I've been industriously dyeing Easter eggs, but apparently not industriously enough, because the eggs have started to have trouble sinking into the dye - they're just a bit too old at this point.

I got to thinking, though: given that I was never intending to eat these eggs anyway — once they're dyed, I blow out and discard the innards, since the dyes I use are not food-safe —, and given that what causes older eggs to start floating in water is that they have a larger air pocket than fresh eggs, then if there were some way to reverse the drying-out that led to that larger air pocket, then the eggs should start sinking better, shouldn't they?

So, can I soak the eggs in something to "revive" them? (Again, not for eating purposes!) If so, what would work better? Plain water? Salt water? I'm pretty sure vinegar, even highly dilute vinegar, is not the answer, because I've seen what happens if you accidentally leave an egg in the dye overnight. (My dyes contain about 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of water.)

Has anyone tried this? Did it work? Am I crazy? (Wait, don't answer that last one.)

2 Answers 2


A bit messy, but tested successfully:

Blow out the eggs before dyeing them.

This means you can fill the floating eggs with the liquid dye and they’ll sink. Of course you need to make sure that the dye flows out of the shells again when taking them out.

Speaking from experience, this will work best with eggs that have two holes.

Alternatively you could drill a small hole at the wider end use a syringe with a needle and fill the enlarged air pockets (the reason for the floating observed in old eggs) with a suitable liquid like water.

  • I have to laugh, because the next question I was going to ask was, I have multiple books that say to blow out the eggs before dyeing them, and then they blithely go on about making sure the dye covers the eggs completely, and I'm like, how? None of the books mention how to deal with eggs peeing dye all over the place, which is what I imagine would happen if I had to fill them with dye... You know, maybe I'll go ahead and ask that question.
    – Martha
    Mar 25, 2018 at 3:25

OK, so soaking in plain water doesn't hurt... Three containers of dyes, each with one egg

I put two eggs into a glass of plain tap water four days ago. Today, I took them out and put them into identical quantities of dye (or, well, as identical as I could get them). The egg that was on the bottom of the glass, i.e. fully submerged under water, is in the blue dye. The other egg from the water, which was mostly submerged four days ago but was starting to show a dry spot by today, is in the green dye. An egg from the same batch that I didn't put into water, just left in the carton at room temperature, is in the orange dye.

There's no measurable difference between blue and green. Orange is definitely sticking up slightly more. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of four days ago, but I think the eggs were sticking up about the same amount as the blue and green, maybe a leeeetle tiny bit less. In other words, the difference is probably due to the soaked eggs not drying out as much as the eggs left in the carton, rather than any re-hydration of the soaked eggs. Probably.

Yeah, my experimental method has some holes in it. Sorry. It was kind of spur-of-the-moment.

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