Header features photos of three of the steps for the bendable eggshell

Try This: Make a Bendable Egg Shell

Back

Bendable Eggshell

Bendable Eggshell

Imagine holding an eggshell in your hand, then suddenly bending it to fit flat between your two closed hands without breaking. Wouldn’t that be eggs-treme?!

As am-egg-ings as that sounds, it’s possible through the power of science!

Here’s what you need:

  • A raw egg, carefully washed with soap and water
  • Something sharp to poke a hole in the ends of the egg
  • A glass
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Patience

 

Safety note: Remember when using raw eggs to wash your hands thoroughly. You’ll want to wash your hands after using the vinegar as well.

Here’s what you do:

1. Hold the egg firmly in your hand. Use something sharp to poke a hole in the cone side of the egg. A push pin works well for this.

2. Flip the egg over, and poke a slightly larger hole in the egg. Now you should have holes on both ends of your egg. 

3. Now you’re going to use air to push the egg white and yolk of the egg through the slightly larger hole in the egg. This can be done by blowing through the egg, but make sure the egg is washed thoroughly before you start — and don’t accidentally inhale any of the egg!

4. Once the egg is completely emptied of its insides, rinse it thoroughly with water.

5. Soak the emptied egg in a glass of vinegar for 24 hours. It should be completely submerged. If the egg does not sink, make sure the egg fills with vinegar.

6. After 24 hours or so, replace the old vinegar with fresh vinegar.

7. Wait 24 more hours, then remove the egg. You’ll need to drain it of the vinegar that has filled it. What has changed about the egg shell? If the eggshell isn’t bendy yet, replace the vinegar and wait a couple more days.

Once your eggshell is very bendy, rinse the egg with water. Can you blow air into the egg to make it inflate to its original size?

What’s happening:

The vinegar, which is an acid, reacts with the sodium carbonate, a base, of the eggshell. This chemical reaction results in the creation of calcium acetate and water plus carbon dioxide, which we can see as tiny bubbles forming around the egg. After two days or so you may notice that your egg shell looks slightly different, but when you feel it you will definitely notice that it has changed. The rigid quality of the eggshell will be gone, and the membrane of the egg will be left. This results in a bendable eggshell!

  • Photo of the supplies needed to conduct the bendable eggshell experiment.
  • Photo of an egg with a straight pin inserted into the shell.
  • Photo of an egg with a straight pin stuck through the opposite end of the shell.
  • Photo of someone using air to push the egg yolk out of the holes in the egg.
  • Photo of someone rinsing the eggshell under a kitchen faucet.
  • Photo of the empty eggshell being rinsed under a kitchen faucet.