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How to Wash & Store Fresh Eggs | You Will Be Surprised!

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own chickens or know a farmer who does, you probably have access to fresh eggs. Here’s a guide on how to wash and store them so they stay fresh as long as possible.

fresh eggs in a homestead kitchen

Fresh eggs have a natural bloom on the surface that protects them from bacteria. To preserve this bloom, it’s best to avoid washing your eggs until you’re ready to use them.

If they do need to be washed, use a damp cotton cloth and cool water and dry them immediately afterward.

How to Wash and Store Fresh Eggs

First, a little background on fresh eggs……………

Fresh eggs usually are a much better quality because of the variety in feed and care as well as fresh air and sunshine as compared to commercial poultry operations.  

This is mainly due to the size of the operation. Smaller producers are able to give better individual care to their flocks than huge commercial egg operations.

Fresh homegrown eggs are not processed in artificial environments, and that is the reason why they require different care and storage environments than regular eggs.  

These fresh eggs taste and look different from regular eggs.  

The colors of the eggshells might vary due to a variety of chickens in the farm flock, and the yolks may have a deeper yellow to almost a golden orange color.

Have you ever wondered why this is so? Plus, you may be wondering if farm fresh eggs need to be washed?

Read more on when chickens starting laying eggs!

Make sure to read about the nutritional value and The Benefits of Free Roaming Chickens! I love this…….free chickens!

Watching free chickens scratch and peck around gives you a sense that they love their freedom.

This idea of running around free ties into whether to wash and store your eggs…….here you will find out how to store farm fresh eggs.


a barred rock hen happily eating fresh grasses and flowers

Happy & Healthy Free Ranging Chickens!

Chickens are super busy by nature and are always doing something: if not chasing and catching bugs; they are scratching in the dirt for seeds, plants or roots as well as taking a dust bath or just simply sunning themselves and enjoying life!


(to wash or not wash?)

If you have recently started raising chickens for eggs and are not sure how to wash and store fresh eggs, then this quick guide is just for you. Find out more on how to wash eggs or simply how to clean fresh eggs!

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about washing and storing fresh eggs to enhance their longevity.  Let’s dive right in with the most commonly asked questions:

Are Fresh Eggs Stored at Room Temperature?

You may have heard that fresh eggs can be stored at room temperature, but how true is this?  

Well, fresh eggs can certainly be stored at room temperature for many days and even weeks as long as the shells are not broken or even cracked!

NO cracks whatsoever…..Not even a hairline crack is acceptable!

Fresh egg farms often display fresh eggs laid by their hens on the counter because it is safe to do so.  

farm fresh eggs on a wooden table

Unlike commercial eggs, fresh eggs stay healthy at room temperature if it is not extreme.  However, this only applies to fresh eggs that are unwashed.

When fresh eggs are washed or rinsed, then they aren’t able to survive room temperature for as long of a period.  

That is, if you even purchase fresh eggs from a farmer’s stand or market, make sure you ask them whether they are washed or unwashed.  

If you wash the eggs, then you’ll have to store them in a refrigerator right away to keep them fresh.  

Wondering why that’s the case?  Let’s learn more about it below!

freshly gathered brown farm eggs
Notice the straw stuck on the eggs…..This is from the “Bloom!”

It’s All About This Natural Protective Layer

When a hen lays an egg, it also deposits a layer of the natural protective coating that covers the shell of the egg.  

It is called an egg cuticle, more commonly known as the “egg bloom”. This layer is made of protein, and it covers the eggshell to seal and protect its porous layer.

As a result, the egg gets protected from bacteria and other types of infections. Read more about Protective Bloom!

This is a natural way for a hen to protect its eggs and make sure that the chick inside stays safe while it incubates if left to develop into a chick.

The bloom also helps keep an unfertilized egg fresh for longer because it keeps it from losing its moisture and getting contaminated.

natural colorful eggs in a carton

So, when you wash fresh eggs, the protective bloom gets washed away, and the egg becomes prone to going bad at room temperature.  

That is why the USDA mandates the pasteurization of eggs to make sure that all pathogens are killed.  

That is also the reason why you shouldn’t store fresh eggs at room temperature once they have been washed.  

Make sure that all washed fresh eggs are stored in a refrigerator safely to ensure a longer shelf life.

When is it a Good Time to Wash Fresh Eggs?

Ideally, you should only wash your fresh eggs right before you have to use them.  

However, if you feel like you need to wash the eggs because they are dirty and need a rinse. Then, make sure that you store them in the refrigerator right after.

If it’s possible for you to keep them unwashed; the eggs will stay fresh for as long as 2-3 weeks or more at room temperature.

If you are concerned about the freshness of your eggs, do the simple fresh egg float test!

freshly washed eggs drying on a clean white towel

How to Wash Fresh Eggs?

Washing fresh eggs doesn’t require any special technique.  You can simply rinse them with warm water and rub them to remove any dirt or debris.  

Word of advice, use only water as this is enough! Plus, you don’t need to use harsh materials like bleach or vinegar.  

Final Thoughts

Fresh eggs don’t need to be washed for several weeks before you have to use them.  

However, if you want to wash them, simply rinse them under warm water.  Remember no soap or solvents are needed.

Make sure you store washed fresh eggs in a refrigerator to ensure they stay fresh and don’t spoil.

And, don’t forget your Egg Basket!!

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Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only. Always do your own research to verify the best practices for food safety. Go to ask.USDA.gov/ for more information on egg safety.

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