This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Patricia J. 11 months ago.

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    Hey everyone, How do you stop your eyes from watering when you cut an onion??

    It hurts my eyes every time!



    Gareth T.

    There’s a few things I’ve tried in the past that work with varying levels of effectiveness.

    – Cut an onion under a vent. The whole goal is to suck up as much of the escaping vapour in the air as much as posssible
    – Plugging your nose with some tissue.
    – Wearing swimming goggles (seriously!)
    – Freezing the onion before you cut it.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  chef_gazza.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  chef_gazza.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  LFLC.

    Robyn F.

    I cry all the time, so I never notice if the onions are making me cry. hahah
    What I do if its summer: I go outside and take my chopping board with me, and cut those babys up on the table in my patio.
    When I can’t do that or its too cold, I put a fan behind me and start chopping. Usually, having some breeze taking that oniony smell away helps.

    hope that helped.


    Patricia J.


    I’m Patricia – the nutritionist at LFLC.

    It’s important to note that the older the onion, the stronger the fumes.  Buying smaller batches of onions might ensure that your onions are fresher.

    Hacks that have worked for us:

    1 – turn on the overhead vent before chopping

    2 – freeze the onion for 15 mins before chopping or store your onions in the fridge

    3 – wear goggles

    Hope this helps!


    Jason C.

    From what I understand it’s the sulfur in the onions which cause this to happen.
    I’ve had success cutting onions in half and soaking them in water to pull the sulfur out (I cut up two bags for French Onion Soup and never had one tear).


    Patricia J.

    Thanks Jason for your tip!

    It’s not just the sulfur that’s making you cry. Onions also contain an enzyme called synthase. When you cut into an onion, the synthase reacts with the sulfur to create a chemical compound called syn-Propanethial S-oxide. This compound creates a gas that floats up to your eyes and triggers your lachrymal gland—the gland that produces tears.  Some people’s lachrymal glands are more sensitive than others, which is why some people will cry a lot or a little when chopping onions. 

    Chilling the onion also reduces the gas emitted from this chemical compound.  Place the onion in your fridge for 10-15mins before cutting.

    If you are still very sensitive – goggles are a sure bet.


    Nutritionist LFLC

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