Anyone who has been in a room that has recently been painted or is in the process of being painted knows exactly how annoying and nauseating paint fumes can be. Most people argue that the easiest way to avoid the annoying paint fumes is simply by using low VOC paints. However, the reality is that low VOC paints can be a bit pricey and there is also the possibility that your paint swatch of choice is not produced in a low VOC formula.
Seriously Though… Onions?!
It turns out that onions can greatly help in neutralizing paint fumes. All you have to do is peel and cut up a large onion into two halves and place each half on opposite sides of the room, cut side up. The onion absorbs the paint fumes and does not leave the room smelling of onions either. You might need more onions if you’re painting large spaces.
Additionally, ensure you keep children and pets away from the room as you paint, as they can come across the onion pieces and accidentally ingest them.
The Science Behind How Onions Can Neutralize The Smell Of Paint
You must be wondering why and how this onions can rid a room of paint fumes! Well, the technical scientific explanation behind this is that the odor in the paint is produced by chemicals called aldehydes, which have a low odor threshold, thus explaining why the smell can be overwhelming.
On the other hand, the smell of onions is produced by a chemical called Syn-propanethial-S-oxide. Apparently, it takes very little amounts of syn-propanethial-S-oxide to react with the aldehydes and consequently subdue them. In simple terms, the onion smell basically bleaches the odor coming from the paint.
It goes without saying that using onions is not a substitute for important safety measures such as good ventilation and air movement, but it does make painting more comfortable especially if you’re really affected by paint fumes. Ensure you dispose of the onions one you’re done painting!