Is it weird? Yes, but it's also useful.

By Aly Walansky
March 16, 2021
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TikTok has gotten incredibly popular in recent years, and some of the most shared videos on the app involve food hacks like the viral feta pasta or last year's epic Dalgona coffee trend — but every now and then there's a tip that really leaves people scratching their heads.

The latest controversial life hack to come out of TikTok is shower onions, and it's exactly what it sounds like: keeping onions in the bathroom. And it turns out, there's an actual legitimate reason someone might be doing this.

This conversation grew out of a video posted by TikTok user @karalynndunton, who met a guy on Tinder and then found herself in his apartment, snooping in his bathroom. While all this seemed a bit commonplace (except maybe not under the backdrop of a global pandemic, though that's another story entirely), she came across pretty common items in the bathroom, from hygiene products to grooming products. She even marveled about how neat and well-organized his bathroom was. Things were about to get odd, though.

Yes, that's a bowl of onions sitting on top of his toilet.

"Look at his shower onions," she said in the video. "He even has shallots."

While she tried to play it off as rather casual in the video — and even took a nibble out of an onion from the bowl — commenters were quickly all up in arms about this development.

"I'm sorry, but bathroom onions?!" read one comment. 

"You lost me with the bathroom onions. But you lost me even more when you ate the poo poo onions!" read another comment.

So, what's the deal here? Further comments on the post explain that this is actually not a creepy thing the woman's date is doing, but rather the reason for keeping bowls of onions in a bathroom would be to absorb and neutralize any smells. This is especially helpful in an area that maybe is poorly ventilated or is without a window. 

basket of red onions

Essentially, it's kind of like onion-potpourri. It appears there's been articles going back years — such as this LifeHacker piece from 2015 — about the odor-fighting ability of an onion. There's also a myth going back to the 1500s that putting onions around your home can ward off germs - people used to use it for protection in times of plague. While never proven to be true, it remained a part of folklore for years — so, who knows. Maybe onions wasn't such a wild thing to have in a bowl in the bathroom while having a Tinder date during a global pandemic.

Actually, yes. It's still weird. But if it works, then why not?

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