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How to Neutralize Acid in Chili Peppers

By Brandy Alexander

If you enjoy cooking and eating hot chili peppers, it is very easy to get a burn from these fruits because of the capsaicin compound they contain. Capsaicin interacts with your mucous membranes and stimulates your pain receptors, which is why you feel the acidic burn when you handle, cut open or consume a pepper. The burn is painful and can take a long time to go away, but you have the option to use a few kitchen supplies to neutralize the pain sooner rather than later.

Consume dairy products, such as milk or ice cream, to stop the burning sensation in your mouth. The fats and casein protein in dairy helps break up and dissolve the capsaicin.

Wash your hands in soapy water to remove any existing peppers from your fingers. It is best to do this for at least five minutes. Be sure to not touch any parts of your body during this process.

Rub isopropyl alcohol or vegetable oil on areas of your skin that are stinging. Allow the alcohol to remain for an hour or until the burning stops.


Wear latex gloves when handling hot peppers, such as habaneros, to prevent the burn.

Carbohydrates, such as rice or bread, help absorb the capsaicin as you eat spicy peppers.

The citric acid from lemon or limes can also help neutralize the sting. Suck on a lemon or lime if a mouth burn occurs.

Flush your eyes out with water for 30 minutes to stop the sting. Be very careful not to rub your eyes so as to prevent the burn from spreading. Continuously blink your eyes to allow your natural tears to help clean out the capsaicin.


Do not drink water when the burn occurs in your mouth because it just spreads the pain around.

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