Throughout much of my childhood, I got to wake up a few hours before school twice a week to wean pigs with my siblings and cousins. After the job was done, we’d all rush to shower and get ready for school. It never failed. Later that morning, I would be in the middle of class and lean my head on my hand, only to smell remnants of the sow farm. Panic would ensue and I’d scrub my hands again at the class break, only to smell it again during the next class. Nothing would get rid of it. Talk about a junior high nightmare!
Mom must have caught on because we soon noticed big tubs of Orange Glo at the sow farm and by the mud room sink to wash our hands when we came in. Now instead of our hands smelling like pigs, they smelled like citrus pig poop.
Us kids began experimenting ways to get rid of the smell on our hands because desperate times call for desperate measures. The guys never had an issue with their hair smelling, but I certainly did.
I don’t get into the barns near as much anymore, but I recently went on a farm visit and after showering in, showering out and showering when I got home, I was reminded that pig smell doesn’t just go away with regular washing.
Here are some tricks I’ve learned and read about to get the pig smell off your hands and hair:
Like I said, our first trial was on Orange Glo and that ended with fruity poop. Not good.
I wish I could give the innovative family member credit where credit is due. Regardless, someone (long before Google) had the bright idea to use toothpaste as a deodorizer. Mom probably didn’t appreciate having to stock up on more tubes from Sam’s Club, but we’d all rub toothpaste on our hands after chores and it did a much better job getting the smell out.
Wearing gloves certainly helps but might not always be an option.
When I raised the topic with Dad, he said vanilla extract is what he always used to get rid of the pig smell on his hands. I’ll put money on it that Mom didn’t know he was swiping her vanilla from the baking cupboard!
Those of us with longer hair who have been in a sow farm know how the smell can be detected after many showers, even if you weren’t in the barns for very long. That’s because hair is very porous and easily absorbs smells. Finding out my hair stunk was a delayed reaction in junior high because my hair was usually still damp and in a pony tail during school. However, I’d douse it that night with some body spray hoping that smell would overtake the sow farm smell… and guess what. It just ended up smelling like fruity poop too.
Nowadays, I’ve got a stronger solution; essential oils. Pick your favorite one, put a few drops in your hands and run it through your hair. It does a much better job of covering up the smell.
Dry shampoo is not just a solution to day old hair. Spray some of that on your roots, wait a minute, and work it through your hair. It does a great job of absorbing the barn smell.
Of course, prevention is the best way to take care of barn smelling hair. Wearing a hat or a bandana covers your hair from the elements and will greatly help with the smell.
I hope this helps!
Until next time,