Introduction: Protect Your Eyes From Onions - With Goggles

Picture of Protect Your Eyes From Onions - With Goggles

I've heard a million ways to stay safe from onions.

Breathe through your mouth. Hold a match in your teeth. And plenty of others that work just as badly...

The fact is, a pungent yellow cooking onion appears to attack the eyeballs directly, and the easiest way to avoid the pain is simply to wear a pair of goggles.

However, ordinary safety goggles don't cut it - they are ventilated, and that onion gas streams right in. You need a pair of unventilated goggles. Brazing goggles are perfect, and of course they are much better if you do them up in steampunk style.

Surprisingly, with goggles on, I can take a huge hoot of onion vapor right up the nose, with no pain or effect other than "that smells very oniony." It appears onions, or at least cheap yellow onions, directly attack the eyes from the outside.

Step 1: Why Not Hang Them in Your Kitchen?

Picture of Why Not Hang Them in Your Kitchen?

With a sign, so nobody wonders why there are goggles hanging beside your counter.

You can also use them to protect your eyes against steam, in case of a pressure-cooker explosion :)


DIYSHAM (author)2017-04-12

This is the funniest snap I have seen. chopping onions with butcher's knife. hilarious.

edrK (author)2016-07-10

I mean goggles.

edrK (author)2016-07-10

I really, really like this goggles idea, especially if I could find some WW II aviator ones. In leather.

Because my hint, that really works, is to keep your mouth TOTALLY closed. It works on mincing/slicing dozens of onions, like for my husband's tub of potato salad.

The problem is, of course, those people around who know why you''re not talking or laughing at their jokes and I for one can't keep up the stoicism when they start.

So, glad to learn about googles, thanks.

CatTrampoline (author)2012-02-14

I just noticed a corner of the Periodic Table behind you. Outstanding kitchen decor!

CatTrampoline (author)2012-02-14

Your goggles are more fashionable than mine. I use my green Organic Chemistry Lab goggles for onion chopping. They are super-nerdy, but better than burning eyeballs AND they fit over my regular glasses.

I can get away with chopping half a small cold onion without them, but like you, seem to be extra-sensitive to the fumes.

four_eyes954 (author)2008-02-08

if you chew gum while cutting onions you dont cry and your eyes dont burn

yeah i heard that works too

neologik (author)2011-01-03

wow, you safe my life! jeje
that's a very cool way to prevent crying cooking mens

now i could enjoy the very exquisit smell of frying onions with some garlic
i'm hungry again...


frozen squid (author)2009-04-05

In college we used to keep my roommate's swim goggles in the kitchen. They worked great (even if they weren't nearly as cool looking as these). I personally found that chopping onions while wearing contact lenses (both hard and soft kinds) works, too.

hulma (author)2009-02-25

just cut them in a bowl of water, it dilutes the acid and prevents the gases from burning your eyes. and you don't have to look steampunk in your kitchen, but hell do it anyway.

stephenniall (author)2009-02-17

the easiest way to stay sasfe from onions is to not cut through there defensive mechinism You have to cut them right and they dont burn

Bennybear (author)2008-03-17

Considering the fact that it isn't breathing the onion gas, but having your eyes come into contact with the gas, comments like "Just breath through your mouth while cutting..... /end." are useless. Wearing goggles is a good idea as long as they aren't ventilated.

Scotty Da Q (author)Bennybear2008-03-28

The breathing through the mouth inhales most of the gas before it reaches the Thanks for saying my reply is useless.

Bennybear (author)Scotty Da Q2008-04-14

Actually, the gas wouldn't all be picked up by your mouth. And for your complaint about me calling your reply useless, i'm sure the poster of this instructable enjoyed hearing that his instructable was useless.

techphets (author)Bennybear2008-12-25

My eyes were burning a few minutes ago. Now that I'm breathing through my mouth, I'm feeling much better. Maybe it's because when I breath through my nose it causes the onion gas to be pulled towards my eyes, with some of it shooting right into them.......

Whatever the reasoning behind it, breathing through my mouth works.

Bennybear (author)techphets2009-01-05

That makes sense. I do not disagree that breathing through your mouth doesn't work at all, all of my comments are conjecture as i do not cut onions regularly. I was merely stating that it's the gas released by the onions that irritates your eyes, so breathing in isn't a surefire method, based on diffusion whereas covering your eyes with goggles would surely help.

techphets (author)Bennybear2009-01-06

Ok. I was just responding to your comment 'comments like "Just breath through your mouth while cutting..... /end." are useless. '

Bryan Smith (author)2008-11-15

If you close your nostrils with a clothes pin or some sort of clip, you would not be affected by the onion. I read about this years ago, tried it, and it works.

funwithfire325 (author)2008-04-07

I thought your Instructable was unique, I like it good job!

funwithfire325 (author)2008-04-07

awsome cleaver wish i had one... a- a mini one!

Scotty Da Q (author)2008-02-29

Just breath through your mouth while cutting..... /end.

Rectifier (author)Scotty Da Q2008-03-28

As mentioned, my experiments while cooking appear to prove that it actually directly attacks the *eyes*. The nose and mouth have no part in it. Try it! Put on some (unventilated) goggles, chop up 5 onions, and put your nose right in them. No effects (though you get that feeling your eyes should be stinging, because it smells so strong of onions). However, I can always tell if my goggles are slipping off at all while chopping a lot of onions, as that eye starts to sting a little bit. WRT the refrigerator, I try not to keep things in there that come in big sacks and don't need refrigerating (like onions). Of course, if you have a walk-in, by all means keep them in there! Can you tell I eat a lot of onions? Well, I'm gonna go make some hashbrowns now.

GreggTheGuru (author)2008-02-10

Just keep your onions in the refrigerator. My first job was in a restaurant where I had to peel dozens of onions every day. One day the onions were put in the walk-in refrigerator by accident and it was me that found them hours later when they were good and cold. The onions were just fine, and no more tears for me, ever.

Noblevagrant (author)2008-01-21

one sure fire way is to put a small fan blowing across the onions, I use that method allot when I'm at work.

flactemnad (author)Noblevagrant2008-01-24

Fan's don't work for me either. Even an exhaust window fan doesn't work well enough for me. I can sometimes get a little buffer if I put eyedrops in BEFORE cutting the onions, but I think goggles would work best!

finfan7 (author)Noblevagrant2008-01-23

that is not so good. I had a ceiling fan running while i was working and it just made it so that the stinging juices spread through the kitchen and into the next room.

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