Hot Pepper in the Eye Remedy

Have hot pepper in your eye?  Grab milk (preferably whole milk) and splash it into your eye.  Aaahhh blessed relief.  Then come back and read my story.


First I would just like to say that the number one remedy for bringing relief to the pain of hot pepper in your eye is simply to wear gloves while cutting peppers and NEVER EVER TOUCH YOUR EYE after cutting them.

However, since I was not quite so smart last Friday, I had to come up with another remedy.

It all started so innocently.  We needed to leave for our homeschool PE class that morning, but I was trying to get some of the peppers from our garden cut up and frozen before we left.  Matt has been the pepper guy at our house most of this summer so I was not aware that some of them were of the very freakishly hot variety.  (They were shaped like tiny sweet bell peppers.)

I got all the peppers cut up and put away, cleaned up my mess and washed my hands.  I then proceeded to help get the boys ready to head out the door for PE.  My eye was itchy…and so I scratched it.

Bad idea.

As if someone had lit a match on my eyeball I shrieked and turned in a circle (because I didn’t know where to go or what to do).  I believe that little move is called the Eyeball Fire Ballet Step. I then ran out of the kitchen and upstairs to Matt, who was thankfully home that morning.  Neither of us really knew what to do, but I quickly put a cold, wet washrag on my eye.  This brought a small amount of relief, which is good because all four boys (who aren’t used to seeing their mom run screaming out of the kitchen) had made their way upstairs to see if I was still alive.  At least I was able to look up at them with one eye and a half smile to give them a little assurance that I was okay.

Matt went ahead and loaded up the boys to take them to PE.  I decided to stay home and be miserable.  The pain was not going away, and was in fact creeping all the way up to my forehead and all the way down to my chin (not kidding), making me feel as though I might pass out.  I have a pretty high pain threshold, but wow.

With the cold wash rag over my burning eye, I somehow did a swag search on “hot pepper in the eye” to see what I needed to do.  Did I need to go to the ER?  Could they maybe take off my face so that the intense pain would stop?

I finally found a suggestion to use a shot glass full of whole milk to wash the eye, which would neutralize the capsaicin in the peppers that was causing the burning.  Whole milk I had, a shot glass…not so much.  In the meantime, one of the homeschool moms (who had heard of my woes at PE class) called to say the exact same thing (although she didn’t mention the shot glass).

Using one of our little drinking glasses, I was somehow able to get milk into my eye.  (Don’t ask me to demonstrate.)  I also did a fairly good job of making the milk run all the way down my face and neck, but whatever.

Instant relief.  I stood there, blinking milkily in unbelief.  Could I really have just gone from that much pain to practically no pain with just a few swishes of milk?  Indeed I had.

I then decided that I should make cookies, both because I deserved and needed a cookie after my trauma…and because I thought that when the boys got home, they might like to see that their mama was normal (relatively speaking) and okay.

Kinda brings a new dimension to the idea of milk and cookies bringing comfort, doesn’t it?

So let’s review:

  1. Wear gloves when you cut hot peppers and don’t touch your eye.
  2. But if you don’t and then you do…swish your eye with milk.
  3. And then make cookies.

(P.S.  It wasn’t until after the flame in my eye was extinquished that I realized that my hands were also burning like mad.  Funny how the eye pain overshadowed the pain in my hands.  I’m still a little afraid to put my contacts in normally.  Good grief did I learn my lesson.)


  1. Bernadette says

    Thank you! I was being impatient today and chopped a jalapeno bare handed… but I washed my hands real good… so I thought. I touched my lip and eye- which were instantly set ablaze… As my wonerful hubby was laughing at me he asked, “in all your homemaking/homesteading blogs hasn’t someone told you what to do in this situation” And I thought- thankyouverymuch, they have! R E L I E F!


  2. Trav says

    THANK YOU!!! My 7 year old daughter just found a left over pepper in our garden and rubbed her eyes. Instant screaming and tears followed, much like you describe above. Cold water was not doing it but as my wife flushed her eyes I found your milk trick. Huge instant relief. We even just poured a big bowl and she dunked her whole face in it. I do appreciate your sharing and the cookie idea is going to follow for us too. Thanks again.


  3. Robin says

    For those who haven’t thought ahead to use gloves, you can use the plastic bag that holds the peppers if you buy them at the grocery store. Just hold the peppers through the plastic and turn the bag inside out to the point you need to handle and cut the peppers.

    Sadly, the store I went to yesterday had the peppers in a tray, so I had to handle them, bare-handed. I thought I was okay, this morning… I’d washed my hands a couple of times since then, but even now, it stings a bit.

    I read that you can wash your hands in vegetable oil first, then with soap, and that should take care of pepper oil on your hands. Good luck, folks!


