While onions add incredible flavor to a dish, they are pretty useful outside the kitchen too. From soothing a bee sting to polishing metal, we’ve rounded up 15 unusual uses for onions:
1. Repel insects: For a natural alternative to bug spray, rub a halved onion on your skin or clothes.
2. Soothe an insect bite or a bee sting: If you’ve got an itchy mosquito bite or a painful bee sting, try rubbing a raw onion over the affected area to ease the pain or irritation.
3. Prepare some onion tea to soothe a sore throat: To soothe a sore throat, boil a cup of water with the peels of half an onion.
4. Remove splinters: Lay a halved raw onion on top of a splinter and cover it with a piece of tape or adhesive bandage. Keep the onion there for about an hour and once you remove it, the splinter should have loosened and be easier to pull out.
5. Polish metal: Prepare a mix of crushed onion and one part water. Then, using a damp cloth, rub the mixture on a metal surface, until it appears shiny and clean.
6. Clean the grill: First scrub the grill with a wire brush to remove gunk. Switch on the grill. Use a halved onion, speared through a fork and run the onion over the grill until all of the dirt is gone.
7. Ward off ants: If ants are a problem you face at home, leave a bowl of raw onion slices out. The scent should ward them off.
8. Create a DIY dye: While onions appear translucent in color, they make a beautiful vibrant red or orange dye. Just gather the skins and place them in a pair of nylon pantyhose or a nut milk bag and tie a knot at the end. Boil them in a pot for about 20 minutes. The liquid should be a bright dye, perfect for paper, yarn or fabric.
9. Soak up the smell of burnt rice: A great way to get rid of that smoky smell from burnt rice is to place half an onion next to the stove to absorb the smell.
10. Prevent your windshield from frosting up: Slice a raw onion in half and rub it on your windshield at night. This technique will help prevent frost from forming overnight.
11. Keep avocados from turning brown: A slice of red onion can be placed alongside an avocado in an airtight container to prevent it from browning. You may also add slices of red onion on top of guacamole.
12. Get rid of that ‘new paint’ smell: Place a couple of slices of onion in a bowl of water and leave the bowl in the newly painted room overnight to absorb the strong smell of paint fumes.
13. Clean rusty knives: If your knives are rusting, jab them into a large, raw onion.
14. Soothe a burn: Rub an onion on top of a burn to temporarily relieve the pain. Onions also have antibacterial properties to keep the wound from becoming infected.
15. Keep unwanted animals out of your yard: If you often have a problem with raccoons, chipmunks or your neighbor’s cat, sprinkle a couple of onion slices around the yard or garden to keep them away.