If you love the taste of hot peppers but can’t handle the heat on your hands as you cook, you may want to try a simple hack.
Sure, peppers add flavor to mealtime, but you don’t necessarily want to end up with chili residue on your hands. If you don’t get all the hot stuff off your hands, you’re more likely to end up accidentally rubbing your face at some point afterwards, potentially transferring the heat on to your eyes or nose. That can be extremely painful.
Traditional soap and water can remove some of the capsaicin oil from your skin, but not all of it.
The capsaicin is oil based, so it won’t dissolve in water. If you don’t clean your hands well enough, you could also end up transferring the oil to other family members, your pet, or even things in your house later, only to end up in a vicious cycle of hot pepper heat. Some people advise using gloves when you’re chopping up extremely hot peppers, but even certain gloves aren’t enough to protect your skin from the hottest peppers. So, what are your options if soap and water and even gloves aren’t strong enough to combat the hot chili residue? The answer is something simple, and you probably already have it in your kitchen pantry.
According to professional Chef Kelly Scott, it’s olive oil.
She made a TikTok video about it. Kelly says the simplest way to get chili residue from sticking to your hands is to rub on some olive oil. She advices grabbing a paper towel, soaking up the olive oil, then rubbing it all over your hands where they touched hot peppers. Others also shared their own words of wisdom, including rinsing off with vinegar, soaking up the oil with baby powder or flour, using baby shampoo, or trying lemon juice. No matter the solution, if you want to experience higher levels on the hot pepper scale, you need to come up with a way to enjoy them without the unintentional pepper burn.