Bizarre 'shower onion' emerges on Tiktok - but what are they?

·4-min read

TikTok is full of trends, tips, tricks and hacks that are supposed to make lives easier but the latest one seems to be raising a few eyebrows.

Shower onions.

That's correct — the latest trend on social media is keeping a bowl of onions in your bathroom, with devotees to the shower onion trend claiming the tangy vegetable will absorb all those nasty bathroom odours and germs.

TikTok user Karalynn Dunton recently thought she had met the perfect man after inspecting his bathroom to find that not only was it clean, decorated and well stocked but he also had a very chic looking bowl of onions on his toilet.

A tiktok user gets excited after finding onions in her date's bathroom
The latestet TikTok trend is putting onions in your bathroom to get rid of odours and germs. Source: TikTok/karalynndunton

"He even has shallots!" Ms Dunton said as she films herself becoming overwhelmed by his perfect bathroom.

Ms Dunton was so taken aback by the bathroom she asked her followers if anyone recognised the room before she tried to "wife him up".

But back to the shower onions - How could this possibly work?

Anyone who has eaten onions knows all too well that there is a good chance you will smell them on your breath hours later, and if you find yourself chopping onions, you know that even after washing your hands vigorously you can still catch a faint whiff of that pungent smell on your hands.

Meanwhile leaving any leftovers with onions in the fridge is a recipe for disaster, and the odour of that one little onion will hang around in your fridge long after the leftovers have been polished off.

So why would anyone put a whole bowl of onions in their bathroom?

Do shower onions work?

Yahoo News Australia went straight to the experts to find out if the humble onion could do more than just jazz up a salad or a sausage sandwich. We spoke with Onions Australia CEO Lechelle Earl to find out more about the onion myth.

It turns out that while shower onions are just now gaining popularity on TikTok, people have been using them for years to kill germs, unwanted odours and even help with some redecorating

Cutting onions to get rid of odours
While shower onions are just now gaining popularity on TikTok, people have been using them for years to kill germs, unwanted odours. Source: Getty

"Back in the days of plagues etc it was quite the done thing to pop an onion by the bedside, or in the corner of the room, to soak up any germs floating around the room. Even now people still do this, and they also use cut onions to absorb the smell inside a freshly painted room," Ms Earl told Yahoo News.

Ms Earl suspects TikTok may have picked up the trend after Covid-19 turned the world upside down and and people became desperate for anything that promised to rid us of germs.

"We saw a trend occurring again last year due to Covid where people were revisiting the past and placing cut onions in their homes in a bid to avoid contracting Covid," Ms Earl said.

Shower onions on TikTok
One TikTok user even claims shower onions help with her morning sickness. Source: TikTok/ollierose_

Other benefits of onions

And while there is no real scientific evidence that onions can kill germs and absorb odours, if it was good enough for our grandparents, Ms Earl doesn't mind trying.

"I must admit one of the first things I do if someone in my family has a sniffle is cut an onion and pop it next to the bed – I figure there’s no harm in trying," she said.

If you search about onions online there are plenty of life hacks and blogs that suggest leaving them sliced up overnight in a room to absorb odours, but as for keeping an entire bowl of un-chopped, unpeeled onions in your bathroom all the time?

TikTok users can't get enough of it with the hashtag #showeronion trending and Ms Dunton proudly welcoming her nickname 'onion girl'.

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