20 unbelievable uses of onion peels and scraps


In this post you’ll read (20) uses of onion peels and scraps you wish you knew before.

With the amount of onion peels and scraps generated in our kitchen everyday, we need to look for ways to use the Onion skin which can reduce our kitchen waste too.

We use onions in almost every dish. Imagine how many onions are used worldwide and how many onion skin is trashed out.

Moving to a low or zero-waste lifestyle can help the environment, and help you save money too.

The first step to get this happen, you need to go zero-waste cooking.

We had written many posts about how to go Zero waste cooking, and we had shared many ideas about how to use banana peels, egg shells, leftover bread, used coffee grounds, used tea bags, orange peels and pomegranate peels.

Now, it’s the time to discover the unbelievable uses and benefits of Onion peels and onion scraps.

After reading this post, I’m sure you will never throw away onion peels again!

20 unbelievable uses of onion peels and scraps

Some notes about the onion peels and scraps:

  • Every time you use onions in cooking, save the onion peels in a sealed bag in the freezer until you decide what to do with it.
  • Wash your onions very well before using the skin to get rid of pesticides. The best way to do that is by holding the onions under flowing water in a strainer. The FDA does not recommend washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash. They have not been proven to be more effective than water alone.
  • All the following ideas of using onion skins are for fresh onions or onions in a good condition. If you have moldy onions, throw it in the trash as some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.


First of all, we need to learn how to make onion peels tea, and onion peels powder.

How to make onion peels powder:

Collect the onion skin after using the onions in kitchen for cooking. Wash them very well until you make sure they are perfectly clean.

You can dry the onion peels in two ways:

  • Air dry the peels: you need a light, airy, warm, and dry spot for the purpose. Spread the onion skin on a dry sheet of paper, they will dry within a week but you need to turn them every two days.
  • dry the onion skin in the oven: this method is easier and faster. Spread the peels on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven on a low heat and keep turning them until they are crispy.

How to make onion peels tea:

To make onion skin tea, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Add a handful of of onion peels. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.


Uses of onion skin and scraps

20 unbelievable uses of onion peels and scraps

Onion peels and scraps for garden and plants:

1- Regrow onions:

Place the onion bottoms root side down in a pot filled with damp and well-drained soil, leaving one to two inches of room at the top of the pot. Water the onion scraps regularly when the soil is dry to touch on the top layer. Fertilize your onions every two weeks using a natural fertiliser like tea fertilizer, coffee fertilizer, egg shells, banana peels fertilizer, or any natural fertilizer.

In about 90-120 days, you can harvest the onions when you see the plant begins to form flowers.

If you are growing your onions indoor, you can plant it at any time of the year. But, if you are growing it outside, you should start in early spring.

2- Onion skins fertilizer:

Use the onion skins to create organic fertilizer for your indoor and outdoor plants to help them grow strong.

The onion peels are a great source of minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper.

To make Onion skin fertilizer just Soak 3 handfuls of onion peels in a litre of water, and cover the mixture and let it set for 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a container for direct use.

3- Onion peels are a natural pesticide:

Onion skin contains acetogenin compounds that can damage insect digestion so that pests die. Mix 1 cup of onion liquid (onion tea) to four cups of water in a spray bottle and spray plants once or twice a week in the early morning to prevent aphid attacks.

4- Onion skin as a mulch:

A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil to conserve the soil moisture, improve fertility and health of soil, and reduce the weed growth.

You can use onion peels for mulching, by the time the soil will absorb it and the quality of the soil will be better.

5- Onion peels for orchids:

Onion skin water can give the orchids more blooms. That’s because of all the minerals and bio-active compounds like flavonoids and polyphenols found in onion skins are transferred to the water when soaking, then to the plant when watering.

Take 2 to 3 handfuls of onion peels and drop in 1 litre of water and allow it to soak for 24 hours.
Water your plant with onion peel water once every 2 weeks.

Read more:

34 creative ways to use leftover food


Onion peels for skin and hair:

6- Onion skin for skin soothing:

Onion peels have anti-fungal properties and help ease the itchiness of your skin, rashes, and athlete’s foot. You can apply the onion peel water on your skin to get relief.

7- onion peels mask for a youthful skin:

Mix 1 tsp of fine onion peels powder with 2 tsp honey and apply it thoroughly to your face after cleansing it.

Leave it for 20 minutes then wash with luck warm water. This onion skin mask can boost the flow of blood through the skin cells, giving you firmer and youthful skin. That’s because onion skin is packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help counter the signs of premature aging caused by harsh UV rates.

8- Onion peels toner for hair:

Onion peels contain sulfur which prevent hair loss and breakage. The antimicrobial properties help prevent infections on the scalp and encourage healthy hair development. Using Onion peels tea as a toner for your hair can help promote hair growth, getting rid of dandruff, prevent hair loss, and moisture dry hair.

9- Onion peels mask for hair growth:

Mix 1 tbsp of onion peels fine powder with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Apply the mixture to your scalp and use circular motions to massage it gently. After around two hours, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Try this remedy every alternate day.

10- Onion skin for grey hair:

There is a hack of colouring and covering your grey hair in just a few minutes using onion peels.


Onion peels and scraps in cooking:

11- Use them to make vegetable stock:

Gather the onion skins and onion scraps with other vegetable scraps to make your own vegetable stock.

Add the stock to your cooking to provide flavour, which is especially important if you’re making vegetarian or vegan food that’s missing the richness from meat.

12- Use them to add flavour to the rice and bread:

Add one teaspoon of onion skin powder when cooking rice to add extra vitamins and mild flavour. Do the same thing when you bake bread, add one teaspoon to the bread dough to add extra flavour.

13- Add it to the soups and bone broth:

To add extra nutrients to the soups, stews, and bone broth, add onion skin and onion scraps and let boil with the other ingredients. Strain the papery skins and scraps out before serving.

14- Make a delicious seasoning:

Simply full an empty herb jar or salt shaker with crushed dehydrated onion skins. You can sprinkle it on food such as roasted potatoes, pizza, or soups to add extra flavour and vitamins.


Health benefits of onion peels:

15- Onion peels pain relief:

Onion peels tea has Anti-inflammatory properties and can take care of the lingering muscle cramps.

If you are suffering from muscle pain or body aches, then drinking the onion peels tea can really help with the pain.

Drink the onion skin tea before bed time, because this will help in relieving the muscles aches.

16- Onion skin for weight loss:

One of the health benefits of consuming boiled onion water is to control the obesity.

Onion peels tea is low in calories, making it a good low-calorie beverage to help control the hunger.

17- It is a sleep aid:

Onion peels are rich in L-tryptophan, a form of amino acid that acts as a natural sedative. It also helps in reducing stress levels which also aids a good sleep.

To get deeper sleep and feel wonderful when you wake up in the morning, have a onion skin tea at bed time, and this will knock you out quickly.

18- Drinking a cup of onion peels daily can help you in many ways:

It can reduce high blood pressure, and infections and boost your immune system. It is also good for your digestive system and gut health because it is rich in fiber, which helps in the mechanism of healthy bowel movement.

Onion peels are treasure of health. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and numerous Antioxidants.


Other uses for onion peels and onion scraps:

19- Onion peels to dye fabric and wool:

If you want to brighten any natural fabric with a warm, sunny shade, use onion peels!
Unlike many other natural dyes, onion skin dye doesn’t require a mordant to be used to achieve good results.

20- Onion skins eggs craft:

Have you seen the golden brown, solid colored Easter Eggs that were dyed with Onion Skins?
Well, you can do it yourself at home by following some tutorials on the internet.


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