Peeling isn’t just for hard-boiled eggs; you can separate the shell from an unboiled egg simply by soaking it in vinegar! Not only will you be left with a “naked egg,” but you’ll also have a chemistry lesson to go along!
- Place the egg in a tall glass, jar, or a plastic cup and fill the glass with vinegar, submerging the egg.
- Leave the egg in the vinegar for a full 24 hours. Look closely. Do you see any bubbles forming on the shell? To see the best reaction place your face above the egg
- .Change the vinegar on the second day. Carefully pour the old vinegar down the drain and cover the egg with fresh vinegar. But remember, use a strainer to catch the egg so it does not fall down the drain. Place the glass with the vinegar and egg in a safe place for 1 day- Don’t disturb the egg, but pay close attention the bubbles forming on the surface of the shell (or what’s left of it).
- Pour off the vinegar and carefully rinse the egg with water. The egg now looks translucent because the outside shell is gone! The only thing that remains is the delicate membrane of the egg!
- Remember to take pictures day by day of the egg and take notes!
- The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas. Vinegar is an acid called acetic acid – CH3COOH – and white vinegar from the grocery store is usually about 5% solution. Egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate. The vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate by breaking the chemical into its calcium and carbon dioxide (in simplest terms). The calcium part (free ions of calcium) float around in the solution, while the carbon dioxide reacts to form the bubbles that you see.
- Some of the vinegar will also sneak through the egg’s membrane (permeate the membrane) and cause the egg to get a little bigger. That’s why the egg is even more delicate if you handle it. If you shake the egg, you can see the yolk sloshing around in the egg white. If the membrane breaks, the egg’s insides will spill out into the vinegar. Yes, you’ve made a pickled egg. The longer you leave the egg in the vinegar, the more it changes. Its shell will become a material that feels like a rubber ball. After a period of 4 weeks the egg will become bouncy.
- Try putting your egg into a variety of liquids to see what happens to it.