Introduction: Naked Eggs (Shell Less Eggs)

Picture of Naked Eggs (Shell Less Eggs)

Sometimes while an egg is being created by a bird, the step for making the hard outer shell is skipped, thus creating a shell less egg.  A Shell less or naked egg is soft, squishy and feels almost rubbery. I will show you how to make your own shell less egg using vinegar and a chicken egg.

Step 1: Equipment

Picture of Equipment

Clear jar
White vinegar

Step 2: Place Egg in Jar

Picture of Place Egg in Jar

Place your egg carefully in your jar.

I slid the egg in and then tilted the jar upright.

Step 3: Add Vinegar to Jar

Picture of Add Vinegar to Jar

Add vinegar to the jar with the egg.
Pour enough vinegar so that the egg is completely coverd.

Step 4: Shell Starts to Dissolves

Picture of Shell Starts to Dissolves

As soon as you add the vinegar you will see bubbles starting to form on the surface of the shell.  Your shell may even float to the surface.

The vinegar contains acetic acid.  The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate crystals, which is what the egg shell is made of.  The acetic acid causes the calcium carbonate cyrstals (the egg shell) to break into their calcium and carbonate parts. The calicum floats free and the carbonate combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which are the bubbles you see forming on the shell.

Step 5: Replace Vinegar

Picture of Replace Vinegar

The next day you will see a layer of foam on the surface of the vinegar.
After about 24 hours has passed you should replace the vinegar.
Carefully pour out the vinegar.
Once all of the old vinegar is removed pour in new vinegar so that again, the egg is completely cover.

As you can see in my picture I did not bother removing all of the foam, you can if you want too.

You will be able to observe that the shell is thining and patches of yellow (the yolk) will be seen through the thinning egg shell.

Step 6: Shell Is Dissolved

Picture of Shell Is Dissolved

After about 48 hour the shell should be dissolved, it make take longer depending on the thinkness of the orginal shell.
Once the shell is completely dissolved pour out the vinegar and remove the egg from the jar.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Naked Egg

Picture of Enjoy Your Naked Egg

Your egg is now shell less and squishy.  Be careful as the only thing hold the egg together in a thin membrane. 


wold630 (author)2012-04-24

This is fascinating, but what is the purpose?

shizumadrive (author)wold6302015-04-06

maybe they make egging people less dangerous?

voodoopunchie (author)wold6302012-04-29

When I taking biology in elementary school, we used this project to learn osmosis; after removing the shell, we placed the "naked egg" alternately in corn syrup and fresh water for a few days each and observed the results. It was a really neat way to learn something that may otherwise have been boring for young children.

TallTrav (author)wold6302012-04-25

We used to call them Rubber Eggs. We used to do this and toss them to unsuspecting folks or leave them about for someone to discover. We left them in a bottle of ink once too, but that was not only smelly, but really messy. The stains were visible for

DanielaM3 made it! (author)2015-04-02

I made it a face. It's so squishy!!!!

DanielaM3 made it! (author)2015-04-02

What do you do when it's finished?? Can it pop??

hinaqin (author)2015-01-13

wow, it looks so magic. I saw it once.

adithyashok (author)2014-04-17

Taken to the next level -

LaffyDuck187 (author)2012-04-09

Is the egg edible after it becomes shell-less?

Sparkyrob (author)LaffyDuck1872012-04-12

I think the best answer to your question is itself a question - How many times have you eaten an egg shell?

I think what you might be asking is - Is it edible after being soaked in Vinegar for so long? That is a good question. Pickles are edible after soaking in vinegar. I would guess these would be too. That would be something to test.

LaffyDuck187 (author)Sparkyrob2012-04-12

It would probably be a good idea to boil the egg before eating.

PearlZenith (author)LaffyDuck1872012-04-12

If you're worried about the egg sitting at room temperature, I wouldn't, as that's the way eggs are stored. Refrigeration isn't necessary.

lperkins (author)PearlZenith2012-04-13

Refrigeration helps them last longer. They're good for about a week unrefrigerated usually. Of course, with commercially produced eggs it can be a little difficult to know precisely how old they are when you get your hands on them. Soaking in vinegar, however, should do a reasonable job of pickling them. Just be sure to cook them thoroughly before you eat them.

mdshann (author)lperkins2013-05-10

I love pickled eggs! Of course those are usually boiled then pickled...

PearlZenith (author)lperkins2012-04-13

You're right about them lasting longer. I don't worry, since my eggs are fresh from chickens, but from a supermarket, a fridge might be a good idea. Once they're boiled, I always refrigerate them, though.

triumphman (author)2012-04-12

Do you know why there is an air pocket at the top of most eggs ? I do! Take a guess!

DehiXeM (author)triumphman2012-04-24

I don't know, perhaps is it a bit of free oxygen for when it spawns?

triumphman (author)DehiXeM2012-04-24

You got it! It is an air pocket so when the chic starts to hatch it has a bit of air . Then it pecks a hole in the shell and breathes the first outside air of its new life. Awesome! I know who created these wonderful things! Thank you!

