What Does It Mean When an Egg Floats? Video Guide

Have you ever wondered why some eggs float while others sink? It’s a fascinating phenomenon that can tell us a lot about the freshness and quality of an egg. In this article, we’ll explore what it means when an egg floats and delve into the science behind it. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s dive into the world of floating eggs!

What Does It Mean When an Egg Floats?

An egg can float in water when its air cell has enlarged due to aging. This does not necessarily mean the egg is bad, but it might be less fresh. To determine its safety, crack the egg open and inspect it for unusual odors or appearances.

The disintegration of the egg releases gases and water vapor through the shell, increasing the size of the air cell as a consequence, which is why an egg floats.

However, floating by itself doesn’t always signify spoiling. Older eggs may float, but they can still be safe to eat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises doing more research. You may crack an egg open and inspect it to determine its freshness if you’re unsure. It is better to throw away the egg if it smells bad or seems odd.

It’s vital to keep in mind that a new egg could also contain dangerous germs, and that an older egg might still be safe to consume. Instead of being a precise indicator of an egg’s edibility, the float test mostly reveals information about the egg’s age and air cell size. Although salt may change the density of water, making an egg float is not a good indicator of how fresh an egg is.

What Does It Mean When an Egg Floats?
What Does It Mean When an Egg Floats

What Does it Mean When an Egg Floats When Boiling Eggs?

If an egg floats when boiled, it indicates that the egg is old. As eggs age, the air pocket inside them grows larger due to water loss and the entry of air. When the air pocket becomes large enough, the egg can float in water.

The changes that take place within an egg as it matures are what account for this phenomena. The fluid within an egg slowly dries out via its permeable shell as it matures. The air pocket within the egg expands as the water is removed and replaced by air. It is because of this expansion of the air pocket that the egg may float.

It’s crucial to remember that although a floating egg may cause you to wonder whether it’s safe to eat, it doesn’t always imply it’s rotten or unhealthy. The egg may not be as fresh as it once was, as the phrase just implies. The normal aging process includes the growth of air pockets, which doesn’t always signify deterioration. A perfectly cooked egg that doesn’t show any indicators of an unpleasant odor or an odd look might thus still be regarded safe to eat.

The tiny air pocket in a new egg causes it to lie flat on its side and sink to the bottom. This happens because a fresher egg’s eggshell is less porous, which prevents major air penetration.

If an egg floats in cold water is it bad

Yes, if an egg floats in cold water, it’s likely not fresh and might be bad. Fresh eggs sink to the bottom and lay flat on one side.

A poor egg, on the other hand, will float in the water because it has a bigger air cell that develops at its base as it grows. This cell makes the egg less dense than the water, increasing its buoyancy and allowing it to tilt upward or perhaps totally float.

It’s important to remember that the egg’s buoyancy does not necessarily mean that it is safe to consume. While a floating egg may indicate age, it does not always indicate spoilage. Even though they may no longer be fresh, older eggs may still be safe to eat.

The float test is essentially a useful first check for egg freshness, but for a more precise evaluation, you need take additional aspects into account. These include the egg’s odor, appearance, and any odd changes in texture or color.

Egg float test myth

The egg float test myth suggests that a bad egg floats to the top of water and should be discarded, but it mainly indicates the egg’s age. Fresher eggs have cloudier egg whites when cracked open. However, the test doesn’t determine if the egg is safe to eat.

A really fresh egg is often one that sinks to the bottom and rests on its side. The egg is less fresh but still safe to eat if it stands up on end but is immersed. If, however, the egg is erect and floats on the water’s surface, this is a sign that it is older.

The theory underlying the float test is based on the observation that as eggs become older, air increasingly accumulates inside of them. The egg floats because the buildup of air makes it more buoyant. The float test may help you estimate the age of the egg, but it doesn’t always indicate whether it’s safe to eat or not.

You may examine an egg’s quality further by breaking it open. The appearance of the egg white is an important indicator of freshness. Older eggs have clearer, more liquid whites, whereas fresher eggs often have cloudier egg whites. However, the results of the float test and the color of the egg white do not always indicate safety. An egg that sinks may still be OK to eat provided it doesn’t smell terrible when split open, whereas an egg that floats may still be safe to eat.

