How to Peel and Slice Onions Without Tears: a Super Trick for Cooking

Onions are a very popular product in Ukrainian cuisine, and no dish can do without them. But the process of peeling and slicing them brings suffering to many cooks. The thing is that onions contain a tear-producing substance called lacrimator. To avoid crying when slicing the vegetable, several tricks are used.

Cold water

Water is the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of the tear-producing properties of an onion because it dissolves the lacrimator. Slice an onion into several large pieces and put it in a bowl of cold water. And when slicing the vegetable, periodically wet the knife in cold water. You’ll notice that it’s much easier to slice onions this way.

Boiling water

An opposite but equally effective method is to put the onion in boiling water for a few minutes. You can also slice onions next to boiling water – its steam disperses the onion’s tears.


Smear vinegar on the cutting board on which you are slicing onions. The vinegar will neutralize onion vapors, which are what cause tears.


In addition to the vinegar, the board can also be sprinkled with coarse salt. The salt will absorb the onion juice and it won’t hurt your eyes.

Put water in your mouth

This fun tip really helps a lot of cooks. Just pour water into your mouth until you finish slicing onions.

Parsley or gum

Another fun method that really helps make slicing onions easier. Chew gum or a sprig of parsley when slicing onions, and the vegetable will stop stinging your eyes.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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