  4. Robin says

    I just experienced my 2 year old grandson that grabbed a pepper off of the counter and rubbed his eyes. We tried to rinse his eyes with water. It was so bad that I googled remedies for hot pepper in the eyes. That’s when I came across this website to wash out the eyes with milk. It sure did work..I was truly amazed. Thanks for such a wonder tip.


  5. Danielle Harris says

    My story is about my mom, she accidently touch her eye after cutting the hot peppers. My mom couldn’t open her eye and felt nothing but pain. I did try water and soap but it just made it worse. So i went online to see what can ease her pain. And believe it or not the milk work. No more pain. My mom eye did get swollen but the ice helped. I guess everyone learns their lesson when things happen when you least expect it.


  6. Stevie jr says

    OMG !!! My son decided to help his mother make dinner! Bad idea to rub his eyes after cutting the hot peppers. Thanks to ur helpful remedy it saved us a trip to the ER! Thank you!!


  7. Tami says

    My 10 year old just came in the house screaming that her eyes were burning and we couldn’t figure out why. I remembered she had been holding Jalapeno’s from the garden earlier and she must have rubbed her eyes. I used your milk therapy and it seems to be working. Google rocks! Thank you!


  8. Dom DePasquale says

    Let me start by saying thank god for this web site n remedy ! After cutting and cleaning hot peppers i deposited the caps and seeds in the trash and tied the bag closed at which time my 7 yr old son asked if he could take out the trash to earn money for a ds game he has been saving for. I said sure . He did so and when he returned began jumping around saying his eye was hurting. I asked if he fell or something hit him in the eye. He said no it burns! I realiized pepper oils transfered from my hannds to the trash bag to his hannds. He then touched his face and rubbed his eye. Not really sur,,e what to do my instinct was to flush with water. At first this brought a little relief to my son but soon he began screaming its getting worse! Frantic now i googled remedies for hot pepper in eye,which led me to this site and remedy which said take a shot glass of whole milk, hold the eye and blink flooding the eye with the milk. Sounds great until u try to get a screaming 7yr mexican jumping bean to stand still to do it! Desperately frantic as his screams turned to violent shrieks of pain and his fair skin turned cherry red, i put him in the bath tub, turned on cool water,and with a half gallon of milk began pouring it over his face while telling him to blink. To my amazement he instantly began to feel better. Voila! The pain is gone and sponge bob is now king of the night.


  9. Shirley in Oregon says

    After years of handling hot peppers w/o incident, I just got serrano pepper oil in my eye. My first thought was milk, because it’s my understanding that when you eat hot peppers, milk or bread neutralizes the heat. I wonder if it would work to soak bread in milk and apply it to the eyes? Might be easier for children, if it works.


  10. brandon says

    i just cut up sum jalapenos and i rubbed my eye not knowing i had to use a glove. it started with a lil burn in my eye and i laughed, then like 2 seconds my whole face turned red and i was going crazy… i poured water in my eye n i think it made it worse, alot worse. i put a fan in my face and it helped very little. and my wife found this and she came upstairs and threw the shot glass at my face…the glass to my face really hurt but the burning went away… Thanks!!!!


  11. B Stengle says

    And another rescue story to add to the list. My wife, after making a delicious batch of cheese-stuffed jalopenos, rubbed her eye. She went running off for an water eye bath, which didn’t help, but the milk solution found here gave her immediate relief! Thanks for your post!


  12. tim says

    wow! oh what would we do without google! this works! wow!!! we used a plastic medicine drinking cup, one of those small ones. this works.


  13. hana says

    Same thing happened to me. I googled it, came across this and just started reading. My pain went away gradually. No milk no cookies. Thanks.


  14. Erin says

    I almost wet myself laughing so hard. I love your humor and descriptions. Although I’ve never done this myself, I can see it happening. Sorry to laugh at your pain. Thanks for the post.


  15. Nancy says

    Thank you for the hilarious read. I’m in awe of how many people you’ve helped by posting your story on the internet. As a mom, teacher, and grandmother I’m glad to know no about this remedy for hot peppers in the eyes.


  16. Craig Borrowman says

    On behalf of my wife, whose story sounds remarkably like yours (your description of the shriek and run in a circle was SPOT on) thanks you immensely, and vows wonderful cookies tomorrow! Thank you, and also thanks for the laughs to help bring us down after our psycho crisis.


  17. dan says

    Please put answer at the top next time. Lovely story but it was hard to read with Jalapeno in my eye.


    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I edited the post so it could help more people. :)


  18. JB says

    Have to agree with the above– haha, so hard to scan the article to find the answer with jalapeno in my eyes and no one else at home! Helped immediately though once I did!


