soy sauce, soup,

Lifting a lid or grabbing a pan are opportunities to get burned. On the other hand, cooking is a pleasure as well as a means to eat well and control your own diet. So rather than avoid the kitchen, make sure you stock it with one of our favorite burn remedies: soy sauce. First aid for a burn calls for cold water on the skin immediately. Many readers report (and we agree) that taking the next step of putting this salty condiment on the burned area can ease the pain.

Hot Soup Splashed Out of the Blender:

Q. I was blending boiling hot soup. The blender cover has a removable cap in the center that was off (dumb!). I had my hand on the lid when I turned on the blender, and the soup splashed through the hole and burned my hand.

I immediately put the hand in cold water, but since I had to go on cooking, I wiped my very painful, red palm off and applied soy sauce. Thanks to The People’s Pharmacy for that home remedy! I reapplied the soy sauce several times because I could still feel the burn.

Then I forgot about it entirely. The soy sauce took all of the burning and redness away. I surely would have had a large, extremely painful blister had it not been for that.

Soy Sauce to Soothe a Burn:

A. Thank you for sharing your success. Hot soup in a blender has caused many burns. However, quite a few readers report that cold soy sauce can ease the pain and redness from a household burn.

One important caution: A severe burn should have NOTHING applied to it other than cold water before seeking immediate medical attention.

Other Readers Report Success:

Here is what another reader had to say:

Q. One night I burned my hand, which produced big white blisters on four fingers. I doused my hand with soy sauce and wrapped my fingers in paper towels soaked in soy sauce. Then I slid a baggie over my hand, secured it with a rubber band and went to bed.

I’m used to stopping the pain of a burn with soy sauce, but when I took the baggie off my hand about 3:00 am, the blisters had disappeared. I’m curious about what happened: did the salt pull the fluid from the blisters and allow the surface skin to reattach to the fingertips?

I was amazed that the next morning I had full use of my hand, though the fingertips were slightly sensitive. I can tell by the smooth texture of my fingertips that the dead tissue will probably slough off, but what an effective burn treatment!

The Power of Soy Sauce for Kitchen Burns:

A. Like you, we have been impressed with the power of soy sauce for kitchen burns. Many people report that it eases pain and prevents blisters.

We’ve never heard that it could make blisters go away as yours did. The mechanism remains mysterious. Your hypothesis is as plausible as any we have encountered.

If you would like to watch us demonstrate how to ease the pain of a burn with soy sauce, you’ll find a video in this post.

Joan wrote:

“Many times I have used soy sauce to relieve the pain and blisters of a burn. It works very well. If I have just had a cup of tea and the tea bag is handy and wet this will also work.”

Bob agreed:

“Soy sauce has been a great aid in reducing or totally eliminating the issues of a burn. I tried other remedies but for me soy sauce works the best and works immediately. Unlike untreated burns, after using soy sauce there is no evidence of the burn a day later. Great remedy!”

So did Lynda:

“I have burned my fingers several times. They were red and sore. I put a little soy sauce on them and the burning sensation and the redness disappeared almost immediately. I thank People’s Pharmacy for that remedy.

Other Home Remedies for Burns:

Aloe Vera:

Some people swear by aloe vera gel. Not everyone keeps an aloe plant in the house where they can easily break off a leaf and squeeze the gel onto a burn. Some people tell us they keep aloe vera gel in the fridge where it is handy to treat a kitchen burn, after cooling it under water, of course.


Readers occasionally write that they prefer using vanilla extract rather than soy sauce. It must be genuine vanilla, not a synthetic flavoring. Vanilla is costlier than soy sauce, but if it works, we can’t complain. Remember to put any burn into cold water first!

Yellow Mustard:

Another remedy that seems to help soothe the pain of a burn is yellow mustard. After the cold water treatment, people apply yellow mustard straight out of the fridge to the burned area. This seems to work just as well as treating a burn with soy sauce.

Sue remarked:

“Yellow mustard right from the refrigerator works well for me when I burn my fingers.”


