What will vinegar do to a simple egg?

egg experiment
This is another fun experiment and we all had lots of fun watching the egg grow and seeing how big it can actually grow. However be aware that this experiment takes more than just one day. It’s fun to watch the egg shed its shell and grow.
 
You will need :
  • An egg
  • A glass
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Optional – food colouring if you want to turn it a different colour.
Place your egg gently in the glass, then pour enough vinegar over to cover it. You’ll notice bubbles starting to appear all over the shell. This means the shell is starting to dissolve.While it starts dissolving straight away it takes a while for the shell to dissolve completely.
Egg Vinegar Experiment
Day 1: Shell starts dissolving and carbon dioxide forms on the shell
 
Leave the egg in the vinegar for a day, then rinse it off and replace the vinegar with fresh vinegar. The egg should have shed most of its shell and already become slightly bigger.
 
By the end of day two ours had completely shed its shell and almost doubled in size.
Egg in vinegar without shell
Day 2: Whoa, no more shell!
 
To make the egg even bigger you can place it in a glass of water and leave it overnight. Try adding some food colouring to the water and you can pretend it is a giant alien egg!
Giant egg without shell
Day 3: squishy giant egg – the pale blue hue is given by the food colouring.

And now for the science bit:

When bubbles form on the shell, this means the acetic acid in the vinegar is reacting with the calcium carbonate in the shell and releasing carbon dioxide gas.
When the egg becomes bigger in water, this is because the shell is semi-permeable which means it will let through some water.
toddler holding egg without shell
 
Out of curiosity, after the experiment, we popped the egg. It took a mere touch of the knife and the egg burst (make sure to put it in a bowl though to avoid mess). The egg yolk and the egg white still remained concentrated together while water and vinegar spread throughout in the bowl.
Let us know in the comments if you tried this experiment? We tried adding some good colouring to make the egg blue and it turned a very pale blue.
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12 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! I’m genuinely going to go and put an egg in vinegar now!
    I wonder if you boiled the eggs it would just become a handy way of peeling them…

    1. Haha careful when you try to break it. Hm I never thought about putting them in vinegar after boiling – it might give them that pickled egg taste.

  2. I never knew about this trick! I can imagine it is quite a fun experiment for a child, to see the egg grow over night in vinegar. Popping the egg must be the funniest part though, with all the mess it involves afterwards.

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