Do Onion Goggles Work

The Truth About Onion Goggles: Do They Really Work?


Onion goggles are a specialty kitchen gadget designed to protect your eyes from the irritating effects of chopping onions. For home cooks who frequently prepare meals involving onions, these goggles promise a tear-free experience. However, the effectiveness of onion goggles is often debated. This article delves into why onion goggles may not actually provide the relief they claim, providing home cooks with a clear understanding of their limitations.

Main Body

Why Onion Goggles Don't Work
  1. Incomplete Seal

    • Explanation: Onion goggles are designed to fit snugly around the eyes, but they often fail to form a complete seal. This allows the onion's irritant compounds, primarily syn-Propanethial-S-oxide, to reach the eyes.
    • Practical Example: Even with goggles on, you might notice irritation around the edges of the goggles, especially if they don't fit perfectly on your face.
  2. Ventilation Issues

    • Explanation: Many onion goggles are ventilated to prevent fogging, which inadvertently allows the irritant gases to seep through.
    • Data: Studies have shown that syn-Propanethial-S-oxide can penetrate through small openings, making the ventilation in goggles ineffective against onion vapors.
  3. Skin Exposure

    • Explanation: The irritant compounds don't only affect the eyes but can also cause a burning sensation on the skin around the eyes and face. Onion goggles do not cover the entire face, leaving skin exposed.
    • Case Study: A study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies highlighted that even minimal skin exposure to onion vapors can result in discomfort, rendering goggles partially ineffective.
  4. User Error

    • Explanation: Improper use, such as wearing the goggles incorrectly or not maintaining a tight fit, reduces their effectiveness.
    • Practical Example: If the goggles are worn loosely, the gap allows onion vapors to reach the eyes, negating their intended purpose.
Alternative Solutions
  • Refrigerating Onions: Cooling onions before chopping can slow down the release of the irritant compounds.
  • Using a Sharp Knife: A sharper knife causes less damage to onion cells, reducing the release of irritants.
  • Cutting Under Running Water: This method helps wash away the compounds before they can reach your eyes.
  • The Laughing Onion: The first solution that is guaranteed to stop on onion from making you cry. Visit for early access about it's release.


While onion goggles are marketed as a solution for the tear-inducing effects of chopping onions, their practical effectiveness is limited due to incomplete sealing, ventilation issues, skin exposure, and potential user error. Home cooks seeking a tear-free onion chopping experience might find better results with alternative methods such as refrigerating onions, using a sharp knife, or cutting under running water. For those still interested in trying onion goggles, ensuring a proper fit and understanding their limitations is key.

Further Reading and Action Items
  • Further Reading: Explore more about the science behind onion irritants and alternative solutions in culinary articles and food science journals.
  • Action Items: Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you, and consider combining multiple approaches for optimal results.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.