Egg sinks but stands up

The egg water test is a simple way to determine an egg’s freshness. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lies sideways, it’s very fresh. If it stands on one end at the bottom, it’s still good to eat but not as fresh. If it tilts upwards or floats, it’s old and best not to use.

The egg is still safe to eat if it is standing up on one end near the bottom of the dish, but it is not as fresh as an egg that sits flat. This is due to the fact that as eggs become older, their air cells tend to get bigger, making the egg somewhat less dense and enabling it to stand upright while remaining immersed.

The egg is ancient and its air cell has greatly enlarged if it tilts upward or even floats on the surface of the water. This indicates that the egg is less fresh and may not be the best to eat.

It’s important to remember that the float test is only a freshness indication and doesn’t always indicate the egg is poor. Even while an egg that floats does not always indicate that it is ruined, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid using it in recipes where the quality of the egg is important.

What happens if you eat a bad egg

If you eat a bad egg, you might be at risk of foodborne illnesses like salmonella, which can cause symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days, but severe cases might require hospitalization.

The risk of developing a serious disease from consuming infected or rotting eggs is the main worry. It’s well knowledge that rotten eggs have a strong sulfur odor. When eggs go rotten, dangerous molds may grow on them that, if consumed, might cause further problems. Some people could have skin issues including itching and red rashes. Some people could have allergic symptoms like a runny nose.

It’s probable that you’ve eaten rotten eggs if you get nausea after eating eggs, have a fever, or experience diarrhea and vomiting. It’s important to note that owing to the growth of dangerous germs like Salmonella, eggs that have beyond their expiry date are likely to be infected.

Salmonella infections often cause diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and stomach cramps as symptoms. These signs and symptoms often appear six days to six hours after eating tainted food. While the majority of individuals recover from infections caused by Salmonella without needing considerable medical attention, severe instances may call for hospitalization.

What does a bad egg look like

A bad egg can be identified by examining its appearance, smell, and sound. If the egg white is pink or iridescent, if it floats in water, or if you hear a sloshing sound when shaking it, it’s likely spoiled. Additionally, a foul smell or unusual discoloration in the yolk or whites indicates bacterial growth, suggesting the egg should be discarded.

Check to determine whether the problematic egg floats by submerging it in a bowl or large glass of cold water. Eggs contain a tiny air pocket within that expands as they mature as a result of moisture and gases leaking out through the shell. If the egg floats, the air pocket has grown greatly, which is an indication that it has spoiled. Fresh eggs often sink to the bottom of the container and lay horizontally there. The egg stands on one end or floats on the water’s surface due to the expanded air pocket.

Shaking Test: Gently shake the egg while holding it close to your ear. Check the egg for any splashing noises. A bigger air pocket develops as an egg matures when moisture and carbon dioxide progressively leak out of the shell. When shook, this may produce a definite sloshing sound. On the other hand, a new egg will make little to no sound because to the tiny air pocket.

Visual Inspection: Crack open the egg and look inside it by placing it on a dish or big bowl. The egg white and yolk both need to be bright and transparent. Any unexpected discoloration, particularly one with a pink or iridescent colour, is a sure sign of bacterial development and decomposition. Fresh eggs should have clear or slightly hazy egg whites and brilliant yellow or orange yolks.

A rotten egg may also be identified by its odor when it is broken open. Fresh eggs ought should smell unremarkable. However, the egg is probably damaged if you smell anything distinctive, like sulfuric, gassy, or sour notes. These smells can originate from bacterial activity within the egg.

Additional Visual Indicators: Even while an egg is still in its shell, certain visual indicators might point to spoiling. A damaged egg may have tiny breaks in the shell or a murky, powdery covering. These symptoms might be an indication of bacterial or mold development, which would affect the egg’s quality and safety.

Understanding the Floating Egg Phenomenon

The Basics of Density

To understand why an egg floats, we need to grasp the concept of density. Density refers to how tightly packed the molecules of a substance are. When it comes to eggs, the density of the liquid inside the egg plays a crucial role in determining its buoyancy.

