How to make an egg shell disappear without touching it?

We love egg experiments on Science Sparks. We have investigated air pressure using eggs, we have transformed egg whites, tested how strong an egg shell is, and shrunk them but today is this is the simpliest but most effective experiment involving eggs! How do you dissolve an eggshell?

You will need:

An egg

A glass

White vinegar

Method

1. Take a raw egg and put it in a cup

dissolve an eggshell

Cover with White vinegar

2. Cover it with white vinegar (which is also known as acetic acid)

Q: What do you noticing happening?

A: You should see bubbles collect around the shell (a sign that a chemical reaction is taking place)

3. Leave for 4 to 5 days.

4. Go to observe.

dissolve an egg shell

See the residue collect and the shell come away?

 

How to get an egg yolk without cracking the shell - Science Sparks

The whole egg in tact!

dissolve an eggshell

I should not have tried lifting it out!

 

You should now be able to see shell residue in the vinegar and the yolk whole in the egg white. If you still see white resdiue on the egg you can rub this off lightly with you finger. I tried to lift the whole egg out of the vinegar but broke the membrane, but it is possible to lift it out whole.

The Science Bit

The acid has reacted with the shell and “eaten” away  at it. The shell is made up of calcium carbonate and this gets dissolves due to the acid.  The inside of the egg should still be intact because the vinegar doesn’t break down the egg membrane. The egg also swells up, because some of the liquid seeps inside it via osmosis. You should be able to see the yellow yolk through the membrane. It really is quite incredible.

You could compare what happens to a raw egg with a boiled egg as well.

Can you dissolve an eggshell?

 Related Posts

10 Eggy experiments

Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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30 Comments

  1. wow I never knew that could happen, will be trying this at home.

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    • Great! Let me know if you manage to keep the egg whole. :)

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  2. This is so cool! My kids will love this!

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    • It is so easy and effective, but put is somewhere that you don’t mind the vinegar smell!

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  3. Very cool! you are my science star, i truely learn a lot from you!

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    • Oh I love being called a star! Thank you very much. Glad you like it!

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    • Its fab isn’t it?

      Post a Reply
    • Thanks you, I had some assistance this time.

      Post a Reply
  4. Just hopped over from Kid’s Get Crafty Link up – Wow – What a great experiment. Thanks for sharing.

    Ellie

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  5. Well I never! So what does Vinegar do to our stomachs.. eeek!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy

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    • Luckily we have not got any calcium carbonate to react with and it contain hydrochloric acid in it anyway to digest food, so it is used to acids. x

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  6. this is SO cool! I’m going to share this with my blog’s FB followers. Thanks (as always) for sharing the coolest experiments!

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  7. This is a fun and simple experiment! I am going to do it here (while husband is away and doesn’t mind the egg floating around for 5 days). And now I am following your terrific site in Google reader.

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  8. Cool and interesting. I love how smart you are! Thanks for sharing at Monday Madness. Hope to see you again tomorrow!

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  9. Thanks! Did this with my 5 & 3 year old. They loved to watch the shell dissolve, then handle the squishy egg. We extended the experiment, next soaking the egg in corn syrup (to draw out the water), then water tinted blue (which made the egg expand), then salt water (floating & dessicating). Finally broke it open to find a green yolk. We are starting it again this week — got to figure out what our soaking liquids will be.

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  10. I’ve tried this with boiled eggs before so the children can touch it to feel the difference. I’ll have to try a raw one too.

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    • Just to make sure…can we still cook and eat the result? (Maybe not, but I wanted to ask.)
      Thanks!

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      • The membrane should have protected the inside of the egg :-) Not sure of the best way to cool it though!

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  11. If you don’t want to smell the vinegar put the egg and vinegar in a Ziplock baggie. Then put the baggie in a clear glass. This way you can still see what is happening without the intense smell! :)

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    • What a good idea!

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  12. We did this with two eggs, one in colored vinegar and one in plain vinegar. We just covered each cup with plastic wrap and it didn’t smell at all. When we were done marveling over the results and playing with the eggs we took the colored one outside and exploded it so we could see how the white had actually absorbed all the color and our yolk was still nice and yellow. Excellent experiment!

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  13. We’ve tried it, left for 5 days, the shell dissolved but the membrane stayed. How do you make it dissolve too? When we cut the membrane, the egg white was very liquid (like water) and the yolk became like slightly boiled.

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    • the membrane is meant to stay on, our just broke! xx

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  14. I loved this one! GGtook it into her class last year. It took nearly two weeks and absolutely reeked, but the kids were fascinated and GG was the coolest girl on the play ground! Glad it was Kerry’s x

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  15. That looks very cool and an experiment I don’t think I could mess up!

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  16. Thanks for this, tried this with my son and he loved trying this out.

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