Some readers have used honey to soothe the pain of a burn after the initial cold water treatment. Here are their reports.

Debbie said:

“Honey is excellent for stopping the burn. I hit the top of my fingers on the upper element of my oven and sustained white blistered burns on then. Grabbed the honey and as it dripped off added more. That evening when I took a hot bath, the hot water didn’t even make the burns sting or burn more.”

Linda also likes to use honey on burns:

“I use natural, raw honey for burns. Apply to the burn and then wrap overnight. It alleviates pain and the skin doesn’t blister. I have no idea why it works but it does. My father-in-law was a beekeeper and his family always treated burns with honey. I thought it was weird until I burned my fingertips on the oven rack… ouch! Applied the honey, wrapped a bandage on the fingers and the next day, no blisters, no pain. Amazing.”

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  1. Cindy
    northern California

    Not about a burn, although I also carry soy sauce with me as part of my first aid kit. It is about a wasp sting. I have used a drop of oil of oregano on the stings very successfully. However, I loaned my car bottle of O of O to a friend. I also carry a small spray bottle of the generic original formula of
    Listerine. I sprayed that on the bite I got this week and within one minute it no longer hurt or was swollen.

  2. Sheila

    What else might soy sauce be good for? An elderly Chinese gentleman I used to know regularly soaked his feet in a 2-1 solution of water to soy sauce. Does anyone know what this might have been for?

  3. W.K.
    Raleigh NC

    I am on pain Meds that sadly make it easier for me to get burned by decreasing warning sensations of heat. I am also very short, putting me much closer to the source of heat while cooking. I have treated several burns using a combo of recommendations from the Peoples’ Pharmacy.

    I now keep a gallon jug of soy sauce in the kitchen along with purple onions. If burned I immediately put ice in a cup of soy sauce and cut up the purple (Spanish) onion. Then I proceed to leave my hand in the cold liquid until it’s too cold. Remove it, and rub a cut onion slice all over the area, squeezing to produce onion juice on the area.

    If it’s a large burn area, say from a spilled liquid, I cover a wash cloth with ice cold soy sauce and also keep applying onion juice. I am utterly amazed at the ability of this treatment to prevent my skin from blistering. The onion part makes sense given Mederma is made of onions. I assume the soy sauce interferes with sodium transport and that somehow helps the problem.

  4. Bob

    You’ve heard it a thousand times, and I agree that soy sauce eliminates the effects of a burn. Just had an incident myself last weekend where I was pulling out a hot oven rack, and the towel must have opened up and my finger got burned. I immediately put soy sauce on the burn and while it was sensitive for about 30 minutes after that NOTHING. No, burn, no blister, nothing. It works.

  5. Katherine

    I have used soy sauce for burns since hearing of it on People’s Pharmacy. While prepping for a dinner party, I was talking, i.e. not thinking (!) and picked up a muffin pan straight from the oven. Ouch! I immediately rinsed the hand in cold water and poured soy sauce on it. Then I wrapped it in a paper towel soaked with soy sauce to continue as hostess. The pain stopped instantly and by the next day, there was no pain & little indication of a burn.

  6. Sandie
    Charleston WV

    Years ago I grabbed the handle of a Corning skillet that I taken out of oven. The whole inside of my hand was burned. Stupidly, I put it under cold running water. Then started putting everything on it. Nothing helped. My insurance had an on-call nursing line we could call for questions. I called, and she told me everything not to do, which was everything I did. We hung up, and I walked the floor in pain. Looking in medicine cabinet I saw a tube of lanocaine. Immediately it brought relief!!!! Nurse called house next day. I was at work, and hubby told her what I did, and that I was fine. I always keep that in the medicine cabinet now

  7. Judy

    I’ve used soy sauce for kitchen burns ever since I learned about it here, and I thank you. But if you’ve had several people mention burns from hot soup in a blender, may I suggest an immersible blender? I often make soup that needs blending, and I can tell you that an immersible blender not only prevents burns (as long as you keep the blender below the surface), it also saves a lot of washing up time.

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