How to Test an Egg in Water

Written by petra wakefield
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How to Test an Egg in Water
Older eggs contain larger air pockets. ( Images)

Eggs lose water as they age. This results in more air inside the eggshell, so an older egg will float higher in a bowl of water than a fresh egg. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends using eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of buying them, but if you forget when you bought a carton of eggs and the carton has no expiration or sell by date, you can test the freshness of an egg with a bowl of water.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Fill a bowl with tap water to at least an inch above the height of an egg.

  2. 2

    Place the egg gently into the bottom of the bowl full of water.

  3. 3

    Keep any egg that lies flat or at an angle at the bottom; these eggs are still fresh. Eggs that stand straight up on the bottom of the bowl are older, but still safe to eat; use them in baked goods or for boiled eggs.

  4. 4

    Discard any egg that floats to the top of the water, as it has most likely gone bad.

Tips and warnings

  • Discard any egg that has an unpleasant odour when you crack it open, regardless of whether it passes the float test.

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