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onion-guard elbow sponge

safe eye relief
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This is based on an interesting bit of advice I got from several cooking aficionados about the onion-fume blues. Supposedly, dabbing some water below your eyes will ward off or absorb the worst of the painful mist. But I've never been able to test this theory, because I always start chopping the things before I remember to try it - and once there's onion all over my hands, it wouldn't be a good move. Plus I'm told the moistening must be reapplied periodically to be effective.

Solution: strap a small sponge to the lateral surface of the elbow. Now you can sponge your face periodically, without getting deadly onion hands near the eyes, by making a "woe is me" gesture.

Of course if the water thing turns out to be rubbish then I'll have to take this idea down and apologize for misleading the public on this potentially comfort-threatening issue... or I could retool it to dispense eyedrops for contact-lens-wearing nuclear waste handlers.

hob, Mar 01 2004

hat fan http://www.realgood...m?dp=107&ts=1090323
alternate solution [joking victim, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       I was picturing some kind of vegetable-based body armor for dyslexics.....but the actuality is so whacked that I'm not disappointed at all.....Ok, an onion flavored croissant strapped to your other elbow.
normzone, Mar 01 2004
  

       One onion-croissant for you, [hob].
Letsbuildafort, Mar 01 2004
  

       Onion sponge prank in the making.
yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 02 2004
  

       There's something vaguely disturbing about this... probably it's the water dripping from your elbows while you work. Or up into your armpits when you are refreshing your eye-daubs. I'm not saying it's bad, mind you.
k_sra, Mar 02 2004
  

       I find that the thing that makes the most difference when onion chopping is wearing contact lenses. When I wear them (mine are the gas permeable variety), I never cry, when I wear glasses, I always do. When I wear neither blood is invariably shed.   

       I have often wondered what the mechanism of the lachrymosal action of onions was. Clearly the tear-inducing agent acts on the eye but my experience suggests that it is the surface of the eye that matters rather than the mucous membranes of the inner lids. Presumably the gas-permeability of my lenses only applies to oxygen rather than small odour molecules. Curious.   

       Still, for those of you without contacts, this sounds like a good idea.
hazel, Mar 02 2004
  

       Don't you have to remember to put your elbow sponges on before chopping?
Worldgineer, Mar 02 2004
  

       // dabbing some water below your eyes //
So as long as you're *already* crying, onions won't make you cry.
phundug, Mar 02 2004
  

       I find that a hanging teaspoon gripped between my teeth works well.
FarmerJohn, Mar 02 2004
  

       Is it gripped or hanging? I'm confused...
k_sra, Mar 02 2004
  

       I noticed if I run the kitchen exhaust fan that I don't have a problem. See the link for an alternate solution.
joking victim, Mar 02 2004
  

       The match stick really does work... even a book of matches with the cover opened and held between the teeth will work (but they can get mooshy).. Putting a bit of distilled vinegar on the chopping board works, but not my choice. Run them under water as you peel them or simply take a huge drink of water and hold it in your mouth until you are done. There is a volatile oil in onions that is an irritant (but not an allergen) so if you can close off your sinus or neutralize the oil or what ever method you prefer to keep it away from your eyes. The water does nuetralize it and putting onions in the fridge so they are cold when you chop also works. I find the easiest is just chewing a match.
no12pass, Mar 02 2004
  

       This gives me an idea for an onion movie theater where they pump in onion vapors during sad scenes.
phundug, Mar 02 2004
  

       [k_sra] I mean one bites the bowl part so that the handle "hangs" in front of the chin instead of the nose, to increase visibility and decrease jaw fatigue.
FarmerJohn, Mar 02 2004
  

       // Don't you have to remember to put your elbow sponges on before chopping? //   

       I think me means for them to be worn at all times, just in case an onion chopping scenario presents itself without advance notice.
waugsqueke, Mar 02 2004
  

       No, you can easily put the sponges on at any time since you don't have to touch the sponge, just the velcro straps.   

       Hazel - glad your gas-permeable lenses protect you, but my soft lenses sure don't.
hob, Mar 03 2004
  

       I use swimming goggles to do the job. It works perfect.
VJW, Jun 22 2011
  
      
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