If You See This Mounted Next to a Sink, This Is What It’s For

Learn more about how you can use a stainless steel soap bar to effectively remove the scent of onion, garlic and fish from your skin after cooking.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Many of us have experienced the baffling feeling of finding a feature in our homes that we’re unfamiliar with. If you live in an older home, the chances of you finding home features that you don’t know how to use are even higher. This is because many antique houses have features that aren’t useful anymore. Encountering one of these leaves a modern-day homeowner scratching their head in confusion. However, some of these are still practical decades later—like the stainless steel soap bar.

If you’ve ever noticed a stainless steel oval mounted next to your sink and wondered why it’s there, you’re not alone. We’re clearing up the confusion around this helpful feature!

What Is a Stainless Steel Soap Bar?

A stainless steel soap bar is a helpful tool to have in your kitchen because it can help easily remove powerful, foul odors from your hands after cooking. Using the stainless steel soap bar is easy—simply wash your hands with it to easily dilute the strong fragrance of foods such as onion, garlic or even fish.

The key is to make sure you’re trying to remove the scent of foods that contain sulfur molecules. If you do so, you’ll find this product to be incredibly effective. All you have to do is use the bar in combination with cold water. Run your hands underneath the water with the bar for about 10 to 30 seconds, and you’re good to go.

So, how exactly does a stainless steel soap bar work? We’re glad you asked because it’s fascinating. The product is efficient because the odors of certain foods such as fish, onions and garlic contain sulfur molecules. When you cook with those foods, the molecules get transferred to the skin on your hands. The metal binds the molecules and transfers them away from your skin and onto the stainless steel soap bar. And ta-da! Your hands no longer reek like the foods you cooked with.

How Else Can I Remove Odors?

Here’s some great news: If your kitchen isn’t already equipped with this feature, you can easily purchase one online and toss it in a drawer so it’s accessible when you need it. However, if you don’t already have one and are wondering how else you can remove odors, we have a few suggestions.

If you don’t have a stainless steel soap bar, grab your lemon juice. You can effectively reduce the smell of onion, garlic and fish by giving your hands a hearty rinse with lemon juice. Another alternative is to soak your hands in milk. This works especially well if you’re attempting to get rid of a potent onion scent. Simply pour some milk into a bowl and place your hands inside.

Once you’ve removed odors from your skin, try these natural remedies to freshen up your kitchen—or any other room in your home that could use a boost!