Seven Uses for an Onion that Have Nothing to Do with Eating

Onions can add flavor and zest to foods ranging from chili to hot dogs to steak to rice. You want to flavor up something that is just too tame when it comes to seasoning, then you should look no further than the onion. Of course, you already know this. But what you may not know is that onions can be called into service for a number of uses that that little to nothing to do with eating.

Rusty Blades

Rust that has built up on the blades of knives or scissors can be treated courtesy of the chemical properties of an onion. Get yourself a nice sized bulb of onion, remove the external peeling and basically stab the blade into the onion a few times. The rustier the blade, the more you may need to treat the onion like it’s Marion Crane and you’re Norman Bates. After only a few insertions, however, most lightly rusted blades should start to lose their orange patina.

A Little Something in the Eye

Ever have something caught in your eye that you just can’t seem to remove? Utilize the power of strong onions to produce tears for the purpose of good. Slice open pungent onion rather than one of the sweet varieties until the tears start streaming. Whatever was trapped inside your eye that is causing distress should come sliding out within a matter of minutes.


Those pungent qualities of an onion can also be used to revive someone who has fainted or lost consciousness. Most of us don’t have smelling salts around for easy retrieval like people in old movies used to have, but you probably do have an onion about. Rip through a strong onion with a sharp knife and rub the open onion under the nose of someone who has fainted. Who needs smelling salts when you’ve got onions?


Most of us probably don’t carry an onion sealed inside a plastic bag as part of our emergency car kit. But we probably should. Ever face the danger of not being able to see through the windshield because it keeps fogging up? You can address that very common situation by rubbing the interior of an onion against the interior of your car windows. This practical use for an onion usually tends to work better than relying on the car’s defogger.

New Paint Smell Relief

For some people, the smell of an onion is far more preferable to the odor that lingers after the application of a new coat of paint. If the smell of new paint bothers you to the point of headaches or nausea, all it takes to find relief is a couple of onions sitting in a pan of water. Onions act as natural scent absorbers. Rather than waiting for days for the sickening smell of paint to disappear, why not utilize this power of the onion and be stink free in a matter of hours?

Pet Control

Rubbing a raw onion on any spot where cats or dogs have been making a nuisance of themselves can be far more effective than any other attempt at reinforcement of behavior. Cat and dogs view the aroma of onions with about equal amounts of distaste. It only takes about one or two return visits to the area of your house or yard you have deemed to be off-limits to your pets to condition them against repeated visitations.

Bee Stings

The next time you get stung at a picnic, make sure you have brought along some kind of food that benefits from the taste of raw onions. Grab that onion and rub it over the area where you have been stung to immediate relieve the pain. If you plan on being outdoors where you may be exposed to bees, it is always a good idea to add the very light addition of a few slices of onion to your first aid kit in the event you get stung.