Eggshell Structure and Porosity

The shell of an egg is porous, which means it allows air and moisture to pass through. Over time, as an egg ages, the liquid inside begins to evaporate through these tiny pores. This loss of moisture causes changes in the composition and density of the egg, ultimately affecting its ability to float.

Factors Affecting Egg Buoyancy

The Air Cell

One of the key factors that determine whether an egg floats or sinks is the size of the air cell. As an egg ages, air enters the egg through the pores in the shell, and the air cell inside grows larger. When the air cell becomes significant enough, it creates buoyancy, causing the egg to float.

Freshness and Age of the Egg

Fresh eggs have smaller air cells, and their density is higher due to the presence of more liquid content. This higher density causes the egg to sink in water. However, as the egg ages, moisture gradually evaporates through the shell, and the air cell grows larger. Consequently, the density decreases, and the egg becomes more buoyant.

Contamination and Spoilage

Eggs that have gone bad or are contaminated with bacteria can also float. When an egg spoils, the contents inside can produce gases like hydrogen sulfide, resulting in an increase in buoyancy. It’s important to note that while floating eggs are often an indication of age, not all floating eggs are necessarily spoiled.

Conducting the Egg Float Test

Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we understand the science behind floating eggs, let’s learn how to conduct an egg float test to determine their freshness.

  1. Fill a container with water: Take a bowl or a glass and fill it with enough water to submerge an egg completely.
  2. Gently place the egg in the water: Carefully lower the egg into the water, ensuring it’s fully immersed.
  3. Observe the egg’s behavior: Watch closely to see if the egg sinks to the bottom or floats.
  4. Interpret the results: Based on the egg’s behavior, you can draw conclusions about its freshness and quality.

Interpreting the Results

  • If the egg sinks to the bottom and stays horizontal, it is fresh and of high quality.
  • If the egg tilts slightly or stands upright on the bottom, it is still edible but not as fresh.
  • If the egg floats to the surface, it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.

The Significance of Fresh Eggs

Nutritional Value

Fresh eggs are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. They are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet. By ensuring the freshness of your eggs, you can maximize their nutritional benefits.

Culinary Applications

Whether you’re baking a cake or making an omelette, the freshness of your eggs can greatly impact the taste and texture of your dishes. Fresh eggs have a vibrant yolk and a thick, viscous white, making them ideal for culinary creations.

Storing Eggs Properly


To maintain the freshness of your eggs, proper storage is crucial. In most countries, it is recommended to store eggs in the refrigerator, as lower temperatures slow down the rate of evaporation and keep the eggs fresh for a longer period.

The Importance of Date Labeling

To avoid confusion and ensure you use your eggs before they expire, it’s a good practice to label them with the purchase or laid-on date. This way, you can easily keep track of their freshness and use them accordingly.

Tips for Prolonging Freshness

Here are a few additional tips to help extend the freshness of your eggs:

  • Keep eggs in their original carton to protect them from absorbing strong odors from the refrigerator.
  • Avoid washing eggs before storing them, as this removes the protective cuticle that helps preserve their freshness.
  • Store eggs in the main body of the refrigerator, rather than on the door, as temperature fluctuations are greater on the door shelves.

Egg Safety and Quality Assurance

Cracking and Inspecting Eggs

Before using an egg, it’s essential to crack it open and inspect it for any signs of spoilage or contamination. Look for abnormalities such as an off-putting odor, unusual color, or slimy texture. If you notice any of these signs, discard the egg immediately.

Safe Handling Practices

To ensure the safety and quality of eggs, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling eggs to minimize the risk of contamination.
  • Use separate utensils and cutting boards for eggs to prevent cross-contamination with other foods.
  • Cook eggs thoroughly to destroy any potential bacteria. The internal temperature of cooked eggs should reach 160°F (71°C).

Floating Eggs When Boiling: Are They Safe to Eat?

Boiling eggs is a common cooking method, but what if you notice that an egg floats while boiling? Let’s delve into the topic and find out if you can eat boiled eggs that float.

The Floating Boiled Egg Mystery

When you place an egg in boiling water and it floats to the surface, it can be perplexing. However, it’s important to note that the behavior of eggs in boiling water is different from the egg float test conducted with cold water.

