12 Clever Uses For And Fun Facts About: Onions!

by anna on June 1, 2009

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Photo by aannnddddi

Well, kids, it’s Monday again, and that means one thing around these parts: lists! And on ABDPBT View definition in a new window Personal Finance, the tradition is becoming a list about crazy frugal websites and their uses for common household items. I’ve noticed quite a few cropping up lately about how to put onions to more use, so I thought I’d share. As always, if you have an onion use that you feel is underrepresented, please add it to the comments below.

  1. Use an onion to clean your grill. That’s your barbecue grill, incidentally: I don’t think that rubbing onion on your own grill will do much for your oral hygeine. From Lifehacker via Apartment Therapy, is this tip to use your onion as a grill cleaner. Start by heating your grill very hot to burn off all of the extra grit and grime. Then, when the grill is off but still warm, rub the grill with a half-onion to loosen any detritus left on the metal. Here’s my question, though: does Lifehacker write any of its own posts anymore? Or is it all just summaries of other people’s posts with links and attributions?
  2. Store your onion in old nylons and they will last for six months. If you take a (clean) stocking and put your onion in it, tying a knot after each onion so that it is isolated from the others, your onions will last much longer than otherwise. This apparently works best with yellow onions, but will also work with other types. Tip can be found on the packaging for onions at Trader Joe’s!

  3. Use goggles or hold a slice of bread in your mouth to avoid crying while cutting onions. This really never happens to me, anymore, but I do remember tearing up while slicing onions when I was younger. I wonder if wearing contacts has anything to do with it? Anyway, they now make goggles to combat tears while slicing onions, but my grandmother also showed me that if you put a piece of bread in your mouth–sticking out from your mouth at a 90 degree angle, it will absorb the onion fumes enough to keep you from crying.
  4. Clean off oniony smell from hands with dry salt. Lemon juice is optional. This is a tip from an old cookbook: if your hands smell of onion, you can use salt as an exfoliating scrub to remove the smell. If you want, you can mix in a little lemon juice as well. Then your hands will smell like a margarita instead of an onion, so you know, win-win.

  5. Clean off oniony smell from dishes with baking soda. From Tipnut, oniony smell from dishes by mixing in a teaspoon of baking soda to the dishwater.
  6. “May help remove a wart.” This cryptic claim comes to us from a user on clipmarks without any kind of explanation. Luckily, Lifehackery offers a little bit more explanation for this claim:

    Mix onion slices with crushed aspirin and a little water. Apply the solution to the wart. The onion’s chemical content and the aspirin’s active ingredients will gradually soothe the wart and make it subside. To maximize the solution’s effect, apply some to a piece of duct tape. Stick the tape on the wart. After several hours, the lesion will be nothing more than a distant memory.

    I don’t know. I think I’m going to go with Compound W if I ever actually get a wart. Duct tape and onion on a wart? This is a little too MacGyver for my tastes, personally. But whatever works.

  7. Soothe your insect bites. If you get stung by a bee or bitten by a mosquito this summer during your time in the Hamptons [cough], impress your friends by whipping out the cocktail onion from your martini and rubbing it on your arm! According to Lifehackery, rubbing a half-onion onto an insect bite will ease the pain because of anti-inflammatory properties in the onion’s enzymes.
  8. Soothe a burn. This is along the same lines as the above tip, citing the magical anti-inflammatory qualities of onion “enzymes.” I’m willing to try this one the next time I get a burn, though, since I’ve never been able to find anything that works to soothe a burn other than holding your hand under a faucet for an hour and a half, or that silver cream that you can only get in hospitals. Yes, I have an extensive burn history. Some day I’ll tell you about it.
  9. Insect repellent. Apparently, insects don’t like onions. Which is interesting, because neither do humans–you know, when it’s rubbed all over your body. I think I’m going to stick with DEET.
  10. Remove the odor of paint. Another delightfully vague and mysterious tip from the bowels of the interwebs View definition in a new window. What paint? Why is paint such a problem? Why would you want to replace the smell with onion? This tip raises more questions than it answers.
  11. To polish brass and other metals. Mix several crushed onion slices with water and apply to a dull metal object. Lifehackery admits that “the results may not come as quickly as commercial polishers,” but insists that this “onion-based polish is good enough to be a worthy substitute.” Right. Until you use it on your grandmother’s silverware, and she comes over to dinner and wants to know why the silverware smells like it’s already been used.

  12. Acne treatment. This one is rich: those magical onion enzymes are also effective for “removing acne,” simply mix crushed onion slices with water and apply this mixture to your face. If your face is made of metal, it should also give you a nice polish. Perhaps a pair of goggles would be a good idea in this case, since I don’t think that a slice of bread is going to do you much good. Hey, you know what else works on acne? Acutane.
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{ 1 comment }

1
Kerry June 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm

That pantyhose one is awesome. We always get a ton of onions from our CSA, and I can never use them up in time. I will try that.

I’m digging all of the cool photos lately too.

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