Wet Paper Towel Onion

Does The Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack Work?


In the culinary world, few things can be as emotionally charged as chopping an onion. The mere thought of those pungent vapors wafting up to sting your eyes can send shivers down your spine. Over the years, numerous hacks and remedies have surfaced in an attempt to tame this tear-inducing vegetable. One such popular trick is the "wet paper towel onion" method. But does it really work, and what's the science behind it? In this article, we'll delve into the origin of this hack, how it's supposed to prevent onion-induced tears, why it doesn't actually work, and its associated downsides. We also talk about the newest method that actually works in prevening an onion from making your eyes burn.

The Birth of the Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack

The wet paper towel onion hack is one of those kitchen legends that spread like wildfire, especially these days with TicTok and Instagram. The concept seems simple: wrap a cut onion in a damp paper towel while chopping it, and you won't cry. It's an attractive idea, especially for those who've been victims of the onion's notorious eye-watering effects. The theory behind this hack is that the wet paper towel absorbs the onion's pungent, tear-inducing gas.

Does It Actually Work?

Unfortunately, this hack doesn't live up to the hype. While the idea of the wet paper towel acting as an onion gas magnet sounds plausible, it doesn't hold up when scrutinized through the lens of physics and chemistry. The reason is straightforward: onions release a gas that's lighter than air, mainly composed of sulfur compounds. As a result, this gas rapidly rises upwards toward your eyes.

In essence, gases, including those released by onions, move based on their density. They aren't drawn to any particular medium, like a wet paper towel. Therefore, the notion of the paper towel attracting the onion's gas is scientifically flawed.

Don't be discouraged, keep reading to learn about a perfect solution that is on the horizon.

The Ineffectiveness of the Wet Paper Towel Hack

We decided to put the wet paper towel onion hack to the test. Here's a detailed step-by-step method of how we conducted our experiment:

Method: Testing the Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack

  1. Selecting the Onion: We began by choosing a fresh onion from our kitchen. It was a standard-sized white onion. Yellow onions are most likely to make you cry but we have sensitive eyes that burn with all onions, even green onions.

    White Onion Paper Towel No Tears Hack

  2. Preparation of the Wet Paper Towel: We took a regular paper towel and moistened it with tap water until it was damp but not dripping wet. The paper towel should be wet enough to provide moisture but not excessively saturated.

    Folded Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack

  3. Placement on the Chopping Board: The moistened paper towel was unfolded and laid flat on the chopping board. It should cover the entire surface area where the onion would be chopped. This was more tricky to do than expected as the wet paper towel stuck together. With care, we were able to lay out the wet paper towel neatly on the cutting board.

    Wet Paper Towel Cutting Board Placement Onion

  4. Positioning the Onion: The onion was placed on top of the damp paper towel. It was positioned in such a way that the surface to be cut was directly on the paper towel.

    Cutting Onion on Wet Paper Towel

  5. Chopping the Onion: Using a sharp knife, we proceeded to chop the onion as we normally would. We followed the usual steps, such as cutting off the ends, peeling the skin, and slicing or dicing the onion as needed.

    Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack

  6. Observation: Throughout the chopping process, we paid attention to any changes in our experience. We noted if the wet paper towel seemed to capture the onion's gas and prevent tearing.

As expected, the results were underwhelming. The wet paper towel neither absorbed nor neutralized the onion's tear-inducing gas. Instead, it made the chopping experience more cumbersome. Tiny pieces of wet paper towel clung to the onion, creating an unappetizing and hygienically questionable mixture. We also still ended up with burning eyes and tearing up from the whole process.

The Cons of the Wet Paper Towel Onion Hack

  1. Ineffectiveness: The primary drawback of this hack is that it simply doesn't work. It doesn't deliver on its promise of preventing tears while chopping onions, making it an exercise in futility.

  2. Waste of Paper Towel: Wrapping an onion in a wet paper towel is a wasteful use of resources. You're essentially sacrificing a piece of paper towel for a futile cause.

  3. Environmental Concerns: The disposable nature of paper towels raises environmental concerns. The more we use and discard, the greater the impact on our environment.

  4. Challenging Chopping: The wet paper towel adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to the chopping process. It hinders your ability to cut onions effectively, making the task more difficult than it needs to be.

  5. Residue on Onions: The biggest turn-off is the possibility of wet paper towel remnants or fibers clinging to your chopped onions. This is hardly appetizing and may impact the taste and texture of your meals. You end up having to pick out pieces of wet paper towel from your onions. The concern is also the microscopic fibers you cannot see and pick out of your cut onions.

The Future of Tear-Free Onion Chopping

While the wet paper towel onion hack falls short of expectations, hope is not lost for those who wish to slice, dice, and chop onions without shedding a tear. An innovative solution is currently in development— "The Laughing Onion." This revolutionary product, designed to be a guaranteed tear-free solution, is set to change the way we approach cooking with onions.

Readers can join the waiting list for "The Laughing Onion" and be among the first to experience this tear-free delight by following this link.

The Laughing Onion promises to be a game-changer in the culinary world, eliminating the need for questionable hacks and allowing cooks to enjoy the culinary potential of onions without watery eyes.


The wet paper towel onion hack, while an intriguing idea, ultimately falls short of expectations. The science behind it doesn't add up, and it can make the process of chopping onions more challenging. It is not an environmentally friendly method and can leave behind undesirable remnants in your dishes. While the quest for a tear-free onion-chopping solution continues, the future looks bright with the development of "The Laughing Onion." This innovative product has the potential to revolutionize how we cook with this essential vegetable. Until then, if you're looking for a tear-free onion chopping experience, it's best to rely on tried-and-true methods and wait for "The Laughing Onion" to hit the market.

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