DehiXeM (author)triumphman2012-04-24

Thanks for the fact :D

flyingfox567 (author)triumphman2012-04-20


spylock (author)2012-04-18

I had chickens that would every so often lay an egg like that,they got tossed into the compost.

rrkrose (author)spylock2012-04-20

1 of my chickens also laid an egg like this once too.

ryckmans_t (author)2012-04-12

no, sorry. The carbonate reacts with the acid to form carbonic acid, which looses a molecule of water to form bubbles of carbon dioxide.
CO3-- + H+ ---> H2CO3 ---> CO2 + H2O

there is no "combination with oxygen"

Shanball (author)ryckmans_t2012-04-19

this is why i love Instructables. :)

btw, doesn't it "lose" the molecule? though "loose" is also appropriate!

50-50 (author)2012-04-12

stick it in water and it will get very firm.put it in glucose syrup and it will shrink and be very hard to break.

sugarsnout (author)50-502012-04-15

? missed this reference...sounds cool tell me more please

50-50 (author)sugarsnout2012-04-16

the egg white is less dense than glucose but more than water.when put in water osmosis causes the membrane to try to equle out the dencity.thus transfering the dence egg white to the water untill they reach the same dencity.this causes the egg to shrink. when in glucose the membrane transfers from the outside to the inside.this causes the egg to expand,drop this one and it will bounce of the floor like a ball.Add food couloring to ether mix and the egg will change colour.

BLUEBLOBS2 (author)2012-04-15

This instructable is amazing! :0

mattttttty (author)2012-04-12

This may sound odd - but could you do the same with a partially fertilised chickens egg so you would have like a mini baby chicken (not a live one I'd assume) in a little in-utero ball ?

da.cappina (author)mattttttty2012-04-15

erm, yes, it saunds odd.
(is there something like 'partially fertilised'?)

KindaLost (author)2012-04-15


tacamaral (author)2012-04-12

You can do the same with bones - same principle, it will leave only the gelatinous part of the bone. Try it with chicken bones, for example.

astrong0 (author)tacamaral2012-04-12

Oh chicken bones.... I thought you meant human bones and was a little worried.

asghdf (author)astrong02012-04-15


nanaverm (author)tacamaral2012-04-12

That's why it's good to cook ham or other bones with an acid in the water, like lemon juice or vinegar. It actually dissolves the collagen and tendons into gelatin, and leaches out calcium. The finished broth is very nutritious (especially if made with organically raised animals), the fat at the top can be removed after refrigerating, and you can add baking soda a little at a time when using until it no longer foams. Thus you've neutralized the acid, but still have all the benefits of the good nutrition.

chicopluma (author)2012-04-15

you made a chicken-fish egg XD

saharvey2 (author)2012-04-14

Great instructable! My daughter and I did it this weekend. I started out with some baking soda and vinegar to discuss the reaction. Then we stripped our egg naked. Thank You!

mskillasmile (author)2012-04-14

This is cool. Thank you for sharing.

jerbear1978 (author)2012-04-12

Would this work on deer antlers?

Thoth (author)jerbear19782012-04-13

It should.

It would dissolve the antler but since they are dead bone they would not have a collagen matrix so they would dissolve into nothing you would not have a flexible antler. Unless you manage to harvest an antler while its still in the velvet.

I wonder how acid etching a design on an antler button would work out.

Janus Horus (author)2012-04-13

Problems with vinegar? What about Coke?

alejandroro5 (author)2012-04-13

Nice idea!!

tauhid (author)2012-04-12

Since my child time in Indonesia such a "technology" has been used to put an egg into a bottle. The egg is pushed into the bottle before the white calcium lost all.

wickedchild (author)2012-04-10

Nice!! Can you hard boil them after that or cook them as you would with normal egg. And the last question does it taste like vinegar. I would love not to peal the shell off my hard boiled eggs. Oh before I for get how long will they stay fresh? Thanks for teaching me something knew.

dwei1019 (author)wickedchild2012-04-12

I would recommend not boiling / consuming them in general.. If we take a trip back to biology, the egg itself has grown in size due to osmosis and has absorbed the vinegar into the egg (process to get to equilibrium). You can try it.... If you do.. please be careful..

The egg is edible. You can boil it but if the membrane was too thin it can break if there is a rapid enough boil. Best to use a fresh egg to avoid that. It will taste like vinegar. They make good egg salad or deviled eggs.

x0pa (author)2012-04-08

if you put toothpaste on half of the egg only the one side will be shell less ;p

desmondtheredx (author)x0pa2012-04-08

Draw something with the toothpaste

x0pa (author)desmondtheredx2012-04-09

ahh good idea ;p

XTL (author)x0pa2012-04-12

Sounds like an Instructable !!!
go for it...

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