How to Peel Garlic Cloves (Easy Kitchen Hack)

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Learn How to Peel Garlic with this simple kitchen shortcut! I love garlic and you’ll find it in many of my recipes. I use it SO much and in so many ways. I have always struggled with peeling garlic, but not anymore. With this tip in your cooking toolbox, you’ll save hours of frustration!

Titled Image: How To Peel Garlic Cloves Easy Kitchen Hack


Looking for even more kitchen hacks? Discover all of my tips here!

How to Peel Garlic

I think we’ve all been there: you’re working on your latest savory creation and it calls for a clove or two of garlic. Great! We love garlic!

But… then you remember you have to peel it first. UGH.

Something that should be simple can sometimes take what feels like ages to get right.

I know I’ve ended up with garlic peels or even full-on chunks of the stuff under my fingernails after a battle with a bulb.

Well, I’ve got great news for you! There is a really easy way to peel garlic that doesn’t involve a ton of time or extra steps. 

Buckle up, I’m about to teach you how to peel garlic the easy way!

garlic placed in jar to be peeled

Easiest Way to Peel Garlic: What You’ll Need

  • Garlic – You can use my garlic peeling hack on a full bulb, or with just a few cloves.

    That said, it will be a bit more difficult to pull off with very small cloves — just a heads up!
  • Container with Lid – I personally like to use a glass Mason jar, but you can use any type of hard container as long as it has a lid and is larger than the amount of garlic you put in it.

    As you’ll soon learn, the cloves need to be able to move around. 
shaking garlic in a jar

My Easy Way to Peel Garlic

  1. Prep the garlic.

If you’re working with a full bulb, use your hands to crush it. You want the cloves to separate from the hard root in order to remove the skin.

For cloves that are already separated, simply gather them to place in your container.

  1. Add the cloves to your container.

Place the unpeeled cloves into the jar, bowl, or container and cover. 

  1. Shake, shake, shake it!

Here’s the fun part! Shake your container vigorously for about 20-30 seconds.

  1. Enjoy your perfectly peeled garlic.

Open the lid and you should discover newly peeled garlic cloves! If there is some skin remaining, close the lid and shake it again.

Storing Peeled Garlic Cloves

If you don’t plan on using your peeled garlic right away, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 1 week when properly stored.

peeled garlic after shaking in a jar

Tips and Tricks for Peeling Garlic

  • Fresh bulbs are best.

When you’re doing your shopping, choose garlic bulbs with firm and plump cloves. Fresh garlic is a lot easier to peel using this method.

  • No container? No problem!

In a pinch, you can use a large bowl and a plate as a lid for peeling garlic.

Glass or metal will be your best best. Plastic isn’t hard enough to create that friction I keep talking about — and the garlic will probably leave behind a strong odor. 

Not the best when you want to store some cookies in the same container later!

  • Put some muscle into it.

When I say to shake vigorously, I really mean it! The cloves must bump against each other and the side of the container or jar — the friction is what removes the peel. 

No half-hearted shaking allowed!

Garlic Peeling Hack FAQ

Do I need to remove the root end of the garlic?

Yes! Don’t skip that step. Remember, if working with a full bulb, use your hands and a bit of pressure to remove the cloves from the root.

This method won’t work if the cloves are still attached to it!

What is the easiest way to peel garlic?

Now that you know how to peel garlic like a champ, you may be wondering if this is the best way. 

I have to say, this technique is truly the best and easiest way to peel garlic in my opinion! After shaking, the skins will loosen to the point where they fall right off. If there are any remaining, you’ll be able to remove them with ease. 

There’s another trick involving the microwave, but the results can be hit-or-miss — and it slightly cooks the cloves. 

If you want to give it a try, microwave one clove for about 7 seconds or a whole head of garlic (with the top removed) for 20-25 seconds. Then, slide the cloves right out!

Does this garlic peeling hack work for all garlic sizes?

As I mentioned, my easy way to peel garlic works best with large cloves. Smaller cloves might not create enough friction to remove the skins easily.

peeled garlic in hand

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cloves of garlic next to a jar

How to peel garlic

How to Peel Garlic Cloves (Easy Kitchen Hack)

Donna Elick
Having a simple kitchen is a lot easier than you would think. I keep my pantry stocked with staples and things I may need in a pinch. But, even being well prepared there are those days when kitchen shortcuts are a meal saver.
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • 1 garlic clove


  • Simply place a garlic clove on a microwave safe dish and microwave it for 7 seconds. The skins will just about fall off in the microwave.
  • Then, simply press on the end of the garlic clove and the skin will pop right off. Done.
  • You can do an entire head of garlic in about 20-25 seconds.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 4cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 0.03g | Fiber: 0.1g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
How To Peel Garlic Cloves Easy Kitchen Hack - PIN

Originally published July 2016, updated and republished January 2024

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    1. I use that method too Colleen, however when I need a whole clove this trick works great! Thanks for commenting.

  1. Hi!, really loved this kitchen hack. I didn't know how to correctly peel garlic until I read your post. Thank you so much.

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