Here's how you can cut an onion without crying

Are you tired of tearing up while cutting onions and not knowing why it happens? Here's an amazingly simple tip that will leave you with dry eyes.

Cut onions emit certain compounds which cause the lacrimal glands in the eyes to become irritated, releasing tears. (photo credit: LALI MASRIERA, CATALUNYA/CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)
Cut onions emit certain compounds which cause the lacrimal glands in the eyes to become irritated, releasing tears.
(photo credit: LALI MASRIERA, CATALUNYA/CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA)

Get ready for a tip you have never known before—you will be shocked by its effectiveness. This is a life-changing tip for cutting onions that prevents the cutter from tearing up. All you need is paper towels. Yes, you heard that right, paper towels that each of us has at home.

“The reason you cry when you cut an onion is the chemicals that the onion secretes reach the closest source of water—your eyes.”

Shilo from Australia

Shilo from Australia posted on Facebook that she puts a paper towel next to the cutting board when she cuts the onion and it keeps her from crying. "I bet you didn't know this until now," Shilo wrote. "The reason you cry when you cut an onion is the chemicals that the onion secretes reach the closest source of water—your eyes. Now you'll want to use this tip."

Why do onions make you tear up?

The reason for crying when cutting is the chemical syn-propanethial-S-oxide that is secreted by onions when they are chopped.

The gas rises into our noses and eyes which causes them to become irritated and tear up. It is not clear if the liquid in the paper towel actually absorbs the chemical or dilutes it, but it works. Watch:

@sidneyraz my weak eyes always struggle #tipsandtricks #todayilearned #lifehacks #cookingtips ♬ original sound - sidneyraz

@cerealeatingghost #stitch with @xxbaileyelizabethxx ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic

Tens of thousands of viewers saw her simple idea and most said they had no idea why they cry when they cut an onion. "I love that it doesn't matter how old you are, you can still learn new things. I'm going to use this for sure," wrote one, and another added: "I can confirm that this really helps."

Others came up with their own ideas about how they avoid crying while cutting onions.

"I always leave the faucet on the sink on," one commented, and another added: "I put the onion in the refrigerator and it helps."