Do you love onions? Of course, you do! The spicy vegetable is a versatile ingredient that can add a hint of spice to any dish. That said, the trusty onion happens to have a “fragrance”–that’s putting it nicely!–that can be super off-putting, especially if you happen to be “wearing” it outside of the kitchen.

It’s happened to the best of us, right? Maybe you were spending your Sunday food-prepping, before running out for a mimosa-filled brunch with your besties. Of course, you washed your hands to rid yourself of the potent smell, but it’s not until you’re hugging a friend that you have seen since high school that you realize something horrifying– I stink!

It’s an embarrassing situation and one that any rightful home chef-extraordinaire has experienced. But, just because you happen to subscribe to the art of mise en place, doesn’t mean you have to wear “l’eau d’oignon” for the rest of the day. Recently, our buds over at Food 52, gave us the scoop on how to eliminate that sharp and sour onion smell once and for all–and, believe it or not, this trick requires absolutely NO soap!

To get rid of the smell–and the sticky residue!–all you need to do is rub your hands over a metal spoon…

We’re not kidding!

Just turn on some cold water and rub your hands against the spoon for about 10 seconds. Once complete, your hands should be completely free of that gross onion smell. According to Food52, any stainless steel instrument will work, so feel free to try other utensils as well. If the smell is really tough to remove, you can always repeat the trick with a larger stainless steel serving spoon to efficiently cover more surface area while the cold water is running.

Who knew?! Now we’re not going to be afraid of these bads boys anymore!

Other ways to make onion-slicing more bearable

Of course, onions have a bad reputation for other reasons other than their stickiness, perhaps the worst attribute that is attached to the vegetable is the eye irritant that they emit. Once cut, onions produce something called “syn-propanethial-S-oxide,” a chemical irritant that creates a stinging sensation. 

But, just because the chemical is part of the onion, doesn’t mean that you have to expose yourself to it fully. You see, most of it is contained in the vegetable’s root, so the key is to slice off the bottom end, making sure that you keep it face-down, towards your cutting board while doing so.

Once you’ve sliced off the root, you can then move on to slicing and dicing your onion like a pro. Of course, if you’re not too sure how to do that without risking your fingers, you can take a look at some of these easy-to-learn knife skills.

Voila! Here’s to perfectly-sliced onions and smooth, clean-smelling hands!

We’d love to hear your take on these groundbreaking onion-cutting hacks! Have you ever tried the spoon method? If so, has it worked well for you? Do you know of any other hacks that get rid of onion smell and/or residue?