From onions in socks to drinkable sunscreen, the 'internet cures' experts say you should probably avoid

Home remedies are all over the internet and how-to videos rack up millions of views, but do they work?

Some of the most popular are videos that claim sleeping with an onion in your sock will remove toxins and even make your feet smell better by killing bacteria.

Read: Does Coffee Really Stunt Your Growth? Examining Common Medical Myths

But Dr. Roshini Raj says that onion trick is nothing more than a myth.

"Onions are actually quite healthy if you eat them, but putting them in your sock is not going to do anything for you medically," she told Inside Edition.

So an onion in your sock may not cure you, but it won't hurt you either. However, experts warn that other miracle cures you see every day on the internet or social media could actually be harmful.

In one online video, a woman swears toothpaste can clear acne.

"Toothpaste was not designed to be put on your skin. It can actually be quite irritating. It can cause redness and further irritation of that pimple or blemish," Dr. Raj said.

Related: Common kitchen myths

Busting the Most Common Kitchen Myths
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Busting the Most Common Kitchen Myths

Some of the most well-known kitchen teachings may not be as truthful as you’ve been led to believe...

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Salt Your Water to Make It Boil Faster: MYTH

Have you been living under the assumption that if you salt your water, you’ll bring it to a boil faster? McKeller says that you’re actually creating the opposite effect, because when you add salt to water, it raises the boiling temperature of water by a few degrees. While the degree change from adding salt is not drastic enough to affect how long it takes the water to boil, you’re certainly not helping yourself by doing it.

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A Perfectly Seared Steak Is a Perfectly Juicy One: MYTH

McKeller grew up in a family that liked their steaks well-done and so they would sear the steaks before grilling or roasting them to lock in the juices. After working in a steakhouse at the start of her career, she learned that this was wrong. Searing a steak locks in the flavor, not the juices. While she encourages you to rub your steak with spices and to give it a quick sear so you get a rich and flavorful steak, if you want to keep the juices, let it rest. Just a mere five minutes will help you achieve a tender and juicy piece of meat.

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Salt Makes Watermelon Taste Sweeter: MYTH

Well, technically, this is true, but salt doesn’t actually make your watermelon sweeter; instead it plays a role in creating a sweeter watermelon, McKeller says. The science behind this is that when you add salt to anything, it draws out the moisture, so drawing out a watermelon’s water content makes it denser, its flavors more intense, and in most cases, sweeter. Another side effect of adding salt to your watermelon is that salt makes you salivate, so your watermelon tastes juicier and more flavorful with every bite.

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Never Rinse Your Mushrooms: MYTH

"I love mushrooms, but after the first attempt at meticulously brushing them to get them clean, I began thinking: there has to be a better way," says McKeller. And she was right. While mushrooms are porous, giving them a quick rinse under the faucet won’t destroy their genetic makeup, and as long as you’re not soaking them for long periods of time, your mushrooms will retain their shape and flavor.

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Store Your Coffee in the Freezer to Extend the Shelf Life: MYTH

McKeller is all for coffee — she drinks it regularly and a bag of it usually lasts her a week. For those of you trying to extend your coffee’s life for longer than that, the freezer is not a good option, she warns. Coffee is porous, so it can absorb the moisture — and odors — of your freezer, leaving your coffee tasting anything but fresh. Storing it in a dry, cool place is the best way to keep your coffee fresh, she says.

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Don’t Cut Meat on a Wooden Cutting Board: MYTH

People warn against cutting your meat on a wooden cutting board because the wood’s pores can absorb the juices and bacteria from the raw meat you’re working with. The truth is, says McKeller, that as long as you properly clean and sanitize your cutting boards, it shouldn’t matter what you’re working with. While some chefs like to designate colored, plastic cutting boards for working with meat, your wooden one is just fine. McKeller uses a vinegar and water solution to sanitize her cutting boards.

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Aloe Plants Should Always Be Kept in the Kitchen to Treat Burns: MYTH

Although aloe is definitely soothing and can help treat minor burns, it shouldn’t be something you rely on for treatment, says McKeller. Aloe does not contain any antibacterial properties, so a burn — whether small or big — could get infected. Always see a physician if you’ve suffered from a burn, she says.

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Adding Glass Marbles to Simmering Milk or Heavy Cream Will Keep It From Boiling Over: MYTH

There’s no scientific proof that marbles actually prevent dairy products from boiling over, says McKeller, but an easier way to avoid this is by using a ceramic pot minder. Whether or not the marbles work, she says, it’s not worth the risk of shattered glass and contamination in your food that goes along with using them.

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The Sharper the Knife, the Easier It Is to Cut Yourself: MYTH

This one is pretty counterintuitive, but the duller your knife is, the more likely it is that you’ll cut yourself, says McKeller. Sharp knives allow you to make cuts more easily and with less force, so if there is a slip of the knife, you’re not exerting all of your pressure, like you would with a dull knife. Along with that, when you’re working with a sharp knife, you know it’s sharp, so are generally more cautious when using it. The only way to prevent cutting yourself, says McKeller, is to take a class in knife skills to be as skillful as the pro’s — who, by the way, still cut themselves sometimes.

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And then there's so-called "miracle cures" for burns. People online swear almost everything from egg whites to butter will soothe a burn. But Dr. Raj says those cures could be harmful.

Instead, she said your best bet for a minor burn is to run it under some cool water.

Inside Edition also found multiple videos proclaiming the many benefits of a substance called colloidal silver, a liquid infused with silver.

Inside Edition bought a bottle for $30. It looked and smelled like plain old water, but people online claim it will cure everything from colds, sinus infections and bronchitis.

However, medical experts say colloidal silver has no known health benefits and could actually pose a danger.

"If you are regularly consuming colloidal silver, it can deposit and stay in the tissues of your body, which can sometimes lead to severe organ damage or it can lead to a permanent hyperpigmentation, meaning a discoloration of your skin," Dr. Raj said.

Dr. Raj's warning was exhibited by Paul Karason, a Washington man nicknamed "Papa Smurf" after his skin turned blue from drinking a homebrewed colloidal silver concoction. Karason became a television phenomenon in 2008 when he appeared on Inside Edition to discuss his condition.

He died in 2013 at age 62 due to pneumonia.

The maker of the bottle Inside Edition purchased insists its product is completely safe and will not result in skin discoloration.

Then there's drinkable sunscreen, sold by Osmosis Skincare creator Dr. Ben Johnson.

"As crazy as it sounds, you've got to try it," he insists in an online video.

It sounds like a great advancement in modern medicine and Johnson insists it's a convenient alternative to applying greasy sunscreens that you squirt in your mouth for hours of sun protection.

"If you struggle with getting lotions rubbed on your kids' skin adequately, pumping it in their mouth makes it so much easier," he suggests in the video.

However, Dr. Raj has her doubts:

"These drinkable sunscreens have never been shown to reduce your risk of skin cancer and are absolutely not a substitute for applying your sunscreen as you normally would do," she said.

Dr. Johnson shared studies with Inside Edition that he insists prove the product works but many medical experts dispute those studies.

Then there's the video we found of a guy who offers tips to treat pneumonia naturally at home using oregano oil, which Dr. Raj rebukes as exceptionally dangerous advice.

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"Pneumonia, especially if it's not treated properly, can lead to severe complications or even be fatal," Dr. Raj said.

So if you see an internet medical remedy that seems outrageous and wacky, experts say there's a good chance it is.

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