community-based resources from Tip King. They vary in quality and vulgarity, but if you have time you might glean something useful; if not, you’ll at least be entertained! ;)


Hey Laura, I think... Hey Laura, how do I get jalapeno pepper residue off of my hands?

comments powered by Disqus