Not Martha

with your onion goggles on

I have a terrible time chopping onions, it usually results in me walking up and down the hall with uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. I’ve tried all the tips – flame, running water. If I’m very careful I take frequent breaks to walk round, but then dicing an onion takes an unreasonably long time. Recently Ugly Green Chair spotted these Onion Goggles, perfect.

· comments [45] · 02-9-2007 · categories:food · links ·

45 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LAmonkeygirl // Feb 9, 2007 at 9:25 am

    My husband bought a pair of aviation goggles from an army surplus website and uses those when chopping onions. Only cost a few bucks, and he looks super cool!

  • 2 Ysha // Feb 9, 2007 at 9:35 am

    From my livejournal post about chopping onions…

    People try all sorts of things to stop from crying when they chop onions. Burning a candle nearby, trying to slice them under running water (have you ever tried to dice an onion under running water?), wearing a slice of onion like a hat. When I used to have rigid gas permeable contacts, onions never bothered me at all but since I had the laser surgery they kill me. I’ve now given up on trying not to cry. Instead, I milk it for all its worth. I have so much fun drama queening it up in the kitchen that I’m almost disappointed when I run out of onions to chop.

    I usually start out with “no body loves me, everybody hates me” and then I hear dad yell from the other room “think I’ll go eat worms!” He pays no attention to my melodrama whatsoever. He knows that when things are really wrong, I tend to sull up and be really quiet. (just like he does) And if I chop my arm off, I’ll make a much different sound.

  • 3 Patti // Feb 9, 2007 at 9:35 am

    So cool!

    I cut them on a cutting board on the stove, with the hood fan on. It helps, but I still cry.

  • 4 SuperJdynamite // Feb 9, 2007 at 9:45 am

    I remember I used to cry when cutting onions, but not so much any more. Maybe it’s because I wear contacts now?

    I wonder if these would also keep things like Ammonia fumes out of my eyes?

  • 5 Jackie // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I wonder if my ski googles would work. It’s the same principle. How funny would that look? Lately though the waterworks are so pronounced that I can hardly see what I’m doing. I think this is worth a try.

  • 6 Amanda // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Cold onions don’t make you cry as much as room temp. onions. Try putting the onions in the fridge and hour or so before you chop them. It may help.

    I wouldn’t store them in the fridge long term. They’ll go bad.

  • 7 mipmup // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:37 am

    thanks for posting this. usually, i wear my husband’s swimming goggles. very stylish, i know.

  • 8 Saundra in MO // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:49 am

    I don’t know why this works but I’ve seen it work several times firsthand. My sister chews gum while she cuts onions. The smell doesn’t get to her at all.
    I too, wear contacts so I never have much trouble and thusly, I’ve never used the gum trick but my sister swears by it.

    Love your site!

  • 9 Katy // Feb 9, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I generally have to leave the room a few times while chopping, so these would be cool. Has anyone noticed a difference by eye color? I may have invented this, but it seems like my dark-eyed friends don’t have as much trouble as me (blue).

  • 10 Tara // Feb 9, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Peel the onions and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before you chop them.

  • 11 Chelsea // Feb 9, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Depending on the onion, I can cry like crazy. My only defense so far is to dispatch that onion as quickly as possible with a sharp chef’s knife. I don’t cry quite as much now that I know the right (thanks to Cook’s Illustrated) way to dice an onion quickly.

  • 12 Ann // Feb 9, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    A while back someone told me to try holding a piece of heavy paper (like cardstock or even cardboard- a recipe card is perfect) in my mouth. You just bite on the paper as though you were blotting your lipstick, and hold it there as long as you chop. I tried it and it worked like a charm! I’ve been doing it ever since and there has been nary an onion-induced tear in my kitchen! I have no idea why it works- some kind of barrier to the fumes, maybe?

  • 13 carrie // Feb 9, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    i know it sounds crazy, but if i’m wearing my contacts — no tears! it’s like i have my own little onion goggles in my eyes to protect me… sometimes i put in my contacts just for cutting onions. hey, whatever works! :)

  • 14 katherine // Feb 9, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    HOLD YOUR BREATH…..actually, i just don’t breath through my nose
    ….a trick I learned during my short career as a prep cook.

    though, i like the idea of having onion goggles.

  • 15 Diane // Feb 9, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I keep all my onions in the refrigerator. And I never, ever dry when I cut them.

    If I want to store part of an onion, I leave the root part intact – just cut from the top part down, and throw in a baggie.

  • 16 Michelle // Feb 9, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    My solution to crying over onions has been the twist and chop. I still have to quarter the onions and peel the skin – which is enough to get my eyes stinging — but then I drop, twist and chop (fun!) and I’m done before I can really tear up.

    I dunno about the light vs. dark eyes – I have dark brown and am pretty sensitive to the onion (or scallion or shallot) fumes.

  • 17 kate // Feb 9, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I keep an old SCUBA mask in the kitchen for that smelly task. Works great until it fogs up. :) Chop fast!


  • 18 Erin O/ // Feb 9, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I’ve been known to wear swim goggles when chopping onions – I look rather silly but they work!

  • 19 ~~Melissa // Feb 9, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Those are fine looking goggles but given the price, I’ll stick with my dollar store swim goggles. They don’t work well in the pool but they definitely block out the evil onion fumes. :-)

  • 20 Kate // Feb 9, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Like the other contact-wearers, I don’t have problems as long as I have my contacts in. I only figured it out when I was having eye problems this fall and wearing my glasses a lot–I had never had onions make me cry but I’d be chopping blind, it was so bad. I am another put-them-in-just-to-chop person now!

