There’s plenty of science to it (Picture: Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty)
There are all sorts of old wives’ tales detailing how to stop onions making you cry.
This one might be the hack to top all hacks, though, and actually help us chop onions without tears (and without wearing goggles or putting a spoon in our mouths) for good.
Shared on TikTok by @cerealeatingghost, you just need kitchen roll and water to stop your crying.
Duetting a video of someone crying while chopping veggies for a soup, they said: ‘The acid in onions is usually attracted to a water source, so the first place is normally your tear ducts.
‘All you have to do is get a damp paper towel, fold it up, put it on your cutting board, and the acid will be drawn to the wet paper towel instead of your tear ducts.’
Comments poured in from people who’d tried the trick or wanted to.
‘Learning this after 10 years cutting onions with my swimming goggles on,’ one person wrote.
‘This actually worked,’ said another. ‘Thank you from the bottom of my soul’.
It seems very simple, but there is science behind this. When you chop an onion, you release acids and enzymes that become a chemical called syn-propanethial-S-oxide when mixed.
When this chemical rises and comes into contact with your eye, your brain sends signals to your tear ducts to wash out the perceived irritant.
Water can act as a barrier to this getting into your eyes, so a damp paper towel could theoretically reduce the response from your tear ducts.
Using a wet chopping board, dabbing water under your eyes (with onion-free hands), or cutting your onion in a basin of water (not for the faint-hearted) could all have a similar effect.
Let us know in the comments if you give it a try.
Do you have a story you’d like to share?
Get in touch at [email protected].