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#73272 - 01/16/04 11:28 AM egg cleaning

I was going to put thin in the Management section, but let's see if we can get some action here...
I'm certain that I'll get plenty of 'why clean your eggs'

I was just cleaning eggs and my 9 year old excused herself as she hip-butted me away from the dishwasher to retrieve her favorite glass. And the light went on... Why couldn't one use an automatic dish washer (slightly modified) to wash eggs?

modification 1 - disconnect the heating elements so as not to have hard boiled eggs (or put them on a switch so you COULD have hard boiled eggs)

Mod 2 - add a hot/cold water mixing valve to control the water temperature

mod 3 - modify the dish trays to hold eggs and keep them from banging into each other

mod 4 - add a 'bleeder line' that would add bleach or some other sanitizing fluid to the process for a portion of the wash

OK - give it your best shots. What other modifications would you make? Or do you think I'm just crazy for even thinkin' of it?

#73273 - 01/16/04 12:12 PM Re: egg cleaning
Larissa Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
Well, I don't think your crazy, but a little extreme......

Unless they are kind of dirty, eggs don't need to be washed or sanitized at all.

When I gather eggs and find a bit of poo or dirt on them I will simply wash it off with lukewarm water, put it away in the fridge and plan on using it sooner than the other pristine ones.

Eggs have a natural coating on their surface that actually helps to keep bacteria out. If you wash them you remove this coating they are more prone to spoilage. I still think they will keep okay, but there is just a greater risk that it will go bad.

So, if I were you I wouldn't bother washing them. But, otherwise your idea is pretty clever.


#73274 - 01/16/04 01:05 PM Re: egg cleaning

OH ya - forgot to mention that I'm selling them, and to stay in compliance with the USDA they have to be washed and sanitized...

#73275 - 01/16/04 01:10 PM Re: egg cleaning

I guess I should expound on that somewhat. I am not yet having my eggs USDA graded, so I technically probably don't have to wash/sanitize them, but I figure there's pretty good reasoning for doing it.

So back to the dishwasher...

Thanks for the response CL

#73276 - 01/16/04 03:00 PM Re: egg cleaning

Bill. First off I'm not on egg patrol but if I may ask, where are you sellling them? Are you selling to any local stores or such or to just people, and what do you sanitize your eggs with. I want to expand with a variety of hens but I don't want to be caught with eggs that I can't sell. Can stores puchase fresh eggs right "off the farm" if it's not a commercial egg production business?
And I think your idea is innovative. Not crazy!

#73277 - 01/16/04 03:56 PM Re: egg cleaning
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Me, too, I wouldn't think of washing an egg that didn't have visible dirt on it! And even then, if it is on an end, I simply break the egg so there is no dirt on the place my fingers break it. A poop on an egg needs washing in lukewarm water and set to dry before puting in an egg cartonm that is all. If you keep your nests clean, that keeps most eggs clean. Mind you, if you let your hens go out in the mud or have wet/dirty litter in your coop or house, dirty feet may carry into the nest. You can fix that by keeping dry, clean coops and nests.

Do you always wash an apple or orange before eating it? You can more easily move exterior
"dirt" into the contents of the fruit than move anything from an egg shell into the contents. And you cook the egg, not the fruit. We are so careful about some things and not about others. But do it the way you feel best (but not the dishwasher). It takes much less time to rinse eggs under the faucet ( clean the sink and wash your hands if you wash your eggs there--that is easy). CJR

#73278 - 01/16/04 11:08 PM Re: egg cleaning

R Todd
I'm selling mainly to friends and neighbors. My wife mentioned that we were getting some chickens to one of her co-workers who asked if we would sell her eggs. She of course said yes - by the end of the day she had three more people come up to her and ask for a dozen eggs tomorrow. We didn't have the chickens yet...

I wash the eggs with a solution of automatic dishwasher detergent (unscented), rinse with water, rinse with chlorine bleach solution, rinse thoroughly with water, air dry, coat with mineral oil.

Many stores can buy eggs can buy eggs straight off the farm - you just have to be able to negotiate a wholesale price that allows you to make a profit suitable for you. Buy/raise your chickens to meet your current/near future demands and you won't have to make a steady diet of eggs. I sell mine for $3/doz and can't keep up with the demand - that may change when I 'gear up' to 4-500 birds... I may be eating lots of omelettes LOL

Whether to wash or not isn't the question here. I'm committed to washing the eggs I sell. The eggs I consume, I could care less about because I know how the chickens are raised and eggs harvested. The query I made is whether or not a dishwasher could be utilized for washing/sanitizing eggs to comply with USDA regs.

#73279 - 01/17/04 07:17 AM Re: egg cleaning


I'm glad to know that you are getting $3/doz. I had asked in another section what people were selling theirs for and I was getting answers like $1 to $1.50 per doz. $2 - $3/doz. was more like what I was thinking. Sure it may be easier to pick them up at the market, but if they are co-workers or neighbors you can deliver thme easily and I think the freshness and novelty (esp. if you have varying colors) are a very attractive to folks who have nothing but weeks old store eggs available to them. Most people who have had fresh eggs never want to go back to store-bought!

Incidentally, I too never wash eggs that are for our own consumption unless some kind of schmutz gets on them ie poop or mud. I keep my nesting boxes clean and that helps. Those I sell I will wash though, but that can quickly be done by hand. Of course if I had a big operation I might consider the dishwasher idea, just run on the cool rinse cycle! Murray McMurray does sell an egg washing gizmo if anyone was seriously interested - I forget the cost though...

Happy in Eggville smile

#73280 - 01/17/04 12:16 PM Re: egg cleaning

Bill, I would wonder about the water pressure and turbulence in the dishwasher. I've had to wash EVERYTHING on china-wash because it was banging around too much. Also your drains. If you have litter, egg shells and other debris going through there that might be a problem. We killed our first dishwasher with a nylon scrubby that got sucked into the innards some how. Debris is not good for the dishwasher. Then there's the hot water use. Are you sure the dishwasher is the most efficient use of all that hot water? There might be a lot of wasted space, too, since the eggs would be so much smaller than plates, pots and pans, but the sprayer arms still need room to move. Meaning could you get some other racks in the middle somehow.

That said ... I bet you could find a good cheap one from someone who is installing an upgrade. And ... it kinda sounds like a fun tinker toy project.

Or, as the tractor salesman asked my DH when they were looking at a bargain priced John Deere, "How good of a mechanic are you?" laugh


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