Anyone who has ever spent any time in the kitchen can appreciate the value of cutting onions without tears. As we have all experienced, when you cut into an onion you are releasing a gas that reacts with the water present in your eyes, causing the familiar stinging sensation that causes us to tear up. Here are some handy tips to show you how to chop an onion correctly and avoid any more tears in your kitchen.
Try to breathe only through your mouth while you are cutting. This draws the fumes from the onions away from the eyes, keeping you free of nasty stinging sensations. The chemicals will be drawn into your respiratory system, but breathing onion fumes only causes irritation when it comes into contact with your eyes.
Wear goggles while you cut. This may seem like a pain at first, but it is far less of a pain than having onion fumes burning your eyes. Obviously if your eyes are protected by a sealed surface, then the gases from the onion cannot cause your eyes any irritation. This is also true for contact lens wearers, who report far less eye irritation during the process of chopping an onion.
Light a candle nearby when you are cutting onions. This draws the fumes away while you work, allowing your eyes space to breathe freely without irritation. Only make sure that the candle or other source of flame is not likely to cause any danger in your kitchen environment, and remember to extinguish it when you are finished.
Use a vegetable chopper. Keeping your onions sealed inside a container while they are being chopped is a great solution to minimize eye irritation. There are many cheap chopping tools available in many forms, both manual and electric. Shop around to find what will work best for you.
Put a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting. Some say this is merely an old wives’ tale, but many people also maintain that it is a successful technique. It is thought that the saliva produced in your mouth while keeping the bread there intercepts the onion fumes before they reach your eyes. Since the fumes only become acidic with water, the mouth acts as a trap to prevent the fumes from attacking your eyes.
Cutting onions without eye irritation may be an old problem, but as we have seen, there are also many solutions. Nobody has to put up with unnecessary eye irritation. Simply find what will work best for you, and say goodbye to tears in your kitchen once and for all.
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