What makes you cry while chopping onions? How to avoid tears?

Onions contain a chemical called Sulfoxide which turns in to gas when the walls are cut and becomes an irritant to the eyes


Onion is a vegetable that is very commonly used in different cuisines. Though the vegetable helps to enhance the taste, it can be painful while handling. They are commonly used in Asian cuisines. Chopping onions can be a task as the fumes coming out of it gives a stinging burning sensation in the eyes while making you look like you are crying. The vegetable contains a chemical that is called Sulfoxide that converts to a gas, which triggers the lachrymal gland, that produces tears. However, not everyone get teary eyed while chopping onions as some people have less sensitive lacrimal glands, which does not make their eyes burn. Here are a few ways to avoid getting teary eyed while chopping the vegetable.

1. Chop onions under the fan – You can avoid getting teary eyed or the burning sensation by turning on the fan as it helps to blow the gas away from the face.

2. Freeze the onions before chopping – This is also a great way to avoid tears. Keep the onions in the fridge for 12 to 20 minutes as low temperature brings down the progress of the chemical in to gas that works as an irritant.

3. Wear spectacles or sunglasses – This might be a little weird but it still works. There are people who get too sensitive while chopping onions and wearing something protective like a pair of spectacles or sunglasses.

4. Use a sharp knife while chopping – It is wise to use a sharp knife as it cuts more accurately. Using a sharp knife leads to less damage of the walls and less gas is emitted.

5. Dip onions in cold water – Keep the onions in chilled water for about ten minutes before you chop them. This works similar to the fridge by slowing down the progress of the chemical to gas process that works as an irritant for the eyes.

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