We add it to soups, hamburgers and salads. When we peel it, it makes us cry, and we run for the mouthwash after eating it. It is the onion.
High in flavor and low in calories, onions are good sources of vitamin C and fiber, and they are rich in antioxidants. Yet, did you know this superfood could provide many other benefits around your household?
Here are 10 surprising uses for onions other than as a food.
1. Natural pesticide. You can rub a peeled onion on your skin as a simple – and smelly – bug repellent. You also can help keep bugs out of your garden with an onion spray.
Puree four onions, two garlic gloves, two tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and one quart of water in your blender. Set mixture aside. Next, dilute two tablespoons of soap flakes in two gallons of water. Add the blender mixture and stir well. Fill a clean sprayer bottle with liquid to keep insects and other pests away from your garden.
2. Soothe bites, stings and minor burns. Simply place a freshly cut onion slice on the affected area of your skin to soothe the pain and swelling.
3. Ease a sore throat. Onion tea doesn’t taste great, but it does the job. Boil one cup of water with the peels of half a medium onion. Remove onion and sip to soothe a painful throat.
4. Fight dizziness and fainting. You can use onions in place of smelling salts. Place a piece of freshly cut onion under the nose of someone who is feeling faint, and it will decrease the feeling of light headedness.
6. Polish metal. Mix crushed onion with water. Then dab the mixture on the metal surface with a soft cloth. Rub until clean.
7. Remove rust from knives. Simply plunge your rusty blade into an onion several times and then wipe dry for a rust-free surface.
8. Get rid of paint smell. Are you bothered by the smell of new paint in your home or workplace? Try placing a few slices of onion in a dish, along with a small amount of water. The onion will absorb the paint smell within an hour or two.
9. Clean your grill. Cut an onion in half and then rub it across your grill surface to remove food and grime. Then wipe clean.
10. Deter pets. If your cat or dog keeps visiting a spot on your property to dig, to chew or to use as a bathroom, place a few onion slices in that spot. Animals do not like the smell of onion, and they will stay away. Refresh onion slices as needed to keep making your point.
11. Make burned rice edible. Did you leave the rice on the stovetop too long? No problem. Place an onion half on top of the rice to absorb the burned flavor.
12. Prevent avocado browning. Place a red onion half in a plastic bag or container and then add the avocado. You also can keep guacamole fresh by placing some red onion slices on top of it in a plastic container.
Store your whole bulb onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Whole peeled onions should be refrigerated at 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) or below. Sliced or chopped onions can be stored in a sealed plastic bag or covered container in your refrigerator for seven to 10 days.