I read the question How do you remove garlic smells from your fingers? on Seasoned Advice and it reminded my of a claim I was always skeptical about. The accepted answer states:

The smell of garlic is due to sulfur compounds. When you rub your hands against stainless steel, the iron of the stainless steel will react with some small volume of those compounds, but much more will remain in your hands.

I have often heard the claim that rubbing the hands on a steel block really works but I wonder if there is any real evidence for or against this.

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    Just been to the Natural History Museum in Berlin yesterday where they showed a steel soap in their “minerals” section. The explanation essentially said: “both steel soap’s efficacy and its supposed mode of operation are disputed” – it seems like there’s no scientific consensus on that (although this could also be read as a too polite debunking). Jan 4, 2013 at 17:45
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    This wise WiseGeek page on the stainless steel soap seems to collect various reasons I've heard yet. It also mentions lack of research. (ref:Wikipedia)
    – nik
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:54


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