close up image on classic japanese soy sauce, ease burn with soy sauce

Q. Several years ago I read about the soy sauce remedy in The People’s Pharmacy. Luckily we always have large quantities of soy sauce in the house.

Since that day, any time I burn myself in the kitchen I immediately grab the soy sauce and start pouring like there’s no tomorrow. Never have I been disappointed!

Last night while stir-frying I decided to take out a green bean and taste it. I didn’t realize just how hot it was, considering it was only in the wok a very short time. I burned my bottom lip.

I quickly grabbed a large spoon, filled it with soy sauce and “soaked” my lip for a minute or two. I thought for sure I’d have a blister by morning, but everything is hunky dory. I was happy to be able to kiss my husband good night!

A. We first heard about this remedy from a reader in Oregon who had burned his hand while blending hot soup. Applying soy sauce prevented a trip to the emergency department.

While serious burns deserve immediate medical attention, many other readers agree that cold water and soy sauce work wonders for everyday kitchen burns. If soy sauce is not available, yellow mustard has also provided relief for some people. We have also received testimonials on the benefits of fresh onion juice. If you are interested in learning more about such home remedies, you may wish to consult our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, for information on alleviating scores of common conditions with inexpensive, easy approaches.

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  1. Carmen
    Ft. Worth

    I recently had a bad burn on my finger due to grease popping. I doused it with soy sauce and if felt better immediately. I did not do it for long, not more that 1 min. and I still had some irritation the next day, but it provided immediate relief. I wish I had left it on longer.

  2. Sunny M.

    Yes, soy sauce works! Just burned myself taking something out of the oven, ouch! Tried it and it helped a lot. I have not tried the yellow mustard. But no blisters, just a red spot. i will definitely use this home remedy again, augmented by Aloe vera gel.

  3. Mike A.

    I’m always doing something where I can burn myself. I’m a quality tech. But It’s not your normal quality tech job where you just inspect parts and programming–not a nice cushy job like that. I’m a lead quality tech and the only quality tech on my shift where I oversee 10 die cast machines and 25 cncs.
    I’m really busy all the time. With the die cast I deal with a lot of molten metal on a daily basis pretty much at least once an hour while I’m at work. I’m dealing with very very hot things well over 1700 degrees and I’m always adding different elements to the metal to keep the metal up to spec. So I’m always getting burnt or heat exposure pretty bad, sometimes even wearing proper PPE.
    I’ve used everything you can think of when I get small burns. I’ve tried soy sauce, mustard, shaving cream, everything, even toothpaste and I would have to say that soy sauce and toothpaste work the best for me at least sometimes when you have no actual medicical cream. Even some of the creams aren’t that great as the home remedies

  4. cm

    I burnt my hand on a hot frying pan handle. After soaking it in cold water I googled home remedies and came up with the “soy sauce treatment”. Worked like a miracle. I soaked my hand in it for about 8 minutes – until I felt the salt soaking into my skin. I immediately washed it off with soap and water and WHALLA – no pain!!! Today my fingers feel a little tight, but no blisters, no pain. Try it!

  5. sg

    This tip really works like a charm using regular soy sauce no blisters form and no scars are left. I have tried it for everyday minor burns in the kitchen. I just run some cool water first and then cover the burned area with the soy sauce for sometime till it stops burning and then fold a paper napkin on it for some more time.

    • Kala CY

      Hi, I hear for the first time about soy sauce but I’ll remember it for sure. In my country the people`s remedy for burning of that kind is oil (we cook usually with sunflower oil, so in every house it’s available, but olive oil or any other kind also works perfectly).

      I have poured a big cup of very hot coffee with milk on my tummy, the inside of my thighs and …. (you could guess) because I was sitting in the bed and watching TV. The pain was enormous.

      I went to the bath and wash it, dry the place carefully and then I took the bottle of sunflower oil and spill it over the burned places and stayed like this for an hour. It makes miracle! No pain, no scars, nothing. I was like new on the next day.

  6. Rita

    I’ve never tried soy sauce, but vinegar works the same way. Also, aloe vera helps a lot. I used to have Basic H in the kitchen, and it totally took the burn away, too.

  7. Sha

    Last night splashed hot cream sauce on arm. I put on ice in paper towel and remembered the aloe had expired. Looked in you book, found soy sauce. I only use the one without MSG; but, poured it on. Put ice in towel around arm and left it for a while. Followed up with “E” mixed in Ultra sensitive
    Baby Exaderm cream. Put non stick pads on and wrapped in stretch tape for the night. No blisters, nothing but a couple of pink spots this morning.

  8. Noemi W.

    I have not heard of the soy solution for burns but I have heard of cold mustard…..the every day golden kind. I did get a bad burn from the oven and applied the mustard and it worked. No pain, blister or scaring. Put as much as you want on the burn and cover with paper towel and leave on for a few minutes However, next time I’ll try soy sauce. These hints and others are ever so helpful….thanks to the Graedons.

  9. Louie b.Free

    Terry & Joe,
    this remedy blows me away!!!
    I read about it in your column and we talked about it on air, but I NEVER understood just HOW effective it is, until recently.
    I was making some pizza (vegan, of course) – opened the oven door to check on the pie’s progress and proceeded to ‘rest’ my forearm on the inside of the oven door. Quickly realizing that the sizzling wasn’t the pizza, and the pain not imaginary, I expressed myself in ways forbidden by the FCC while on-air (… a violation of federal law to air …profane language…) I grabbed a bottle of soy sauce and poured some on my arm. I was surprised and DELIGHTED that the burn never ‘progressed’ !!! The worst of it was a red mark and bit of mild itching!!!! NO blisters, NO PAIN!!!
    WOW…THE GRAEDONS Pharmacists of We, The People!!!!!!

  10. Annie B

    I have tried raw egg white with very good results, after reading about dramatic help with severe facial burns

  11. cpmt

    yes, the soy sauce (not light) it is the best. I put some soy in kitchen-paper and put it over my finger or affected area, wait a few minutes. no blister no pain. almost immediately.

  12. B. DeLapp

    I picked up a fry pan with a metal handle about a minute after removing it from a 425-degree oven. I yelled then ran cold water on the burn and grabbed a few ice cubes. My wife remembered the soy sauce trick and I poured it on. I kept a soy sauce-soaked paper towel against the burns for about 10 minutes. The pain was gone once I got the cold water and ice treatment going but I knew this was going to be a problem for a week or two. Amazingly, I woke up the next day with no pain at all! I did have a few blisters and some damaged skin which I still have now, a week later. But I played golf the second day after and my hand never hurt or bothered my grip! I was stunned. I’m a complete believer in soy sauce for burns.

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