This life hack for chopping onions without crying is being called 'game changing'

By Helen Johnson
Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:53 pm
A new hack claims to have found the perfect way to cut onions without causing tears to stream down your face (Photo: Shutterstock)

Onions are a staple of many dishes, with people using them as a basic ingredient in their meals on a daily basis.

But chopping them can cause problems for some, as the simple act of cutting an onion may cause watery eyes and crying.

However, a new hack claims to have found the perfect way to cut onions without causing tears to stream down your face.

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Here’s what you need to know.

Viral TikTok explains how to chop an onion without crying

According to Healthline onions release “enzymes and sulfenic acid when their skin is broken. These compounds combine to produce propanethial S-oxide, an irritating gas.”

The tears you produce when chopping onions are therefore “reflex tears stimulated by exposure to irritants,” Healthline adds.

However, a viral TikTok clip by @cerealeatingghost claims that you can avoid watery eyes when chopping an onion by placing a damp paper towel on the chopping board before you begin.

The maker of the video says that this stops any tears because the onion acid is attracted to water.

During the clip, @cerealeatingghost is responding to another user, who posts a video of herself crying while chopping onions to make soup, but @cerealeatingghost explains that “all you have to do is get a damp paper towel, fold it up, keep it on your cutting board. That acid will be drawn to the wet paper towel and not your tear ducts.”


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TikTok duo @partyshirt - who try viral hacks to see if they work or not - then tested the onion chopping hack out for themselves.

The @partyshirt video named the tip as “life hack of the century", saying that "We've been cutting for hours and not a single tear.”

Others who have tried the hack have also taken to Twitter to let others know if it worked for them or not.

One Twitter user said: “Cutting onions on a paper towel is game changing. Life hack of the century.”

Another commented: “In other news, I used a TikTok hack to cut onions today,” adding that it “worked and I didn’t cry.”

However, for some people, the hack didn’t seem to work as well. One person tweeted: “I’m pretty sure the kids on TikTok lied to me with that onion hack because I put a wet paper towel down on the cutting board and only made it through 1/2 of the onion before I had to blind chop the rest.”

“Well that life hack for chopping onions didn't work,” added another.