We will try it again. We have a collection of eggs growing in the duck house. We are waiting to see if any of our females show any motherly instincts. If not we will probably try putting them in the incubator this weekend.
I was also researching egg cuticles. Do you remove them or let them be? Maybe this also has something to do with the small air cells?
Once we get the hang of things, I foresee a possible science project idea for my son!
I don't wash eggs. We do everything we can to keep our nests clean, so we have pretty good luck with the eggs being clean. There's occasionally an egg that's dirty because it's laid on the ground or whatever, but we dispose of those.
This is really something that's a personal preference that you'll figure out as you do more incubating. There is no right or wrong answer to it, and there are pros and cons on both sides. The Holderreads wash all their eggs. If you do decide to start washing yours, it's absolutely critical that you do it correctly because it can do more harm than good otherwise. It won't help your air cell issues, though. That's almost certainly related to your humidity.