Washing Eggs: Why and How to Clean Eggs?

In this article, we will talk all about washing eggs. Do we need to clean eggs? If so, then why and how? If not, then why?

We also discuss the difference between store-bought and fresh farm eggs. After reading this guide, you will have a clear idea of how to wash eggs.

Also read: Top 10 Best Egg Skelter

Store Bought Eggs vs. Fresh Eggs from the Farm

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Shelf life

With fresh eggs from the farm, you will know how old they are since you will know when you collected them. However, you do not know how old the eggs in the store are and how long they have stayed on the shelf before you buy them.

It is estimated that eggs can stay on the store shelf for up to 30 days before you buy them. Additionally, it is estimated that it can take weeks for eggs to be transported from the facility where they were laid to the store in some parts of the country.

By the time you buy them at the store, these eggs may be more than a month old, which is unlike fresh eggs from the farm. Fresh eggs from farms are fresher and higher quality than eggs you buy from the stores. 

When you buy fresh eggs from a farm, they still have a protective layer known as “bloom.” The bloom is a cell-protective membrane that coats the egg, and this will help to keep them longer than the eggs you buy from the store should you not wash them. 

When you get eggs fresh from the farm, you will not have to keep them refrigerated unless you wash them. 

However, even without washing, you can keep the fresh eggs from the farm on the countertop at room temperature until you are ready to use them, something that cannot be guaranteed to you with store-bought eggs.

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Nutritional value

Both store-bought eggs and fresh eggs from farms are nutritious. However, the nutritional value of the two eggs differs. 

When you compare store-bought eggs with fresh eggs from the farm, you will find that fresh eggs from the farm have less cholesterol, less saturated fat, and more vitamins A, E, and D.

Additionally, fresh eggs from farms have more omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene than store-bought eggs.

Fresh eggs from farms have more Omega-3 fatty acids because the chickens that lay the eggs eat things such as bugs, leafy greens, corn, and flowers. 

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These ingredients are missing from the diets of most caged hens that lay the eggs that you buy from the store. The omega-3 in the fresh eggs from the farm will help your body’s day-to-day functions and in the prevention of various chronic diseases. 

Fresh eggs from farms have more Vitamin E that will provide you with antioxidants and reduce inflammation in your body.

People suffer from vitamin D deficiency in contemporary society. Fresh eggs from farms have increased vitamin D because the hens laying the eggs roam about while foraging for food, hence having more vitamin D than hens confined to cages that lay the store-bought eggs. 

Since both eggs contain cholesterol, the fresh eggs from the farm contain less. More cholesterol in your body is not healthy. 

However, moderate amounts like the ones that you will get from fresh eggs from farms will help in maintaining the levels of calcium and phosphorus in your bloodstream.

Flavor

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There is a difference in flavor between store-bought eggs and fresh eggs from farms. If you ask individuals that have not paid much attention to the difference, they will tell you that the taste is the same. 

However, when you have tasted both and paid attention, you will notice that there is a difference in flavor between the eggs you buy from the store and the ones you get directly from the farm. 

Eggs bought from the store are more watery than fresh eggs from the farm. Additionally, when you look at the egg yolks, the ones you buy at the store are easier to break than the ones fresh from the farm. 

Fresh eggs from farms have a much richer flavor. You will notice that fresh eggs from the farm have yolks that are deeper in color, plus they look richer and healthier than the eggs you buy from the stores.

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Appearance

When it comes to store-bought vs. farm-fresh eggs, this is probably the most obvious distinction. Quite frankly, it is almost concerning how different the two look side by side. 

The yolk of a store-bought egg is a bright neon yellow, whereas the yolk of a fresh egg is a deeper, almost golden color. There is nothing quite like receiving a dozen multi-colored eggs. 

Store-bought eggs are not likely to be rainbow-colored. The color and size of an egg can be determined by the breed of chicken from which it came. 

Fresh eggs from farms are not only attractive, but the color of their yolks says it all. Fresh eggs from farm yolks are usually dark yellow or orange in hue, indicating how rich and nutritious they are.

Treatment and safety

In the modern day, greed is common. Most animals, especially chickens, pay the price when it comes to greed.

Since most large-scale producers only care about production, they will do everything necessary to get money out of their livestock as much as possible. 

The hens that lay the eggs that you buy from the store are kept in tiny cages where they cannot even move. Additionally, you are likely to be infected with salmonella when you eat eggs bought from stores. 

Since the hens that lay most of the eggs sold in stores are caged, they are likely to get salmonella, which may be transferred to the eggs.

Besides, since most eggs from stores are laid by caged hens, most of them are never happy, unlike the backyard chickens that roam about and eat what they want, hence producing healthy eggs

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If you see chickens out in the open pecking at the ground as you walk up that farmer’s driveway, you are buying the right kind of eggs. This is due to the fact that these chickens can consume bugs for protein as well as greens while working in the yard. 

The majority of store-bought eggs originate from chickens who have lived in a variety of circumstances. These birds are kept in tiny cages and fed pellets while sitting in their feces. 

In essence, they are unable to be chickens. This means they do not receive nearly as much exercise as free-range hens and are not as healthy.

Also read: Mealworms for chickens

Why wash eggs?

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Washing eggs should be done using warm water that is at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When you wash eggs with water that is warm at the right temperature, the contents in the eggs will expand, and this lead

You can wash eggs. However, it is not recommended since it is not healthy. 

This is because, when washing the eggs, you may aid the transfer of harmful bacteria from the outside of the egg to the inside. 

