Jalapeño In Eye? Here’s What You Do

| Last Updated: September 5, 2019 |

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Hot peppers make for some incredible cooking, but they can be tricky (and painful) to work with in the kitchen. Take for instance the intense pain of chili burn. It’s bad enough experiencing it on your fingers or in your mouth, but how about a little jalapeño in the eye? Or, worse, something even spicier like a habanero pepper? How do you go about getting rid of that intense burning sensation and constant tearing?

Go get the milk from the refrigerator.

That’s right, head right to the fridge and grab whatever variety of milk you have in there.

Wash your hands with soap, and then soak your hands in milk to rid any chili oils from your fingers. It’s important to get rid of the chili oils that likely caused the issue from the start.

Soak a paper towel in milk and then gently pat (don’t rub) around the eye. Let the milk-soaked paper towel then rest gently on the eye.

Once the most immediate pain dissipates, try getting a few drops of milk in your eyes to calm down the rest of the burn. And then again pat around the eye gently through the process with another milk-soaked paper towel.

Whatever you do, don’t go for water.

Water won’t work for jalapeño in the eye – in fact, it’ll spread around the burning sensation, making you feel even worse. It needs to be milk. Why? Milk is acidic and breaks down the capsaicin in hot peppers, relieving the pain. Water is repelled by the oil-like capsaicin, and just like oil and water in real-life, they don’t mix well together.

For general chili burn on the hands and in the mouth, there are other remedies as well that work. Take a look at our post on treating chili burn for some other simple solutions.


  • THANK you to whom ever wrote this I had tai chili on my hands Andy started to cry and rubbed it in my eyes.
    Thank YOU

  • You’re the man! Thank you for posting the article. It started helping in a matter of seconds! And such useful knowledge to now know.

  • Thank you! I got habanero pepper in my eyes! The milk was a miracle cure for my eyes and hands! Bless you ❤️❤️❤️❤️r

  • My best friend as a kid was Mexican and I recall his Mom telling Carl (my buddy) to use his hair to absorb the oils from his eye, she was adamant, my poor pal was in agony, he was a Momma’s boy anyways so the drama ingrained that tidbit of data in my skull o mush.

    My girlfriend had a little canister that resembled breath spray, the label was rubbed off and missing in a way it appeared to be a leopard pattern to me when I snatched it out of her purse one night when we were at a bar, I removed the cap and like a Binaca breath spray I held it up to my mouth and gave a blast, it did immediately burn but not much more than spearmint and automatically gave it a couple more blasts and as soon as I was realizing something was terribly amiss a few girls near us including my girl began gagging and coughing running around like we were in a soccer stadium, I began freaking out grabbing drinks and eating ice out of several strangers drinks and my girl was laughing not believing I just blasted military grade C-4 tear gas directly into my mouth, it affected everyone around me for 3 feet.

    • Thank you so much!!!! I almost had to take my husband to urgent care, but the milk did the job! You are a life saver!

  • my mom was dieting. she had put the oils of the happens in her eye. she is so grate full. ################# thank you

  • My son says thank you. He is standing in the kitchen with a milk soaked paper towel on his face and singing your praises.

  • Thank you so much, I want to cry. I didn’t realize I had some residue from the jalapenos and my eye INSTANTLY FELT 1000000X BETTER.

  • Thank you!!!!! I ate jalepenos for lunch and accidentally rubbed both eyes at the same time. Even thought I had washed my hands twice, my eyes were on fire. Your recommendation gave me immediate relief.

  • Thank you! I made a Spicy bean curry and after my hard work rubbed my eye! Ouch! I found this website as I was using water, than milk as suggested! Many thanks!

  • Thanks, this really helped me to help my son when he rubbed his eye and had jalapeno on his hand. This was a cat induced accident. Many thanks!

  • my cousin got pepper in her eye and we didn’t know what to do.so i got on my laptop and searched this and it helped us a lot. thank you so much!!!!!

  • I got the juice of Scotch Bonett in my eye. I initially siaked it in water…. woooo… I had to google chilli in eye, one eyed! So glad I found this site. Pain gone! Thanks

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