12 Alternative Uses for Onions that Will Surprise You

Discover twelve alternative uses for onions that may surprise you. From helping fight acne to cleaning your shoes. Keep reading to find out more!
12 Alternative Uses for Onions that Will Surprise You

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Thanks to its properties, onions are much more than a simple ingredient or condiment for food. There are alternative uses for onions that help facilitate a lot of daily chores.

Onions are one of the most well-known vegetables around, both in cooking as well as in alternative medicine. Its antibiotic, detoxifying and antioxidant qualities have been used for hundreds of years as natural treatments for several conditions.

What very few people imagine is that, beyond its exquisite taste and high nutrient content, this ingredient has interesting uses in the home, beauty care and the garden.

And the best part is that onion can replace lots of products sold on the market, making it a less expensive and more environmentally-friendly option.

12 alternative uses for onions

1. Onions for cleaning grills and frying pans

Cleaning a grill with an onion

To remove burnt-on items from the grill, frying pans and other cooking utensils, take advantage of this vegetable’s properties. Its antibacterial compounds not only remove filth but also disinfect and neutralize bad odors.

Stick a piece of onion on a fork and rub it over the utensils you want to clean. Then remove any excess pulp using a moist towel or a bit of dish soap.

2. Getting rid of stains

Sweat stains or burn marks in clothing can be easily removed using a bit of freshly cut onion. It works similar to hydrogen peroxide, penetrating tissues without affecting the article of clothing. Apply it directly to the stain. Let it soak in cold water, then rinse in your normal wash cycle.

3. Insect repellent 

Onions in a bowl as a repellent

Apparently, the strong odor from onions is unpleasant to ants, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of insects that invade gardens and rooms.

Rather than using toxic and damaging insecticides, fill a plate with diced onion and then place it in the insect’s path. You could also add a few pieces to some hot water and pour the liquid into a spray bottle; then spray it around.

4. Remove the smell of paint 

The unpleasant smells from paint or varnish can be deodorized with a bit of fresh onion. All you need to do is cut the onion into several pieces and leave it in the areas where the odor is most concentrated.

5. Clean shoes

Freshly cleaned converse

In order to remove mud and grass stains from your shoes, cut a slice of raw onion off and rub it on your shoe for a few minutes. Then remove any excess with a moist cloth and apply a bit of soap if needed.

6. Remove rust

A lot of iron products can deteriorate due to accumulated rust. To restore them, briskly scrub them with an onion and then shine them using a clean rag.

7. Helps alleviate bites

Applying an onion to a bug bite

Onion’s anti-inflammatory and refreshing properties can be used as a remedy for irritation caused by insect bites. Cut off a piece of onion and then apply it to the affected area. You can also apply fresh onion juice.

8. Helps soothe throat irritation

An onion skin and water decoction may help reduce throat inflammation and pain. If you don’t like the taste, add a bit of lemon and honey.

9. Treat superficial burns

Sunburnt shoulder

To prevent skin infections caused by sun burns, rub a bit of fresh onion on the affected area. Its sulfur compounds accelerate regeneration and reduce burning and redness.

10. Remove splinters and thorns

Adhere a piece of onion over the spot where you have a splinter or thorn with a piece of tape. Wait for an hour, then quickly remove it.

11. Helps with acne

Jaw acne

Onion’s astringent and antibacterial properties may be useful in treating acne. Thanks to its properties, it reduces excess oil and eliminates those unsightly blackheads that interfere with your beauty.

But before applying it as a mask, it’s important to do a patch test first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction or sensitivity to it.

Read also:

8 Steps for Eliminating Acne

12. Fights hair loss

The antimicrobial properties of onions may help stop dandruff and promote new hair growth. Its antioxidant compounds may also help to stop hair loss and grow strong, full hair. All you need to do is prepare an infusion with onion and boiling water, and use the liquid as a pre-shampoo rinse.

Did you know there were so many alternative uses for onions? Start taking advantage of their many uses in the home!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.