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How to get rid of garlic breath

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Sometimes after you eat garlic, it seems impossible to get it off your breath. But there’s a quick, easy fix that almost always works, and you can do it virtually anywhere there’s food. Read on to learn how to get rid of garlic breath.

Bulbs of garlic on table with green vegetables

The persistence of garlic breath

The reason why garlic breath is so hard to get rid of is that it affects you on two levels. First, it leaves a taste in your mouth. That part you can take care of by brushing your teeth, chewing gum, gargling mouthwash, using a tongue scraper, etc.

But the second level has to do with your lungs. When you eat garlic, the metabolic process carries it through your bloodstream to your lungs. This happens with any food, but here’s the difference with garlic: it has a stinky compound that you exhale as you’re digesting it. That’s the part of garlic breath that’s so hard to tackle.

One of the traditional fixes for this is chewing parsley, but that doesn’t stop garlic-infested air that keeps coming up from your lungs as you digest your meal. Plus, fresh parsley isn’t something you’re likely to have wherever you go. Anything that cleans your mouth – like brushing your teeth or using a tongue scraper – will only help for a while. This is because none of them can prevent you from exhaling garlic.

How to get rid of garlic breath

What does help with garlic breath? Ketchup. Just take a spoonful of ketchup, swirl it around in your mouth, and then swallow it.  Maybe it’s the tomato, the vinegar or the combination of the two, but whatever it is, it works within a few minutes. And it usually works completely in one dose (sometimes it can take two). Maybe this is why tomato and garlic are paired so often in cooking?

As you might guess, swallowing a spoonful of ketchup is a little bit tart, and therefore not necessarily the most delicious culinary experience. But it works, especially when you’re burping garlic, which can be way more unpleasant than any ketchup. If the ketchup bothers you, just have a beverage on hand to chase it down – water will do, but something more flavorful will also cancel out the taste in your mouth.

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