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Peeling & Cutting an Onion Without Crying

Updated on May 11, 2013

Why Do Onions Make You Cry?

If you've ever cut an onion in your life, chances are you know that it's one of the few things that can reduce even a tough grown man to tears in just a few simple slices.

Chemicals present in the onion cause tear ducts to work overtime due to both the odor and the fine mist that comes off a cut onion.

Of course if you spend a lot of time cooking, or work in a job that involves cutting a lot of onions (you poor thing!), chances are you'll do almost anything to stop the tears, no matter how crazy it sounds.

Read on for some simple ways to stop onions causing tears each time you cut them. Remember - different ways may work better for your situation.

Onions can cause a lot of tears.
Onions can cause a lot of tears.

No OnionTears Idea 1

Simply run some cold tap water over each wrist.

Then start cutting the onion.

Sound simple right? That's what I thought too, when someone told me this simple trick quite a few years ago. However for some reason it greatly reduces and in many cases completely stops you crying from the acidic onion.

No Onion Tears Idea 2

Use a nose clip or a face mask to stop yourself inhaling the onion.

Of course the obvious answer would be to shield your eyes.

However you'll find that the majority of the acidic onion mist is actually inhaled through the nose and from there induces the tears.

No Onion Tears Idea 3

Peel and store your onions in the refrigerator OR run them under cold tap water.

Both these methods help cool the acids in the onion and reduce the mist they spray leading to very few, if any, tears.

No Onion Tears Idea 4

Light a candle near your workbench.

When you cut the onion the vapour will be drawn towards the heat source meaning no more tears.

Original photo by  Andrew c on wikimedia commons


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