Should I wash my eggs before giving them to friends... (poultry general) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Before I got chickens of my own my friend used to give me unwashed eggs from her chickens. She explained that the chickens put a protective coating on the eggs and that even though some of the eggs were dirty they were fine. I would just leave them in the carton and wash them just prior to use.

I was planning to give my extra eggs to hubbies co-workers. Should I wash them prior to giving them the eggs? If I wash the eggs and they are refridgerated how long should they be good for? I'm talking about giving the eggs to people that might not appreciate getting eggs that might be a little dirty.

-- Anita in NC (, March 06, 2002


For the same reason your friend didn't, I wouldn't. We use a fine grit sand paper and sand the dirty spots off a litle, and wash before use. I would advize the people you give them to, to do the same. You don't want to wash them, and risk bacteria getting into them, and makeing anyone sick. While it is vey probably this wont happen, why take a risk?

-- Wendy A (, March 06, 2002.

I wouldn't wash them either. I would look at how it is they get so dirty. Do you keep clean straw or other bedding in the nest boxes? If you use sand, is it clean and dry? Do you need to add some? Are your chickens roosting in their boxes? Maybe a re-design is in order if that is the case.

-- Anne (, March 06, 2002.

The only time I wash eggs is if they're dirty. If they come out of the nest clean then they don't get washed. Unless you have folks who have raised hens themselves most who haven't seem turned off by poopy eggs.

There is a protective bloom that the hen puts on the egg when she lays it and if you leave it intact it will help the egg to keep better. Unfortunately, eggs that are more than mildly dirty will have already had that bloom damaged so you may as well wash them. Either way, they're not going to keep as well as clean eggs with intact blooms.

If you do wash your eggs do so using water that is warmer than the eggs so that the internal pressure in the shell will rise somewhat to deter water and dirt from getting inside. I use plain old Ajax dish detergent and water about twenty or so degrees warmer than the eggs. After washing they get dried off and go into the fridge. Actually, I refrigerate all of my eggs though that is not strictly necessary.

Washed or unwashed they'll keep for many weeks in the refrigerator if the shell is intact.


-- Alan (, March 06, 2002.

Actually I would wash them. Always. Folks cannot get past the fact that there is chicken poop on their egg. Won't use them. Trust me. I don't know if I would welcome dirty eggs or home cut packages of meat with blood on the outside. I am in customer service and the rule is to ALWAYS make the product look inviting. Wash with warmer than the egg water and some dish detergent (sparingly). Fix the problem if you can but definitely wash them. Duck eggs are ALWAYS kinda grim to look at... Goose eggs can be nasty too.

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 06, 2002.

Don't wash them as everyone has said. If you don't want to use sandpaper, I always used those nylon pot scrubbies. If there is a spot that won't scrub off dampen the scrubbie ever so lightly and rub. I always worried about my eggs, but in the store I have often seen poop on them especially the brown.

-- CNoll (, March 06, 2002.

I rinse mine under barely-warm running water until they're clean. Always did. Then leave them to air dry on a clean paper towel and refrigerate some time later. All of 'em. Even the clean ones have been stepped on by hens that've been around. That dirt gets in the nest. (The stained ones don't get given away.)

-- Nina (, March 06, 2002.

Wash the dang eggs, when your woopin' up breakfast the last thing you want to be doing is handleing poopy eggs.

-- Calvin (, March 06, 2002.

50 years I have been washing dirty eggs. Why not??? I do know that you should was them in water just a bit warmer than the egg cause if you use cold water on a warm egg supposedly it will suck the bacteria in.

Come see my coop...........clean straw in the boxes, clean bedding on the floor this morning..............MUDDY, muddy dirt outside. Dirty eggs. My chickens refuse to wipe their feet.........go figure.

-- diane (, March 06, 2002.

I HATE washing eggs so I conditioned my customers to take unwashed eggs. If a few are dirtier then normal so what. I keep those that are really bad and scrub them clean before using them.

PS Vinegar will leave a sticky feeling on the egg. Not surprising since the old science project of leaving an egg in vinegar will melt the shell off.

-- Dee (, March 06, 2002.

Well looks like a 50-50 split. Me thinks we should have a coin flip to break the tie. I don't put dirty eggs in my frig but then I'm a neat-nick :-)

-- WV Ridgerunner (, March 06, 2002.

Our eggs are often dirty, b/c the hens walk around in the mud half the time (rains a lot here). They bring the mud back into the hen house and into the nests, too. We keep the coop as clean as we can, but some times of year are just plain muddy. Our friends understand, as we have explained this to them a couple of times or more.

We wipe off the worst of the stuff and instruct folks how to wash the eggs, cook them fully, etc. I have found that folks even like the occasional feather tucked into the carton (authenticity and all...)

Nice to have friends and nice to have eggs...

-- Ova Easy (, March 06, 2002.

Isn't that just how they are Diane, and with the welcome mat to wipe on and everything!

Seriously though, the mud was one of the reasons I ditched the permanent site coop. Even with three yards to rotate them through, there was never enough time to rejuvenate the first yard before I needed to put them back in it. Thats why I have a portable coop. They still manage to find mud on occassion-or make it.

-- Anne (, March 06, 2002.

If the eggs are going to folks who don't have animals, definitely wash them. These city types get grossed out really easily. Wash in warmer water than the egg, as above. The increasing temperature causes the egg to swell slightly, pushing out some air (and refusing entry to any bacteria). You can see little streams of tiny bubbles coming up from the eggs in the water. You know no bacteria is going to go against that flow. Cold air will have the opposite effect, sucking in anything small enough to fit through the pores on the shell. I use plain water, and for spots, I use baking soda as an abrasive. Works great!

-- Laura Rae Jensen (, March 06, 2002.

Hi Anita, I know folks who deal with this just by keeping the really dirty ones for themselves and keeping the clean ones for friends/customers. If you're giving them away people shouldn't be so picky but I know that they are - especially people who haven't been exposed to the rural life. Take care neighbor!

-- Mel Carroll in NC (, March 07, 2002.

I'd wash them. People who don't keep animals have a very different view of animal crap than we do. Would you like an egg with, say, dog manure on it? People without animals aren't going to differentiate between different manures--they are all going to be viewed as disgusting. Also, I have store bought eggs in the fridge now that have been there for weeks. They are keeping ok, and of course were washed. If you aren't going to set the eggs to hatch, the covering on the egg isn't too much to be concerned about.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, March 07, 2002.

My eggs sit out in the kitchen on the counter....IF I DON'T WASH THEM. When they get wet, they must go in the fridge. I give them away dirty, explain why I don't wash them, and tell them they can wash them and put them in the fridge, or NOT wash them and leave them out on the counter in the room.

-- marcee (, March 08, 2002.

It maybe just a little too simple, but ASK them if they want you to wash the eggs for them, or if they prefer to have the clean unwashed ones, I prefer clean unwashed, even when I'm paying for them.

I once up some 'fresh egg kits' with a scrubby cloth, and a piece of ivory soap and hand written instructions on the how and why of washing eggs, everyone who got these liked them, and could understand why the 'farm fresh' eggs where not washed before they brought them home. [Cheap gift idea isn't it!]

-- Thumper/inOKC (, March 09, 2002.

well poo, ...that is supposed to say..." I once made up some fresh egg kits"....

-- Thumper/inOKC (, March 09, 2002.

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