Q. Thanks for the soy sauce hint. I spilled boiling hot honey on the back of my hand. After flushing the burn with cold water to remove all the honey, I remembered the soy sauce and liberally poured straight Kikkoman over my hand. I had no more pain, no blister, not even any redness. Unbelievable but true.

A. You have summed it up: unbelievable but true. We have found applying soy sauce after cold water works well to ease the pain and redness from an ordinary household burn. Severe burns deserve immediate medical attention.

We don’t have a good explanation for this, but it may have something to do with the sodium content. One reader found that low-sodium soy sauce was not effective, but Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which contains sodium) worked.

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  1. Jennifer Parkins
    Northern California

    I grabbed the handle of a hot skillet and burned the palm of my hand enough to have two large blisters on it the next day. I had heard that raw egg whites reduce and heal the burn if put on right away. I did that and it did seem to reduce the burn, but the pain in my hand was unbearable. So , then lavender oil, St. John’s oil, calendula and eventually hemp oil. But the pain was so intense that I couldn’t do anything. I read this page, went straight for the tamari and really, it totally took the pain away immediately. I had to reapply it a few times, but within an hour the pain was completely gone and my had is healing quite quickly and nicely. Thank you! My daughter said tamari is the answer to everything!

  2. Patrick

    Soy sauce is a nice trick, but I’m not sure it approaches the mythic status given by some. It definitely takes the edge off though. I have found that a quick splash doesn’t do the trick; it needs to be constantly applied. I’m constantly fumbling around with cigarettes and burning the insides of my fingers. What I do is take some tamari (like uber soy sauce), soak part of a gauze pad in it, and wrap it around my finger.

  3. DKE

    Dummie me, I was putting my meat loaf back in the oven with the toppings on it and forgot to put my oven mitts back on, first soaked the burn in ice water, then looked this up about the soy sauce. Five minutes later after soaking pain was pretty much over, long story short worked well for me.

  4. Amc

    While cooking, my hand slipped in the boiling cooking oil. I immediately put ice then let water run over the burn. It didnt work. I can still feel the sting and burn. Saw this. Tried soy sauce. And it eased it. But not completely. But it is now tolerable.
    A bad burn (such as the one you describe) requires immediate medical attention!

  5. MT

    used this and it worked great have had my hand in a towel for two hours because of the pain and saw this and tried it and it work woot woot!!!

  6. JAF

    I tried this…..was not surprised when it hurt Worse! come on…SALT in a WOUND?

  7. MAB

    I burned my fingers a couple of days ago and as I was holding them under cold water, remembered that I had read here about soy sauce. I poured a bit in a small bowl and soaked my fingers for just a minute or two. Mine was low sodium and it worked great. Stopped the pain immediately, no redness or anything.

  8. bja

    wow , sounds corny. but i heated spaghettios in the micro for 2 min. as my dad would say ” Dumb sh**!!.
    anyways i spilled it on my left hand coming out of the micro and its been on” FIRE!!!!” so ive been holding a paper towel wrapped ice cube for about and hr and it still was burning sooooo baaaad.
    so i looked it up and saw “try, Soy Sauce”. Man, “oh wow” as soon as I poured it on “Oh what a relief it is”, lol”.
    Cooled the ,”On Fire” feeling as soon as I poured it on. We’ll see “next day, feeling” but as of today , “Thank-You!” (Immensely, I Thank You!!)

  9. Troxy

    Well, so far it’s working pretty well. Soaked a cotton ball in soy sauce and bandaged it over my burn… still tingles a bit, but nowhere near as painful as it was. Weird, but awesome!

  10. t.s.

    Tried this on my daughter who burned her finders on a hot iron. Did not work. She is still in pain.

  11. SW

    The Soy Sauce worked. No burning sensation. No blistering. Hope that tomorrow there won’t be too much scaring. So far, it’s faint, but not even noticeable…. And this was a bad burn.

  12. SW

    I just happened to tune in on Saturday, and heard the bit on Soy Sauce for burns. I thank you because I burned my finger this morning on my oven, and I used this remedy. This was a pretty bad burn – I’ll write again in a few days to let you know how it went.

  13. VRB

    I started to pick up a hot cast iron fry pan by placing 3 fingers on the handle! -which I pulled back immediately. Remembered the soy sauce, but all I had was low sodium. I soaked the fingers in a bowlful while I ate supper. When I removed fingers from soy sauce they started hurting, so I slathered them with yellow mustard, wrapped them for the night, and by the next morning, there was no blistering, just sort of a scaly film of skin under the mustard. That skin flaked off over the next few days. I’m hooked on this cure. I did purchase regular soy sauce to have on hand. Mustard remedy located in Best Choices from People’s Pharmacy.

  14. Jenny

    Great info to have. The last 2 times I burned the back of my hand on the top burners in the oven I used plain salted butter. It immediately took away the sting and I never had any more pain. I was surprised because the next day on one of them the skin looked a bit charred, so I definitely knew that it should have been more painful. Neither of the burns left a scar.

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