Washing the egg will get rid of the protective layer known as bloom. Bloom is a cell-protective cell membrane that coats an egg, and it helps prolong its lifespan.

However, you can wash eggs. The temperature of the water that you are using to wash the eggs should be at least 11°C higher than the temperature of the egg, and it should be dried faster. 

If not, you should just keep the eggs unwashed. Salmonella can be very life-threatening to some people.

And washing the egg will compromise the natural barriers in the egg shell, hence leading to salmonella passing to the inside of the egg easily. 

Should the egg not be cooked thoroughly, salmonella can survive, leading to you getting sick.

Do I need to clean fresh eggs?

Cleaning fresh eggs depends on whether they are dirty. When the eggs have chicken waste, you may need to clean them. 

However, you will need to have the correct conditions if you want to keep the dirt and contaminants away from the fresh eggs’ shell pores.

Should the eggs be cleaned? You do not need to clean them. When fresh eggs are laid, they have a natural coating called the cuticle or bloom. 

This natural coating will act as the first line of defense in the eggs for keeping them safe by keeping air and bacteria out of the egg. 

Should you clean fresh eggs, you will be removing this natural barrier, and this will leave the egg vulnerable to attack by bacteria and microorganisms that are unhealthy for you when you eat it, especially when not prepared thoroughly.

Do I need to wash store-bought eggs?

Cleaning store-bought eggs is not necessary. Commercial eggs purchased at the grocery store are commercial eggs that have been washed and pasteurized in accordance with USDA regulations

The eggs are heated during the pasteurization process, which kills the bacteria. A sanitizing spray is also applied to commercial eggs. 

Unlike fresh eggs from an unwashed farm, you will have to store the store-bought eggs in a refrigerator since they lack a bloom that will aid in protecting bacteria from entering inside.

How to wash fresh eggs?

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Also Read:  How to Clean a Chicken Coop and Run with Dirt?

With Water

The water that you will use in cleaning the fresh eggs should be warm. Cleaning of fresh eggs may be necessary, especially if they have come into contact with chicken droppings. 

Under warm running water, rinse the eggs. Cold water can cause bacteria to go below the surface of the eggshell, so use warm tap water to remove any dirt and bacteria from the shell. 

Avoid any cleaning agents such as bleach, soap, or detergent. Eggshells are porous, so any chemicals will pass through the shell pores into the eggs. 

After that, you will use paper towels to carefully dry the eggs and then store them in a refrigerator. You will need an enclosed container to store the eggs in a refrigerator to prevent them from getting broken. 

Additionally, refrigerating the eggs will also reduce the chances of salmonella, which may lead to you having food poisoning. You can also keep the eggs from losing moisture while in the refrigerator by spraying them with mineral oil.

Without Water

Should the fresh eggs come into contact with chicken droppings, you can also wash them without water. You will need slightly abrasive items such as a sponge to wipe dry or get rid of the chicken droppings and any other dirt.  

How to wash store-bought eggs?

You do not need to wash store-bought eggs since they have been heated during the pasteurization process to help kill germs. However, if you have to wash them, you will need to use warm running water. 

Rinse the eggs in warm running water without using any detergent, soap, or bleach. Follow this by drying the eggs using a dry paper towel and then putting them in an enclosed container. 

You can then spray the eggs with mineral oil to keep them from losing moisture and then store them in a refrigerator.

Other FAQs

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How to clean fresh chicken eggs?

You can clean fresh chicken eggs in case they have chicken droppings in them. This will help in getting rid of the droppings and dirt. 

You can use warm running water to rinse the fresh chicken eggs.

After you are done rinsing with warm running water, you immediately follow by drying the eggs up using a dry paper towel, and then put the eggs in an enclosed container and keep the eggs refrigerated.

You can also use a slightly abrasive item like a sponge to wipe dry and clean the fresh chicken eggs.

Do you need an egg cleaner for fresh eggs?

You do not need an egg cleaner for fresh eggs. Most fresh eggs from farms are always clean.

They do not need to be cleaned unless they have chicken droppings, in which case you can just use an abrasive item like a sponge to wipe dry.

Why are store-bought eggs white?

The store-bought eggs may be worthwhile because of the breed of the chicken that laid them.

The pasteurization process in the eggs may also affect the color of the eggs, but it will not have much effect since the heat-up process is only aimed at killing bacteria.

What about cleaning eggs with vinegar?

You can also use vinegar to clean eggs. The acidic nature of the vinegar solution will help in removing dirt, grime, poop stains, and even blood from farm-fresh eggs. 

Vinegar’s strong nature will easily break down the poop, dirt, and other elements without interfering with the bloom unless you scrub the egg aggressively.

How to clean chicken poop off dirty eggs?

There are multiple ways that you can use to clean chicken poop off dirty eggs. If it is dry, you can use warm running water or vinegar to get rid of the poop. However, if the poop is still wet, you can use a dry sponge to wipe it off.

Conclusion

Fresh eggs from the farm are quite nutritious and more beneficial to your health than store-bought eggs. There are multiple benefits to taking fresh farm eggs into your body.

Additionally, washing eggs may not be that necessary since it will get rid of the bloom, hence leaving the inside very vulnerable to attack by bacteria and other organisms such as salmonella that may be harmful to your health. 

With the detailed information above, you will easily know the difference between fresh eggs from the farm and store-bought eggs. I hope this informative guide on washing eggs will help you in your backyard farming.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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