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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Chemical Egg Peeler

By December 7, 2013

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Can you peel the shell off an egg? You can if you use a chemical reaction to dissolve the hard shell! Here's how to make a chemical egg peeler.

What You Need

  • an egg (raw or hardboiled)
  • vinegar
  • cup

Peel the Egg, Chemically

Place the egg in the cup and add enough vinegar to cover the egg. It takes a couple of days for the shell to be completely removed, although it will be softened within a few hours. Rub the shell away with your fingers or wait longer if you want the chemical reaction to do the "peeling" for you.

How It Works

Vinegar is weak acetic acid, which reacts with the calcium carbonate in the egg shell. You can see evidence of the reaction in the bubbling that occurs when the vinegar contacts the egg shell. These are bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. The vinegar also reacts with the protein in the egg white, making it rubbery. After a few days in vinegar you can bounce the egg like a ball. Even the raw egg works, although the yolk of the egg will be runny so if you break the bouncy raw egg you'll have a mess to clean up.

Rubber Egg Trick | Decalcify Bones with Vinegar

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