Have you ever tried to shell an egg without actually breaking it?  Sounds impossible doesn’t it?  Well I would have thought so too, until I found this experiment!  It is super easy and will make you look super cool.

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You will need:

  • An egg
  • Vinegar
  • Container

rubber egg

All you need to do is place the egg in the container and cover it with vinegar.  You will need to leave it in there for 2 days.

Before we put the vinegar on top we described how the egg looked and how we thought it would change.  Interestingly when the boys first thought about it (it does makes a great activity to do during playdates) they came up with amazing answers like it would completely disappear, turn to rubber, turn red and blue.  Then they stopped and thought about it and completely changed their mind.  Now they think that they will in fact grow and go brown.

They were so interested in seeing the shell come off that they kept coming back to check it out.

After 1 day

After 1 day

It really is fascinating to watch the whole process happen, after the first day you can almost wipe away the shell, then it goes rubbery and see though.

rubber egg

After 2 days you can take it out and play with it.  We put the eggs into a sieve and then washed them under running water to get rid of any gunk.  They then had a feel and tried bouncing them onto the ground (be warned if you squeeze or bounce it too hard it will break); we even shone a torch at them, which makes them look like they have come from out of space.

rubber egg

Glowing space egg

The science behind it is that the shell has dissolved away because the acid in the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the shell and breaks it down into its calcium and carbonate parts.  You are left with the membrane of the egg, which is why it has that squishy rubbery feel to it.

Once you have finished with your egg there are plenty of other experiments that you can try out with it.  You can experiment with osmosis by putting it in different solutions e.g. water, salt water, coke, corn syrup and water with dye in.  Or alternatively you could just throw it out, I would however recommend that you don’t eat it and wash your hands after you have finished playing with it, because after all it is still an egg.

We put this egg in corn syrup

We put this egg in corn syrup

We put this egg into dyed water

We put this egg into dyed water

This activity may aid development of:

  • Scientific enquiry
  • Thinking ahead

Pin for later:

How to shell an egg without cracking it? Try this rubber egg experiment to find out how.