How Can I Get Rid of Onion Breath?

A tongue scraper, which can help with onion breath.
Rinsing with mouthwash is an easy way to get rid of onion breath.
Onion stays in the bloodstream for up to three days, meaning every exhalation contains a trace of its distinctive smell.
Flossing can help get rid of onion breath.
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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 27 August 2014
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Although many types of bad breath can be resolved with a mint, a piece of gum, or brushing your teeth, this is often not true with onion breath. This is because, when you eat this root vegetable, the particles that give off the distinctive smell of an onion stay in your bloodstream for up to three days, meaning that every time you breathe out, it smells like onions. To get rid of this problem, thoroughly floss and brush your teeth. Make sure that you drink plenty of water, and try to eat foods with parsley in them, or simply parsley itself, as this herb can help to neutralize some of the onion smell. While these steps will likely make your onion breath better, you will probably have to wait patiently for it to go away on its own and use mints to mask the remaining smell.

You can take the edge off of onion breath by flossing and brushing your teeth thoroughly. The flossing is perhaps most important, as any small bits of onion stuck in your teeth will only intensify the odor. When brushing your teeth, make sure to clean your gums as well, as this can get rid of some of the oil from the onion causing the bad breath, and remember to brush your tongue. If you have a specialized tongue scraper, using this can be helpful.


The human body constantly produces saliva, which helps to clean out the mouth; however, in order to do this, the body needs plenty of water. After you floss and brush your teeth, drink as much water as you can on a continuous basis. This will not only help to rinse out your mouth, but also aid your body in producing more saliva, shortening the amount of time that you experience onion breath.

Parsley, a common herb that can easily be found in most grocery stores or farmer’s markets, contains oils that produce a scent that can neutralize that of onions. Chewing on a piece of parsley and eating foods containing large amounts of it, such as a salad utilizing parsley as a green, can help to relieve bad breath. If possible, opt for flat-leaf parsley, often referred to as Italian parsley, as it tends to contain more of the neutralizing oils. In the future, adding parsley to any foods that contain onion can help to eliminate some of the bad breath issues associated with eating it.

While all of these ideas can help to relieve onion breath, you may have to wait until the oils leave your bloodstream. These tips and tricks, however, will help to reduce the amount of time that you experience onion breath and can mask any remaining odor temporarily. In addition to this, chewing minty gum, using breath mints, or rinsing regularly with a gentle mouthwash can also help to hide the smell until the onion works its way out of your system.


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