Find out here why onions make you cry and how to avoid tears

Kitchens have seen more profuse tears than movie theaters during the screening of a dramatic film or concert halls, even if playing the saddest song in the world. Don’t say you’re too strong to cry. This will not prevent bunions. Have you ever wondered why onions make you cry? Check out our article to find the answer, as well as some simple tips to stop crying while slicing this vegetable.

Slicing the onion without crying, it’s possible!

In fact, it is a matter of biochemistry. Before it found its way into your kitchen, the onion was in the ground, fed with sunlight and minerals. However, the underground is inhabited by creatures such as voles or moles, which love to nibble on roots, tubers and bulbs. To protect against them during its growth, the onion has a rather interesting defense mechanism. It absorbs sulfur from the ground so that it can release it when its skin is broken. In short, the onion mistakes you for a mole and tries to push you away. When you try to slice it, it releases enzymes and sulfuric acid. These two compounds combine to produce syn-propanethial-S-oxide which is a volatile gas. Once it hits the layer of water that covers and protects your eyeballs, this gas turns back into sulfuric acid.

Why do onions make you cry?

why onions make a crying woman cry while cutting onion

Cooking with onion without shedding tears

onion benefits eyes cut onion in a bowl

Are there any onions that don’t make you cry?

In general, all types of onions contain sulfuric acid. The only difference is in the quantities. That is, white, red and yellow onions cause a stronger chemical reaction than green onions. Also, agronomists managed to create a variety of onions that does not irritate the eyes. Unfortunately, it is still narrowly widespread.

The four types of onion

chemical composition onion the four types of onions

How do you deal with this chemical drama and stop shedding tears in the middle of the kitchen? We have some simple and effective tips for you!

cover your eyes

This is perhaps the easiest method! If your eyes are covered, the irritant gas could not reach your eyes. In any case, you are not told to cut the onion with your eyes closed. Use ski goggles or swimming goggles instead.

Interesting application of swimming goggles

trick for not crying while cutting onions woman with ski goggles

Cut under a jet of water

It has already been said that volatile sulfuric gas comes into contact with water to turn into sulfuric acid. This is why if we cut the onion under a jet of cool water, this irritating gas will not have time to touch our eyes before being transformed into sulfuric acid which is not a volatile substance. Why not combine the last two tricks and cut the onion with swimming goggles while diving underwater? So you won’t give sulfuric gas a chance.

Refrigerate the onion

You can put the onion in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes for a few hours. It turns out that this prevents the sulfuric gas from being released.

Cut the vacuole at the end

The vacuole or roots in the center of the onion are said to contain the greatest amount of sulfur. We therefore advise you to slice the rest of the onion, leaving the roots for the end.

An interesting cutting technique

why onions sting your eyes slicing an onion

Choose a sharp knife

Choosing the right knife is a very important part of onion slicing. If you use a sharp enough tool, you will be able to cut the onion without crushing it. As a result, it will release less liquid containing sulfuric gas.

Use lemon juice

Lemon juice contributes a lot to our well-being. But did you know that it can help us in the fight against sulfuric gas too? Try putting some lemon juice on the blade of the knife to see the amazing effect. The acidity of the lemon will neutralize that of the onion.

Put lemon juice on the knife

why onions sting your eyes slicing a lemon with a knife

Match against onion acidity

Just like cold, heat can also protect our eyes from onion sulfuric gas. You can light a candle or a match whose flame will neutralize the acidity of the onion.

The flame of a candle protects the eyes

why onions make you cry cut an onion with a candle

stick out your tongue

This is probably the funniest method. However, it works! Stick your tongue out so it’s the first layer of water the volatile gas will encounter.

Onion and its benefits for the eyes

What a surprise ! It turns out that despite the pungent effect it creates, the onion is not an enemy of your eyes at all. On the contrary ! Science has proven that onions can treat eye problems and improve eyesight. So don’t get angry with this vegetable, because its sulfuric acid, which makes us cry, helps us clean our eyes of bacteria, dust or dirt, which entered during makeup, for example. It also helps us fight against dry eyes. All this decreases the risk of infection. In addition, it is an excellent antioxidant for eye lenses. It improves the health of the eyes and protects them from diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. And that’s not all ! The sulfur compounds contained in onions make the lens stronger and more durable and thus improve eyesight. Onions also contain phytochemicals, such as quercetin, which is an antidote to eye inflammation and also relieves eye irritation.

The onion is an ally of your eyes

side effect of shallot slicing an onion on a board

You don’t have to cause the sulfur chemical reaction and cry every time you have an eye problem. You can simply dilute a few drops of onion juice in a glass of water and put this mixture in your eyes. Be careful not to add too much onion juice to avoid irritating your eyeballs.

Onion juice to heal your eyes


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