  • 21 Kristyn // Feb 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    I chop my onions in quarters and quickly throw them in my food processor and I still cry and burn my eyes out for 15 minutes. I do this while wearing my sunglasses. Maybe these goggles are the answer and I can stop mushing up my onions in the food processor.

  • 22 Jessie Mae // Feb 9, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I know popping the onions in the fridge has been suggested, but I’ve also found that if I forget to put them in the fridge ahead of time, putting them in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes works almost as well.

  • 23 megan // Feb 9, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I have tried all of the above solutions except for chopping underwater and they don’t work for me. I have blue eyes, for the record. I do mean to get a food processor one of these days though, that’ll help.

  • 24 Nora // Feb 9, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I used to work in a restuarant in Jacksonville, FL where they had onion goggles hanging on the wall for the unlucky cook whose turn it was to make the onion soup. They didn’t look nearly as cool as these ones do.

  • 25 Jessica // Feb 9, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I too am incredibly prone to crying while chopping onions… I’ve never tried this, but this article…

    …suggests removing the part of the onion that produces whatever chemical makes you cry by cutting a cone shape out of the root end before chopping the rest.

  • 26 Marjorie // Feb 9, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    I never used to really cry when cutting onions…until after I had corrective eye surgery. Now, my eyes feel like they have flames coming out of them and I literally have to stop, drop and roll because I cannot see. It is horribly painful even if I chop fast, even if the onion was refrigerated, even if I have a candle lit and fans blowing and…..well you get the picture. Wahhhh! Thanks for the post on the goggles. I am definetly gonna look for something similar at the local surplus store…perhaps a gas mask. : )

  • 27 samantha // Feb 9, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    VINEGAR IN A SMALL SAUCER ON YOUR CUTTING BOARD- NOT KIDDING. my sensitive blue eyes cried buckets till i tried it. no more tears!

  • 28 Kerry // Feb 10, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I must have a pair of these. Thanks!

  • 29 Natasha // Feb 10, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    As if you really needed yet another tip…stab a big hunk of bread and shove it up to the end of the knife while you chop. I guess it works by absorbing the onion fumes and stuff before they float up to your eyes? Who knows!

  • 30 cindy // Feb 10, 2007 at 6:28 pm


    was having a bad day but your post made me smile (just picturing my mom in goggle and chopping onions haha). thanks!



  • 31 Sharyn // Feb 10, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    I actually bought some dollar store goggles for this exact purpose. And to keep them from steaming up, I just rub a very thin layer of liquid dish soap on the surface of the lens. No loss of visibility, no tears.

    If you don’t revel looking like an idiot in the kitchen, though, here’s a little tip: Most of the tear-inducing oxide in the onion is contained in the root end. If you slice the leaves away and leave the root intact you’ll avoid a great deal of pain and discomfort.

  • 32 Amanda // Feb 11, 2007 at 4:23 am

    If you do not cut the root off the onion before chopping, this should cut down on the tears. Supposedly, removing the root cause the chemical reaction that makes you cry.

  • 33 Amy // Feb 11, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I use ski goggles. :) Works beautifully.

  • 34 ele // Feb 12, 2007 at 12:57 am

    …you might want to try this: take a big sip of water but instead of swallowing keep it in your mouth while chopping the onions. Works for me but I rarely think of it ;-)

  • 35 hmonkey // Feb 12, 2007 at 6:39 am

    the onion goggles are also sold at williams-sonoma … and do not work any better than ski/swim goggles.

  • 36 Nikki // Feb 12, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    What works for me is leaving a slice of bread near the onions as you cut them. The fumes never even make it to my eyes.

  • 37 emily coughlin and stuart english // Feb 16, 2007 at 6:20 am

    We have such a thriving passion for onions. These magic vegetables brought us together. Treat them with respect and never give up on your dreams!

  • 38 miranda // Feb 19, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    I buy chopped onions.

    It’s worth it.

    (I also, generally, try to avoid cooking with them – I don’t really LIKE onions much anymore – but when I have to, chopped is the way to go.)

  • 39 hillary // Feb 20, 2007 at 10:35 am

    my gram wears my old swim goggles to chop onions!!! the first time I saw her do it I couldnt stop laughing for awhile!

  • 40 Corbin Kling to my onion sack // Feb 25, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Onions are the variety spice of life, did you know how healthy they are, this would be a GREAT science fair project

  • 41 Onion Goggles « My Vegetable Blog // Mar 1, 2007 at 6:36 am

    […] February 22nd, 2007 I’ve seen these nifty onion goggles several times in the past couple of days. First at the Chopping Block and then here, and here. I think it’s a sign that I must buy them. I must have sensitive eyes or tear ducts or whatever. I have a horrible time chopping onions. Tears, burning sensations – it’s awful. I’d gladly wear ridiculous-looking goggles to be done with that. Posted by joanna Filed in All About Alliums, Cool Product Thursday […]

  • 42 Cara P. // Mar 26, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Hey I found the info on this page useful. I am doing a middle school science fair project testing several methods to stop the tears. This was a great resource! But the question is, were you guys telling the truth about these wacky remedies?

    Anyway, keep posting these on this place, it’s a great place to go when you’re bored. Ha!

  • 43 sally // Jun 9, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Burn a candle on the counter next to your cutting board. I have super sensitive onion tears, so I burn 2. :)

  • 44 megan // Jun 9, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Tried one candle, tried lots of candles. No luck.

  • 45 Em // Mar 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve used swimming goggles for years. They work esp for the new onions in Autumn (more intense). Occasionally, guests will look confused and…make comments about swimming!! An essential kitchen tool.

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