Topic of the Week - Cleaning and Storing Eggs


Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Tipperary, Ireland

Pic by sumi

In the right conditions good egg layers sometimes produce more eggs than can be eaten daily, so flock owners store, or stockpile eggs for later use. With that comes the questions:

- Should you wash the eggs before storing them?
- Should you store them on the counter or in the fridge?
- Are they better stored in egg cartons?
- Are they better stored in the fridge after washing them?
- How long can you store a fresh egg, before it starts going stale?
- Can you freeze eggs and what is the best way to do it?
- How can you tell if the eggs you stored are still o.k. to eat, without cracking them open?

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In the middle
Premium member
6 Years
Apr 9, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
We store our eggs unwashed in an egg basket on the counter. I've had some there 4 to 6 weeks but they don't usually last that long. The protective coating keeps the eggs from going bad, no need to wash.

I don't trust the float test, so when I use eggs I crack into a separate bowl before adding to a recipe to make sure they're not bad or have any surprises inside.

I wash them as I use them, a good hand scrub under warm water.

Not sure about washing and putting in the fridge, haven't had eggs in the fridge since my girls started laying.

Haven't tried freezing any yet, we use what we get no problem and this winter I'm still getting 3+ eggs per day. The website linked below is a very good resource that I plan to use if I need to stockpile for winter:
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Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I store eggs on the counter in an open carton using the 'cups' for salable eggs and the cover for my eating eggs, unless they have been washed.
They get eaten or sold way before they'd 'go bad' and it's just easier not to deal with refrigerating them. The temp there is moderate all yer so no worries about overheating. I rarely have 'too many' eggs, I have 'extra' customers for times of plenty, but would refrigerate unwashed in cartons if I did and I've read that using an airtight container will deter moisture loss.

I don't wash eggs unless they are very dirty, then will refrigerate or use immediately because thorough washing will remove all the protective bloom(cuticle).

Eggs should be washed in 'water warmer than the egg'.
Simple physics, using colder water will cause the egg contents to contract, causing any 'germs' on exterior surface of egg shell to be pulled into the interior of egg thru the shell pores. Using warmer water will do the opposite, makes perfect sense to me.

I don't use any soap or other cleaning/sanitizing agent, just rotate in my hands to 'scrub' all surfaces area of egg shell. Then I air and towel dry before placing in the fridge.

If you are washing eggs for sale to the general public, other requirements may apply, so check your state regulations.

The 'float test' will only show that egg has lost moisture and may be older, will not tell you if it is 'bad'. Unless an egg is cracked and oozing, or stinks, the only way to know if eggs are 'good' or not is to break them one at a time in a separate dish and use your eyes and nose to assess before putting in pan or recipe.


Premium member
Mar 19, 2016
35.111165 -81.226586
My Coop
My Coop
Unwashed, unless they have poop or blood on them, then I wash off the offensive matter. Otherwise I rely on the bloom to keep the nasties out. I don't bother separating the washed and unwashed ones but just store them all in the fridge. I have an egg skelter so my 'stock' is constantly rotated. The float test has never failed me so I use it, but only with really old eggs. however it's rare that any egg stays uneaten in my house longer than four weeks tops, and I only give away the freshest ones.

As far as freezing them, I have never done so intentionally. I did have some freeze on me once on a particularly cold night camping, and as such know they must be removed from the shell first. ;)

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
I gather eggs daily, and wash them in warm running water with a little soap, and refrigerate, either in an 'egg keeper' or into egg cartons.
Really dirty eggs get pitched, as well as any that are cracked or have damaged shells.
I don't candle, so break eggs into a separate dish when I use them.
I do sell eggs to a few people, so they move on within ten days at least.


Project manager
Premium member
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
So every egg that floated was rotten inside?
I had some very old pea eggs that floated, but they were stored on the counter for many weeks during the hottest part of the year. Other than those, and maybe a few others, I would say that the float test is a pretty good indicator of bad eggs.

I'm working on a "float test" project and happen to have these pictures of these bad eggs:
DSCN4397 (Large).JPG DSCN4399 (Large).JPG
I'm not 100% sure, but I think all of those are bad.

The Angry Hen

Crossing the Road
Dec 17, 2016
My Coop
My Coop
If an egg is really a mess, I will wash it then dry it off. And if an egg is pushing the limits with being old, the only contact with water is the float test.
On a daily basis I collect eggs and the cleanest ones go into the fridge while the bad ones are discarded or washed. But I discourage washing unless needed due to the eggs pores as well as bloom.
And more often then not I will candle eggs from the flocks with roosters just in case they were kicked under something or hidden then resurfaced. I very much doubt that there would be a fully developed chick... But there could be an embryo developing. Better too safe than terribly sorry. ;)

Good opinons, everybody.

Michael P

Nov 20, 2017
Dallas, Texas
I rinse eggs, and gently scrub off any dirt, then put them in a covered plastic container in the refrigerator. The plastic container reduces water loss. Washing probably isn't necessary, but I dislike looking in the fridge and seeing dirty eggs. I should note that we have a commercial refrigerator that keeps the eggs at 34 F. Treated this way, the eggs last 4 to 6 weeks without any problems. In fact, we've never had an intact egg spoil.
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