The Naked Egg Experiment

Crack an Eggshell Without Even Touching It!

The egg-vinegar experiment.
The egg-vinegar experiment. Jessica of Balancing Everything/Getty Images

If you’ve already done the Egg in Soda Experiment and/or the Egg in Vinegar dental health experiment, you and your child may be ready to do an egg experiment that has nothing to do with ruining her teeth!

The Naked Egg experiment is a great one. You'll see how acid interacts with calcium carbonate to dissolve an eggshell, and in the end, you have a cool naked egg. Plus, it’s very easy to do.

What You Will Need

  • a raw (not hard-boiled) egg
  • a clear plastic cup
  • vinegar
  • time: 48 to 72 hours
  • flashlight (optional)

What You Need to Do

  1. Place a raw egg in a clear plastic cup or another container.
  2. Fill the container with white vinegar.
  3. Check on the egg in about 24 hours. You and your child should notice bubbles have formed on the egg and/or that there is a foam on the top of the liquid. The bubbles are carbon dioxide, and the foam is some of the calcium carbonate (which makes up the eggshell) that has dissolved.
  4. Pour out the vinegar and replace it with new vinegar. Leave the egg to soak for another 24 to 48 hours.
  5. After three or four days, use a spoon to remove the egg from the container carefully. By now the eggshell has likely completely dissolved, leaving behind a sort of egg water balloon. These are the two membranes of in the egg, which are surprisingly strong. They are made largely of keratin, the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. Nonetheless, you don't want to remove the egg with your hands. Use a spoon.
  1. Rinse the egg gently with water.
  2. Shine a flashlight behind the egg. Since the eggshell has dissolved, all that left is the membrane. The egg should be translucent and nearly glow when the light shines through it.

What to Do Next

Once you have a naked egg, you can do a few more experiments with it. See how strong that membrane is: Drop the naked egg to a tabletop and see what happens (start one inch off the table).

Eventually, it will break, so it might be a good idea to do this outside. You can also see how osmosis works by dropping the naked egg in a bowl of water. The water will start flowing through the porous membrane, and the egg will swell. To try this experiment in reverse, dunk the egg in a liquid with very little water, for example, corn syrup. After a few days, the water in the egg will flow out of the membrane, leaving what looks like a deflated water balloon.

One word of advice: Don't eat the naked egg. After soaking in vinegar at room temperature for a few days, it's not exactly fit for consumption!