Tuesday Tip: Reduce Tears While Cutting Onions

Have trouble holding back the water works when cutting onions? I love the smell of onions and don’t shy away from slicing them up.  However, I almost always have to walk away at some point because the smell overpowers my eyes and I can’t keep them open or dry.

If you’re like me, here’s a simple tip to try out: light a candle next to your cutting station to help diffuse the strong onion smell.  I use this tip and although it doesn’t always keep me from crying, it does greatly reduce the effects.

The onion releases a gas that stings your eyes so the object is to keep the gas from meeting up with your eyes.  The candle flame absorbs the gas.

stop crying onions

Some other things you may want to try to stop crying when cutting onions in addition to lighting a candle are:

  • Rinse the onion with cold water after peeling the first layer of skin off. This helps rid of some of the acids.
  • Rinse the knife with cold water after making the first cut to help rid of acids.
  • Chill onions in the freezer 10-15 minutes before cutting them
  • Cut next to a fume hood or fan so the gas is pulled away from your eyes
  • Chew gum or bread to absorb the gas
  • Breath out of your mouth to attract the gas to your wet tongue instead of your wet eyes

Use onions a lot for cooking?  Try freezing onions to save you time and money.

What do you find helps you hold back the tears when cutting onions?

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