    Laura Reply:

    I finally took the time to edit the post and add the information to the top to make it easier! :)


  19. Sylvia says

    OMG thanks for your recommendation for milk…..didn’t have any….went to neighbor…put milk….little relief…after a few doses of milk in eyes…..moved on to ice ont he ice…finally i could open my eyes….still burning but I can see….thanks…as I read all this I’m kind of glad others have experienced the same symptom……glad it is short lived.


  20. sthorburn says

    So I got pepper juice in my eye tonight and I saw this post and tried the milk thing…it helped a little for me but my whole face and eye were still burning after several flushes so in my desperate state I grabbed some french onion dip from the fridge and slathered it on my eyelid and side of my face that was burning and that instantly helped! so if you dont have milk, see if you have any sourcream dip or ranch dressing might work too.


  21. Deanna says

    Thank you so much! My husband decided to wake up early this morning to make me a surprise omelet breakfast. He cut up some hot peppers, and after he finished cutting them, he barely touched his eye. He apparently rushed to the bathroom and tried washing his eyes out with soap and water (all while I was still asleep in the bedroom unaware of what was transpiring in the kitchen) When I woke up and noticed that my dear hubby was missing from bed, and it was still before the alarm was set to go off, I looked out in the kitchen to notice that he was rubbing his eyes with ice cubes. I asked him what was going on, and when he told me, I instructed him to sit down, and hold the ice cubes on his eyes long enough for me to look online to find a remedy. I found this page. I immediately took some of our whole milk from the fridge and flushed his eyes out with it. It worked almost instantly! His eyes went from hardly being able to open at all to clear not bloodshot again! Thank you so much!


  22. jen mc says

    thanks laura :-) : had to googke yhis tonight when mg 3 yr old got cayenne prpper in his eyes and was tgtilled to see someone i ‘know’ with some advice :-)


  23. Karren says

    Thanks a bunch….we didn’t have whole milk, but the bread dipped in 1% worked in about 6-8 minutes…smiles


  24. Debbie says

    Thanks for posting this remedy. I was just taking the seeds out of some jalapenos and wouldn’t you know it, got to the last pepper and it squirted me right in the eye. I instantly went to the sink and tried washing it out (didn’t work). Had to suffer through the pain until I came across your remedy. Thanks again!!


  25. Coffee works too! says

    My husband just got jalapeño juice in his eye & face. We don’t drink milk so we couldn’t use that. However, we realized that coffee is highly acidic and could possibly be used as an alternative combatent to the attacking jalapeño juice sting. It worked instantly! So, for all those non-milk drinkers, coffee (cold of course!) works too!


  26. DIGITALUnderworld says


    I just accidentally rubbed my eye after chopping up a Jalapeno pepper for chili. This remedy worked like a charm. I also rubbed sour cream around my eye as the skin felt like it was on fire. I can see!


  27. says

    Turns out MooTopia works, too. :-) My fiancee just got Serrano pepper in her eye, and a quick Google search came to this site.. of course we don’t drink milk. Haha.. anyway, situation averted. Thanks for this article!


  28. Dee says

    I’ll vouch for this idea. Along the same line, I make a practice of washing my hands with milk after I’ve handled peppers, even with gloves. (A couple of bad experiences have left me extra-cautious.) I just pour about a tablespoon into my hand over the sink, rub and rinse, then wash with soap and water if needed.


  29. Chris says

    Whew! We are so glad to have found this article when my wife touched her eye after chopping a Jalapeno. She thought she had washed up, but that didn’t stop it. Thanks for your tips and humor to help the situation!!! Godspeed.


  30. grace says

    Great story and help. My only complaint is I had to resort to someone else’s link first as I was in dire pain and did not have time to read your story……..HOWEVER, once I was done, I HAD to come back and read your story. Quite entertaining!


    grace Reply:

    Oh, just to clarify……with BOTH eyes and my reading glasses I.was able to see the.light colored font at the top stating the quick remedy


    Laura Reply:

    Glad you mentioned that. I’ve recently updated my site and didn’t realize how “light gray” and entirely not helpful those words were up at the top. Put the info in bold, thanks to you. :)


  31. Lindsay says

    Thanks for posting this! I chopped a jalapeño tonight for dinner. It had a horrific amount of seeds in it. A while later as we were eating I rubbed my eye, finger straight into tear duct! Good grief!!!!!!!!! Good thing my other eye was okay… I found your blog, filled a small cup with 2% milk (that’s all I had!) and ran into the bathroom. Fire extinguished! Thank goodness!!!!! I’m going to pin this now! :)


  32. SillyMe says

    Just did it myself. With one eye squinting I googled and found your post first. Grabbed the milk and VOILA! Pain all gone. THANK YOU!


  33. says

    Oh holy geez! I know not to touch my eyes, but I totally forgot and did it…OUCH! Thank goodness I found this and had heavy cream and used that. I didn’t even care that I had a big wad of paper towels wadded up and stuck to my face. Thanks for posting this.


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