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Mar 14, 2013 07:00 AM

Coating on eggs/challenges dying easter eggs.

Last year, our easter egg dying was an epic fail. The eggs I bought had some sort of coating on them that prevented the dye from soaking into the shell. The eggs were hard boiled in water prior to dying so whatever was on the shells survived the cooking process.

Anyone know what coating is put on eggs these days? Or tips for removing it?

Would any "treatment" of eggs be disclosed on the carton? I haven't checked yet this year. If the carton isn't labelled, is there a way for me to tell by sight/feel if an egg has been coated?

Or maybe most importantly, is there a way for

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  1. It's likely mineral oil and needs to be removed with soap.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      If it were an oil the boiling would have removed it don't you think?

      1. re: ferret

        Never use soap or any type of solvent when cleaning eggs unless you have no plans on eating them. Eggshells are porous, & will absorb whatever you wash them with.

      2. Did you have vinegar in the dye?

        1 Reply
        1. Can you get farm raised chicken eggs locally? That's the only thing I can suggest to be sure they aren't treated with something

          4 Replies
          1. re: suzigirl

            Fresh non-commercial eggs will also be resistant to dye, as they're naturally coated with a protective "bloom". (I used to raise chickens, & my hens' eggs never took dye well.)

            1. re: Bacardi1

              Interesting. I did not know that. Good information.

              1. re: suzigirl

                Eggs are amazing. In fact, upon occasion I'd come upon a hen just as she was pushing one out, & you could actually see the "bloom", which sort of looks like a wet gossamer membrane. It dries transparently to the egg nearly instantly upon hitting the great outdoors (or should that be "out-hen"?), but it's still there & is Mother Nature's precaution against nasty substances getting through the porous eggshell & possibly harming the unborn chick.

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  Mother Nature is a very complicated lady.

          2. I was always dissatisfied with the pallid colors we'd get on our dyed eggs, whether commercial or from a local farmer. We gave up on dyes and started using onion skins. Now, you're not going to get a nice pastel bunch of eggs this way, but you will get some very intensely colored and patterned eggs. Here's one link with some info and a photo:

            I differ somewhat with the instructions in the link; I boil for a longer time, since we don't use these eggs for eating, and I want a really intense color. The end result is pretty spectacular!

            7 Replies
            1. re: cayjohan

              If I want really red eggs, do you think all red onions? or beets?

              1. re: coll

                I tried the red onions with just that in mind (I was thinking about those fantastically deep red eggs that one sees with Greek Easter), but found that there wasn't really that much difference in final color. To be fair, that may have been that I had wrapped about half of the eggs with yellow onion skins and half with red onion skins and boiled them in the same pot, so it wasn't a really accurate experiment. I have found, though, that some yellow onion skins will give a warmer reddish tone to the final product than others, but I have yet to find a way to predict that. I am sort of toying with the idea of over-dyeing the onion skin eggs with a red dye; end result I am aiming for is to preserve the brecciated marble pattern, but amping up the redness. Have never tried beets for this, thinking they might end up a little too far on the pinky-purple end of things for what I'm looking for. I did try purple cabbage once, but that gives you: blue!

                1. re: cayjohan

                  I am just trying to avoid that artificial red color leaching onto the bread. May not be possible, I realize.

                  1. re: coll

                    I did see this link:

                    Granted, they are not the really vibrant red, but they are redder than the ones I generally produce (mine get splashes of ochre and chartreuse mixed in with the array of red-browns when I use the standard yellow onion skins). Maybe the Spanish onions, specifically, generate a little more redness?

              2. re: cayjohan

                Love the marbled eggs from yellow onion skins. Old Russian method in our family. We've used kitchen twine, plain dental floss, and the suggested rubber bands (as a last possibility, strange taste) to secure the cheesecloth. We eat and give these eggs, so cook according to your recipe.

                Martha Stewart, I think, has suggestions for using vegetables as dyes. Red beet might be your best best bet for a dark-ish red. Red cabbage makes like blue/lilac.

                1. re: nemo

                  We will dye eggs next weekend. I will get a dozen from my neighbor down the road this weekend and another from the grocery store. I am going to do a quick wash of the grocery store eggs with Dawn and risk any absorption.

                  1. re: cleobeach

                    You can also buy a different brand of eggs from the supermarket. Not all commercial egg producers coat their eggs.

              3. I color blown eggs using the silk tie method. I use supermarket eggs and the brands vary according to what is on sale. I seldom have a problem and when I do it is due to the fabric rather than the eggshell.

                Some web sites warn against this method if you are going to eat the eggs - ymmv.

                I love how unpredictable this method is. The final result is always a surprise. You can over-dye but the shell becomes more fragile with repeated exposure to the vinegar.


                2 Replies
                1. re: meatn3

                  That silk method is so cool. I am going on a silk hunt.

                  1. re: cleobeach

                    I agree! I was captivated the first time I saw the process.

                    There is definitely a learning curb and I am slowly getting there. Often the best results come from the least expected patterns. Brown eggs tend to produce a more "vintage" look. More contrast is possible with white eggs. Blue and green eggs don't seem to make much difference in the end.

                    Using blown eggs is trickier since they want to float...

                    Silk ties and boxers work well. Women's clothing is tricky - there seems to be less success if it the garment has been dry cleaned.

                    Have fun!

                    *Do be aware that some sites caution against eating the eggs because of the unknown dye used in the silk. I'm undecided on the topic - but I'm also not feeding growing children.