An Egg Experiment with Vinegar and Two Surprise Ingredients
If you are looking for a dental health activity or a chemistry experiment that will REALLY illustrate chemical reactions, this is it!
This experiment is excellent for helping students understand the chemical reaction that goes on in their mouth. If you’d like to turn this into a dental health unit, we have a 25+ page mini-unit to go with this experiment.
When you add 2 fun variations to the traditional egg experiment with vinegar, the results are fascinating and can be recorded in the free lesson PDF. You may have seen the egg in vinegar experiment and the naked egg that results after 3 to 4 days, but we added two more liquids to the “mix” to take this STEM activity even further. The resulting chemical reactions kick this popular activity up a notch!
If you are studying the human body, the mouth, or dental health, this is egg experiment will help your kids visualize why proper care of their teeth is important.
A customized lab worksheet to go with this experiment is available in a free download (See the email sign-up box below.) You’ll also receive a coloring page and tooth labeling activity sheet. However, we also have an expanded printable pack for sale. Which includes the free pages and more.
Expanded Printable Pack is Available for Sale
Please note, in addition to the free printable offered here, if you’d like to turn this into a dental health lesson for under $3, we have a full 26-page printable pack to go with this activity We also added dental health activities in the unit that go beyond the egg experiment and cover many grade levels from K-8 grade.
Inside our expanded printable pack (which is for sale at the link here) for the egg vinegar experiment science lesson PDF, you will find:
- 3 variations of lab worksheets where students record their egg experiment observations. Regardless of learning challenges, reading level, or writing skills, children have options when it comes to journaling what they observed. We want science to be accessible and a time of discovery learning.
- 12 vocabulary word cards
- 12 definition cards
- 12 cards with the words and definitions
- Label the Part of a Tooth Activity
- A chart labeling the parts of a tooth
- Permanent Teeth Chart and Baby Teeth Chart
- Additional flashcard game ideas
- Coloring page
Supplies You Will Need for This Egg Vinegar Science Experiment
- 3 plastic containers with lids
- 3 bowls
- 2 bottles of vinegar or 1 big bottle Note: Pictured here is a large bottle, you will need to purchase 2 of these or a half-gallon bottle of vinegar.
- 1 bottle of mouth rinse that contains fluoride (I bought ours at the dollar store.)
- 3 eggs, in their shell and uncooked
Get the free lab worksheets. Enter your email below, and we’ll send it right out to you! We are emailing you a subset of pages that are in our larger printable pack here.
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About the Lab Worksheets
If you haven’t downloaded the FREE worksheet that goes with this egg experiment with vinegar, go ahead and put in your email in the box above.
- On the free lab worksheet, note the word “Observation” at the top of each box? Have your child write in the time interval in that space. For example “5 Minute Observation” or “2 Hour Observation”. The time was left blank so you could customize when and how often observations are recorded.
- The Shell Hardness “score” is a 1 to 10 number, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest.
Directions for this Egg Experiment with Vinegar:
- To start, let’s measure the diameter of the egg first. Before putting any of the eggs in liquid, wrap a piece of string around the egg one time, but do not overlap the ends. We want to measure the circumference of the egg. Measure in the middle of the egg. Write down this measurement for all three eggs on the back of the experiment worksheet. (Available below. When you input your email address, we’ll send a copy right out to your inbox.)
- Place one egg in each of 3 containers. One egg is the “control” that we do not immerse in water. It is left untreated. The second and third eggs will be our tests.
- Label one container as “control,” the second container as “fluoride,” and the third container as “soda.”
- Pour the fluoride into the container labeled “fluoride” until the egg is covered.
- Pour the dark soda into the container labeled “soda” until the egg is covered.
- Ask your student what they think will happen? If you have done the traditional egg experiment with vinegar before with your student, ask them what they think might happen differently with this activity.
- Cover the eggs and set them aside for 24 hours. We gently stirred the soda and fluoride egg a few times during the 24 hours to make sure all sides were getting soaked with the rinse and the soda. Yes, soda and fluoride are our two variations on the traditional egg experiment with vinegar. 🙂
- Do check on the eggs after 2 and 6 hours to see if their appearance has changed. If you pick up the eggs at any time, use gloves to protect your hands.
- Write or draw what you see on the worksheet. When the observations are filled in, mark the time interval by writing it next to the word OBSERVATION. Note the softness of each shell. Do be careful not to squeeze the shells to tightly!
- Check again as the schedule permits, with the last observation at 24 hours.
- Move onto Part 2 down below….
About the Lab Worksheets
If you haven’t downloaded the lab worksheets for our “way cool” egg experiment with vinegar , fluoride, and soda, go ahead and do so now. Input your email address below, and we’ll send them right to your inbox.
Part 2 of the Egg Vinegar Experiment (with a Twist!)
- Before starting this part of the experiment, look at the label on the vinegar. What are the contents? Vinegar, which is acetic acid, and water. The presence of water in the vinegar have an interesting effect that we’ll discuss at the end of the experiment.
- After 24 hours, put on the gloves and remove the egg immersed in soda. What do you see? Fill out the lab sheet and label the time as “24 hour” next to the word OBSERVATION.
- Put on the safety glasses and gloves, as you will be handling vinegar. You won’t want to splash it in your eyes.
