what are shower onions

What are Shower Onions? Should you have them?

Some time back, you probably came across the “shower onions” TikTok video. The video was posted by a lady identified as @karalynndunton. Apparently, she had just met with a guy she had been talking to online, and it was time to know him better.

Source: https://www.tiktok.com/@karalynndunton

As she takes her sweet time to learn the ins and outs of his bathroom (according to her, a man’s bathroom tells a lot about him), she comes across a tin full of shower onions. Obviously, she is surprised because, who puts onions in the bathroom?

 Just like her, most people who watch the video wonder what could be really going on. But to some, it is nothing new.

Onions in the shower is an old trick that has been useful for many years, to help eliminate bad odor in the bathroom. Bathrooms especially if poorly ventilated can stink to high heavens. With a bowl of peeled or sliced onions, you can solve the problem temporarily.

One bowl of onions can absorb the bad odors for 1 to 2 days. It is just like the way you place an open container of activated charcoal or baking soda in a house or refrigerator that is not smelling fresh. The soda or charcoal powder absorbs the bad odor, then you toss it away in the day that follows.

After researching and even talking to some friends, I learnt that you can even do more with the onions trick. An expert interview conducted by Yahoo News Australia reveals that onions are also known for absorbing germs. Further, they can eliminate odor from a newly painted house.

A friend was also telling me that she places a sliced onion near her bed when sleeping. She insisted that it absorbs germs from the surrounding. Thus, she cannot cook a left over sliced onion for the same reason

Is there any scientific basis for this old wives’ tale? I do not know! However, I did a little bit of research and found out that the remedy is as old as Methuselah.

Some cultures have practiced for years but the scientific benefits of onions seem to point elsewhere.

Can you Place Onions in the Shower?

onions in a bag

Honestly, this is one of those things you have to try and observe if it works. The silver lining is that there is no harm trying, and it’s cost effective. The main concern is that onions might release their own smell into your bathroom.

This is a possibility in the first few hours but after that, they begin to capture the odors that are present in the room.  Another concern is that cutting onions might make your eyes teary. Ha ha!

After placing the onions in your bathroom for a day or two, do not eat them. Toss them away. Common sense, right?

Best Onions for the Shower

Since there are many types of onions, your mind might linger with thoughts of the best type to place in your bathroom. A common habit is to place red, white, sweet or yellow onions inside there. An assortment of these varieties is also an approach to consider.


How do you Make Shower Onions?

You do not just take a bunch of onions and throw them into your shower.  Set aside three or four large white onions for the mission. Use red or yellow onions in the absence of white onions. You can also use an assortment of the 3 varieties.

Take a sharp knife and cut the onions into halves. Peel the outer cover then slice the halves into thin slices.  Transfer the slices into a small bowl and place it in the bathroom. Alternatively, transfer the onions into a mesh bag and hang it somewhere in the bathroom.

Why Keep an Onion in the Bathroom?

The objective for keeping onions in the shower is to eliminate bad odors. Onions have a reputation for absorbing the musty smell that lingers in bathrooms. They begin by releasing their strong smell into the bathroom space, then the smell dies down slowly together with other smells that characterize the room.

Shower onions have the benefit of absorbing smells from the bathroom surface and curtains.

Do Shower Onions Work?

People that have tried the shower onions trick claim that it works. The best way to attest to the effectiveness of the remedy is give it a try.

How Long do Shower Onions Last?               

Leave shower onions in the bathroom for a maximum of two days. They slices tend to be more effective on the first day because they are fresher. The effectiveness reduces as they lose their freshness.

If you still feel the need for having onions in the shower after two days, replace them with freshly cut slices.

Can You Eat Shower Onions?

It is not advisable to eat shower onions because once placed in the shower, they absorb smells that are bad for your health. Bathrooms tend to reek of moldy and soap smells. The smells can even be worse depending on how clean the bathroom is.

Why Keep an Onion in the Bedroom?

You have probably seen or heard about folks who keep onions in the bedroom instead of bathroom. And this too made you wonder what the heck was going on.

This group does not seek to benefit from the odor eliminating capabilities of onions. Thiers is the germs story I already mentioned. Apparently, onions absorb bacteria in the air especially during the cold season.

Alternative Natural Bathroom Deodorizers

There is no doubt that using shower onions is a cheap and reliable bathroom deodorizing trick. That said, the smell of onions does not appeal to everybody.

 Not to mention, many people do not like the idea of cutting or peeling onions. Replacing the onions every 2-3 days can also make the trick a bit tricky.

For some, these are enough reasons to look for alternative ways to keep the shower smelling fresh and clean.

Baking Soda

A common household trick is to use baking soda. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, the leavening agent is effective as a cleaner and odor eliminator.

You have probably seen a family member or friend place a small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator. Chances are high that you have also done it yourself.

Baking soda absorbs the bad odor in your fridge and keeps it smelling fresh. This is the same logic that applies when you place a bowl filled baking soda in a hidden place in your bathroom.

Unlike shower onions, baking soda can last up to a week or even more before you throw it away. In most cases, this depends on the initial condition of your bathroom.

Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are decorative, therapeutic and an elegant way of keeping your bathroom refreshed. And just like onions, you can grace the space with assorted varieties to suit your personal taste.

Examples of indoor plants that do well in the bathroom space include the snake plant, jester crown fern, spider plant and Chinese evergreen.  All these are excellent because they love humidity.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a strong odor neutralizer that you can use in any space of your house. The powder comprises of pores that absorb all kinds of unpleasant odors.

Place a small bowl of the powder in an inconspicuous place in your bathroom and throw it away after a week or as necessary.

Essential Oils

There is nothing that beats the rich aroma of essential oils. Choose several of your favorites. The collection can range from sweet smelling to citrusy or herbaceous and so on.

Next, cut and roll a few balls of cotton wool and place them in a small bowl. Add a few drops of each essential oil to the bowl and place the bowl in your bathroom.

High quality essential oils are richly concentrated. The aroma can diffuse into your bathroom’s air for several days.

To get the most out of this method, place a small bowl of baking soda in a different place in your in the bathroom so that it can absorb unpleasant odors. This is a way of ensuring that essential oils do not mask the bad odors.

Citrus Peels

Citrus fruits are widely used in commercial deodorizing products because of their fresh aroma. But such products also contain dangerous chemicals and toxins that keep conscious buyers at bay.

An alternative way for having the aroma in your shower is by using fresh citrus peels. All you need is to peel fruits such as lemon, lime, oranges or grapefruit. Transfer the peels into a bowl and place them in your bathroom for 2-3 days, then replace as necessary.

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