Chicken owners, especially new ones, don’t often realize the harmful effects washing eggs can have on the egg after they are gathered. As a society, it is such a common practice for us to wash the items we gather from our gardens. But in the case of eggs, this can cause more harm than good.

If this is news to you, keep reading to learn how to safely store and wash your farm fresh eggs to best ensure your family’s health and wellbeing.

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How to Safely Store Your Eggs

First, we recommend keeping your eggs unwashed until you plan to use them. During egg-laying, a chicken transfers a protective coating called “bloom” to the egg. Bloom seals the pores of the eggshell (which can have as many as 8,000 pores) and protects it from harmful intruders such as bacteria, moisture, and gas. When you wash your eggs, the bloom is removed, exposing them to these unwanted factors.

But what if the eggs you gathered eggs are dirty? It’s not uncommon for eggs to be covered in grime and/or feces. If this is the case, we suggest “Dry Washing” your eggs using something dry and textured, like a sanding sponge, loofah, or fine sandpaper, to rub off any dirt or feces until the egg is clean.

How to Safely Wash Your Eggs

When you do decide to wash your eggs, the safest way to do so is with very warm water (we suggest 90°F or above). Washing, or soaking, your eggs in cold water creates a vacuum effect which allows bacteria to be sucked into the egg — eventually posing harm to the consumer. Also, make sure to steer clear of using any cleaning solutions such as bleach or soap as it can also seep through the shell’s pores contaminating the egg. After the eggs are washed, wipe them dry and place them in a clean container, and make sure to refrigerate your eggs immediately, unless you are using them.

However, unwashed eggs can be stored on the countertop for several weeks.

Are you feeding your chickens the best feed for egg productivity? Our non-GMO Backyard Chicken Layer Feed is formulated to make sure your chicken is receiving the proper nutrients, protein, and energy balance to produce a bounty of nutrient-packed eggs. Shop our Layer Feed today.

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Mossy Meadow Farm – How to Wash Farm Fresh Eggs

The Spruce – How to Safely Wash and Store Chicken Eggs