- Optional: Next, squeeze some toothpaste onto a toothbrush and lightly brush a small area on the soda egg? Are the stains coming off? This is just a fun add-on to the activity to demonstrate, especially to younger children, how brushing our teeth helps remove food particles and SOME discoloration.
- Place each egg in an empty bowl, place its label alongside the bowl.
- Cover each egg entirely with vinegar. What do you see?
- Fill out the lab worksheet.
- Set aside and check at 2,4, 6, 12, and 24 hours (or thereabouts). Put on gloves before touching the eggs each time. Gently pick them up to feel the softness of the shell. Look at both ends of the egg—are they changing at a different rate? Does the fluoride egg disintegrate at a faster or slower rate than the soda-soaked egg? Is there anything different about the coloring of the vinegar? How many bubbles do you see? How does the vinegar look? Is it clear? Anything floating on top. (Parents/Teachers: Encourage your students to use their observation skills throughout this egg experiment and either draw or write what they see.)
- After the eggs have been in vinegar for 24 hours, measure the diameter of each egg again and write it on the lab worksheet.
- Shine a flashlight through the egg? That membrane covering the egg (once the shell is completely gone) is called the semi-permeable membrane. See below for a discussion about this membrane.
- Complete the lab worksheet.
- Do not discard any of the eggs or vinegar until reading the Further Exploration section below.
At the bottom of this post, check out our video of our rolling egg!
Here is what we observed during our two tests of the egg experiment with vinegar, soda, and fluoride.
Explanation of What Happened in This Egg Experiment with Vinegar
When using this as an activity to promote proper dental hygiene, the eggs represent our teeth. The soda represents the sugar and carbohydrates that can stick to our teeth and cause bacteria to grow on and between our teeth. Fluoride is used to protect our teeth from the bacteria’s effects, but it is not 100 percent protection. We still need to eat healthy foods, brush, floss, and visit our dentist regularly.
The Chemical Explanation of What Happened in the Egg Science Experiment.
Those bubbles on the eggshell are carbon dioxide. They form when the acid in the vinegar, called acetic acid, (which is CH3COOH), reacts with the eggshell. The eggshell is made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). When acetic acid and calcium carbonate mix, they react and create calcium acetate, water, and carbon dioxide.
(For young children you can explain that the vinegar contains acid and the eggshell contains calcium carbonate, and when the two mix a chemical reaction occurs. This chemical reaction causes the eggshell to dissolve until all of the shell is gone.)
For older students, this chemical reaction looks like this:
2 CH3COOH + CaCO3 = Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2O + CO2
Eventually, the acid in the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the shell, until all of the shell is gone.
What is left is the semi-permeable membrane surrounding the egg and keeping it together.
Did the Egg Get Bigger During the Experiment?
Notice how the egg appeared to be bigger after the shell was completely gone? Remember the ingredients list on the bottle of vinegar? It included vinegar and water.
The water in the vinegar moved through the semi-permeable membrane that surrounds the egg and INTO the egg. This is due to a process called osmosis.
Osmosis is the diffusion of water. In osmosis, water moves from a high concentration to a low concentration, and the process does not require energy.
In this case, the water in the vinegar is in a higher concentrate than in the egg, so it moves through the semi-permeable membrane into the egg. It is a form of passive transport where the water moves into an area of low concentration of water from an area of high concentration of water.
Here are some resources about osmosis:
Osmosis experiment for middle and high school from Life Science Teaching Resources.
Compare the measurements of the egg diameter at the beginning and the end of the experiment. Was the diameter larger at the end?
Take this Egg Vinegar Science Experiment Further
Place the eggs in fresh vinegar and check on them in another 24 hours. Try to bounce them slightly on a surface.
Try this again with farm-fresh eggs, organic eggs, eggs of different (natural) colors.
Try apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, does the chemical reaction occur at a different rate? Does the egg shell disintegrate faster or slower?
Our Personal Results in This Variation on the Traditional Egg Experiment with Vinegar
We have done this egg vinegar experiment several times and each time the soda egg appeared to break down more quickly during the first 2 to 4 hours. The soda and fluoride egg appeared to be at the same “place” after 18 to 24 hours. We did notice that the soda-soaked egg also cracked more easily when we touched it. Perhaps the ingredients in the soda, specifically the sugar, weakened the shell? However, only the shell cracked, the semi-permeable membrane did not get punctured on any of the eggs.
We also had the soda egg move around after about 8 hours. This was due to the crack in the egg and the chemical reaction between the vinegar, egg shell, and semi-permeable membrane. Check out the video below. We did make a crack in the soda egg when we were checking it after 6 hours. The shell had softened up considerably.
After 24 hours the control egg had the most shell left on it. There was some at one tip of the egg. The soda and fluoride egg were at about the same place. We could wipe off a very thin layer of residual shell.
Get the free lab worksheets. Enter your email below, and we’ll send it right out to you! You may opt to purchase the entire 25-page printable pack for $2.95. Make a dental health study out of this activity with the printable pack. Purchase it here.
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After enjoying this egg experiment with vinegar, fluoride, and soda, try some other STEM activities involving chemical reactions. Here’s a list of ideas:
Polishing Pennies – ideal for preschool and Kindergarten