How to Charge Phone with Onions: Approach, Myth and Opinion

Charge phone with onion
I guess this isn’t the first time you’re hearing this, what will I call it? A myth, reality or what? Well, how to charge your phone with onions! If you haven’t heard it before, then you will read everything right here.

We’re in a smart world and are ‘enslaved’ by these smart devices such as mobile phones, portable game consoles, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). They help us to perform complex and time-consuming tasks at very fast rates, most importantly on-the-go.

However, they’re gadgets and are therefore susceptible to failures, malfunctioning and drain-outs. Notably, they require a power backup to work. That’s where power management comes into play.

I understand that there are electric chargers, power banks, solar chargers, among other devices one can use to boost or top-up power. Somehow, we sometimes run out of power sources and become frustrated. Or maybe need a momentary remedy to charge our phones.

In such times, one might begin to think out-of-the-box for possible solutions to the unavailable power source. One of such out-of-box solution is to charge your phone with onion.

Did I just say onion?!

Yes, onions. 

Are you surprised that the supposed food item you see in the kitchen can be this useful?

Whilst a number of attempts have been made in solving this problem with onions, there’s more to it than you can imagine.

Hence, I have taken the time to do findings and experiment on a few things to help me determine the effectiveness and approach involved in this concept.

Here, I will describe all my findings and what others think too.

How to charge your Phone with Onions – The Approach

I know you’re eager to get going. So, without hesitating, let’s get started.

What you need

  • An onion bulb
  • A USB Charging Cable
  • An Energy Drink, e.g. Passion
  • A bowl
  • A screwdriver or something to bore holes into the onions.

The Steps

Step 1 – Prep the Onions for charging

With a screwdriver or any device you have gotten, make two holes in the onion such that they’re perpendicular to each other. That is, one from the top, another from the side, and both should meet in the middle.

If you have done that, proceed to the next step.

Step 2 - charge the onions

Begin by getting a bowl deeper than the height of the onion. Now, pour the energy drink into the bowl and completely immerse the onion in the energy drink.

Leave the onion there for 30 to 45 minutes. By then, the onion would have absorbed the energy drink. The energy drink absorbed by the onion causes the static charges in the onion to become mobile, thus offering the possible transfer of charges via a conducting material.

Step 3 – Charging your phone with the onion.

Now that you have charged the onion using the energy drink, it’s time to charge your phone with the onion.

Remember the USB cable you got the other time? Fine, it’s time to put it into use. But note this, I had advice that you use a spare cable just to be on the safer side.

Just as you would with your charging adaptor, plug the small end of the USB cable to the charging port of your phone, and then plug the other end into one of the holes of the onion
Did you notice anything?

Well, if your phone is completely dead, you might have to wait for a few seconds or minutes to see its effect. On the other hand, if your phone is turned on, you should see some spikes on your battery notification implying that charges have been transferred into it.

How to charge your Phone with Onions – A Myth or What?

If you followed the instructions above carefully, the chances are that you could not really charge your phone reliably using this method. Even if you used several energy drinks, immersed the onion until everything is soaked and left the phone connected for hours, the result will still not be any better.
So, one basic question beckons, “Is this a myth?”

If it is a myth, why is the battery notification indicating a charge or why are there spikes of electric signals?

There are quite a number of questions to ask about this. The whole situation opens up a research avenue and debate on how to improve this process or its possible dangers to the health of our smart devices.

Some are of the belief that it’s really possible to charge your phone with onion to some considerable levels as a temporary fix for power, while others simply see this as a myth that poses more damages than good.

The big question is, can we rely on this technique to healthily charge our phones?

To answer this question, one would need to understand a bit of how electric charges flow from the source to another, in this case, onion to your phone.

Your mobile phone takes an input of about 3V to 10V from the supply- depending on the battery and power cells. Popular supply sources include power banks, generators, solar chargers, etc. These sources supply the needed voltage to your phone which can take between 3 to 10 hours for a full charge.

So, let’s rethink, the charges transferred by an onion contain what amount of voltage? Can the voltage or power rating supplied attain the minimum input rating of your device?

Without much thinking, the answer is simply no. The charges transferred might be enough to cause some spikes of charges that trigger the battery notification, but not to charge a battery whose input rating exceeds the supply from the onion.

So, it’s maybe a myth to charge your phone with onion or some innovation that might be improved to offer momentary solutions in the future. Fingers are crossed as we watch manufacturers attempt the impossible or deliver the next line of technology – Bio Chargers (haha!).

How to charge your Phone with Onions – The Opinion

There has been quite a number of reactions to this trend. A few persons have taken it upon them to go deeper and uncover the truth about these spikes or supposed mobile phone charging technique.
Their findings have been inspiring, and just like me, you will like to have a look, I guess.

The Chemistry

Illustration of the electrolytic cell

Dipping an onion in an energy drink causes the formation of an electrolytic cell in which the energy drink acts as the electrolyte. Energy drinks contain calcium and other compounds that make them work as electrolytes in this state.

Generally, when two metals of different materials are dipped into an electrolyte, a potential difference occurs that is dependent on the surface area and nature of the electrodes (materials used).
This voltage then flows through the electrodes as charges. 

According to Dr Jonathan Hare of Chemistry Department in the University of Sussex, the electrolytic cell formed by an onion can only supply potential difference (voltage) of about 1V which is too small to charge either an iPod or mobile phone.

Speaking further, he noted that the charging effect is attributed to the fact that the charges from the onion wake the power cells of the phone and not necessarily charging them.

Also, battery levels can increase by a few percentages if mobile phones are left idle for a while.

While his arguments are not data-driven or research-based, basic ideas on the chemical and electrical functioning of power backups reveal a few viewpoints:

  1. The voltage from the onion (about 1V) is not enough to charge a mobile phone (between 3 – 10V)
  2. The onion thus transmits charges which cause the power cells of the phone to respond. This can be seen on the battery notification icon of the phone which indicates a charge.
  3. It’s possible to charge a mobile phone using natural things (such as apples, vegetables, etc) provided a sizeable electrochemical cell with an optimum potential difference is developed.

Well, hope is not lost in this attempt. With success recorded in the use of Apples and vegetables to charge mobile phones already, a better fix on the use of onions might be found.

However, use this with caution as damages can be done to the charging lead of your phone. 

As noted by The Epoch Times,
“… continuous use of this method will most likely destroy your phone charging lead …”.


You can charge your mobile phone with wireless solutions such as apples, vegetables, solar chargers, among others. Using onion is completely unreliable, though you can trigger a few levels of charges to sustain your phone for a few minutes.

Whilst you may actually fancy giving this a shot, approach it with caution. Overall, we’re seeking better ways of improving this technique to match up with other available wireless charging options.
Meanwhile, you have discovered how to charge your phone with onion, give it shot, improve on it and let’s hear your breakthrough.

One more thing, don’t forget to hit the share button!

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