Garlic and onions are the two most preferred flavorings for food and are full of health benefits. However, both can make your breath smelly, known as halitosis.

This unique but bad odor is due to chemicals in garlic and onion that contain sulfur. The smell can last for many hours, discouraging many people from eating these seasonings.

But the good news is many simple home remedies can help eliminate bad odor. In this article, we’ll discuss 13 ways to get rid of garlic breath.

13 methods to eliminate smelly breath

You don’t forever have to say goodbye to garlic and onions. You can enjoy like as you please without worrying about the bad breath. Here are the tips to avoid smelly breath linked to these vegetables.

1. Drink water
It increases saliva production, which helps eliminate mouth bacteria that may cause a bad odor.

2. Brush and floss
The bacteria that can cause garlic breath usually linger on the plaque on the teeth and under the gum line.

Thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after meals to minimize oral bacteria and get rid of other bad breath causes such as food debris and plaque

3. Use a tongue scraper
Many people often forget or neglect to brush their tongue or the roof of the mouth. Unfortunately, your tongue’s back is a suitable place for bacteria to accumulate. You may even see a whitish layer building up on your tongue.

You can use a tongue scraper to get rid of microbes, dead skin cells, and food residues from your tongue. Make sure no debris is left behind.
Get one from a pharmacy or order online.

4. Rinse with mouthwash
Rinsing with a mouthwash with a strong smell can help get rid of garlic breath. Take one with peppermint flavor or other strong agents. A mouthwash that contains chlorine dioxide can help effectively remove bacteria, plaque, and food debris.

5. Use essential oils
You can add essential oils to mouthwashes that contain alcohol. They can freshen up your breath and provide additional benefits with their antibacterial properties. To make your homemade mouthwash mix some essential oils with a carrier oil.

Rosemary, eucalyptol, peppermint, and myrrh are some essential oils that remove smelly breath.

6. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
Eat fresh fruits and veggies after meals to minimize the smell of garlic and onion. According to studies, raw apple or lettuce can help reduce garlic breath to a great extent.

7. Eat herb leaves
Chew few leaves of parsley after meals to eliminate garlic breath. This is an amazing way to cleanse the palate and deodorize a bad smell. Mint can also help reduce unpleasant breath.

8. Drink lemon water
Lemon juice can help get rid of onion or garlic breath. Squeeze a lemon into a glass of water (room temperature or cold, whatever you prefer) and drink it after eating a meal rich in onion or garlic.

9. Try apple cider vinegar
Take a glass of water and pour a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Drink it before or after meals to remove the bad smell from your mouth.

Since this method lacks medical evidence, it’s better to ask your doctor or dentist before using this remedy.

10. Chew gum
Minty flavored chewing gum can cover up the bad odor from your breath. It also engages salivary glands helping wash away bacteria and food debris.

According to American Dental Association chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating can minimize the risk of cavities.

11. Have a cup of green tea
Having a cup of green tea after meals is a great way to wipe out the smell from your breath. This method is more effective than chewing gum, mints, or parsley leaves.

Green tea has other health benefits too. According to a study, a mouth rinse containing catechins (important compounds found in green tea) minimizes plaque effectively as any other antiseptic mouthwash would.

12. Drink milk
Drink a glass of milk after a garlic-rich meal to get rid of sulfur compounds in the mouth that cause bad breath. For this remedy, full-fat milk works way better than fat-free milk.

13. Remove the garlic’s core
One way to minimize the development of garlic breath is by changing the way you use garlic in your meals. While adding, cut each garlic clove from the middle and remove the stem from the center of the bulb before adding it to the meal.

Why do garlic and onions cause bad breath?

The bad breath can be due to some compounds found in garlic or onions. They can even change the odor of your body.

  • Allicin: When the inner part of the garlic bulb comes in contact with air, a substance called alliin converts to allicin. It then changes into multiple sulfur-containing compounds responsible for the odor of garlic.
  • Allyl methyl sulfide: Garlic and onions both release this compound when chopped. Once you eat, they are absorbed into your bloodstream and discharged through sweat and breath.
  • Cysteine sulfoxide: As soon as you eat garlic and onions, this sulfuric compound causes a bad odor on the breath.


Bad breath due to onions or garlic may not stay for long, but try these home remedies if you want to get rid of it quickly. Brushing and flossing your teeth properly, chewing gum or peppermint leaves can help mask the odor.

Different remedies work for different people, so try a few to figure out what suits you best.

See your dentist

If you tried the above methods but still feel like you have bad breath that isn’t due to garlic, there may be a lingering oral condition. Our dentists at Pearl Shine Dental can help with your problem. If you live in Houston, TX, schedule an appointment today by calling 281-477-7200.