The Foolproof Way to Cut Onions without Tears and Sing Songs at the Same Time

Crying profusely from chopping onions is a common occurrence. However, knowing these methods can make everything much simpler.


Thai onions, shallots or garlic cause eye irritation because when they are cut, they release sulfoxide amino acids. These acids combine with the enzyme alliinase to form propanethiol S-oxide gas, which reacts with the liquid in the eyes to form sulfuric acid, causing a burning sensation and stimulating tear glands to produce tears. So in order to avoid eye irritation when cutting onions, here are some tips:

Put the onions in the microwave

Put the onions or garlic in the microwave for about 20 seconds to reduce their pungency. Then you can proceed to cut them as usual.

Chew on something while cutting

Chewing gum or any food in your mouth will make you breathe through your mouth more, reducing the chances of onion particles reaching your eyes.

Rub potatoes on both sides of the knife

Before cutting onions or garlic, slice a potato and rub it evenly on both sides of the knife. This will reduce the pungency.

Chill the onions before cutting

Put the onions or garlic in the refrigerator’s vegetable or freezer compartment. If using the vegetable compartment, leave them for about 20 minutes. If using the freezer compartment, leave them for about 10 minutes. Then take them out and cut them to reduce the pungency. Alternatively, if you need to cut a large amount of onions, you can soak them in a bowl of ice water before cutting.

Cut the onions underwater

You can place the onions on a cutting board in a basin of water and cut them. The water will prevent the onion particles from flying into your face.

Cutting onions underwater or under a running tap of water will significantly help, as the water will dissolve the sulfur compounds before they can reach your eyes.

Light a candle, spray vinegar

You can light a candle next to the cutting board, as it will absorb some sulfur from the onions and reduce the amount that reaches your eyes.

Use vinegar

You can use vinegar or citrus juice to rub the surface of the knife and cutting board, which will also reduce the pungency of the onions.

Wear goggles

Wearing goggles or swimming goggles is another way to prevent the onion fumes from reaching your eyes.

Turn on a fan

Turn on a fan and let it blow the onion fumes away from your body, reducing the amount of fumes that reach your eyes.

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