The Explanation

The phenomenon of a boiled egg floating is primarily due to a small air pocket inside the eggshell. As eggs age, the air cell inside grows larger, and when you boil the egg, the heat causes the air to expand. This expansion leads to the egg becoming less dense than the water, causing it to float.

The Safety Factor

If you come across a floating boiled egg, it doesn’t necessarily mean the egg is bad or unsafe to eat. As long as the eggs are properly cooked, they should still be safe for consumption.

Can You Eat Boiled Eggs That Float?

Determining Freshness

While a floating boiled egg may not indicate spoilage, it is a sign that the egg is not as fresh as it could be. Fresher eggs have smaller air cells and are more likely to sink when boiled.

Quality and Texture

Eggs that float while boiling may be older, and their texture might differ slightly from fresh eggs. The whites of older eggs tend to be thinner and spread out more in the water, resulting in a less compact appearance. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the taste or quality is significantly affected.

Sensory Evaluation

To ensure the safety and quality of the egg, it is advisable to perform a sensory evaluation. After boiling, crack open the egg and examine its appearance, odor, and texture. If any signs of spoilage are present, such as an off-putting smell or unusual color, it’s best to discard the egg.

If an Egg Floats in Cold Water, Is It Bad?

Cold Water Float Test

The cold water float test is often used to assess the freshness of eggs. However, it’s important to note that this test is not foolproof and should be used as a general guideline rather than a definitive method for determining egg quality.

Interpretation of Results

If an egg floats in cold water, it indicates that the air cell inside has enlarged due to evaporation, suggesting that the egg is older. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the egg is bad, it is an indication that it may not be as fresh as eggs that sink.

Additional Factors

Apart from age, other factors such as temperature, handling, and storage conditions can also impact the egg’s buoyancy. Eggs stored at room temperature for a longer duration are more likely to float, even if they are relatively fresh.

Are Floating Eggs Bad?

Not Necessarily Spoiled

Floating eggs are not automatically considered bad or spoiled. As mentioned earlier, the egg float test primarily indicates the age and freshness of the egg. However, to ensure safety, it’s important to consider other factors such as odor and appearance before consuming the egg.

Signs of Spoilage

If you crack open a floating egg and detect an unpleasant odor, a greenish yolk, or slimy whites, these are signs of spoilage. In such cases, it’s crucial to discard the egg to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.

The Myth of the Egg Sink Test

The Egg Sink Test

The egg sink test is a popular method for assessing egg freshness. According to the myth, if an egg sinks to the bottom of a bowl of water, it is fresh, while a floating egg is considered bad. However, this test alone cannot guarantee the safety or quality of an egg.

Limitations of the Sink Test

While the sink test can be an initial indicator, it doesn’t provide a complete picture. Eggs that are not fresh but not necessarily spoiled can still sink, while older eggs can float due to the larger air cell. Therefore, relying solely on the sink test may not provide accurate results.

Comprehensive Evaluation

To make a more informed judgment about the freshness and safety of an egg, it’s important to consider multiple factors, including the egg float test, sensory evaluation, and proper storage and handling practices.

How to Tell If an Egg Is Bad in Water

Water Test for Egg Freshness

The water test is a simple method to assess the freshness of eggs. By placing an egg in water, you can gauge its buoyancy and make an informed decision about its quality.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Fill a bowl or a glass with enough water to fully submerge the egg.
  2. Gently place the egg into the water and observe its behavior.
  3. Interpret the Results:
    • If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays flat, it is fresh.
    • If the egg tilts slightly but still touches the bottom, it is less fresh but still edible.
    • If the egg floats to the top, it is likely bad and should be discarded.

Combining Methods

To get a more accurate assessment, you can combine the water test with sensory evaluation. Crack open the egg after conducting the water test and examine its appearance, smell, and texture to ensure its safety.

Why Do Eggs Float in Saltwater?

The Science of Saltwater

When eggs are placed in saltwater, their behavior can differ from when they are placed in freshwater. The addition of salt affects the density of the water, which, in turn, impacts the buoyancy of the eggs.

Increased Density

Saltwater has a higher density than freshwater due to the dissolved salt particles. This increased density affects the ability of the egg to displace the water, making it more likely to float compared to freshwater.

Egg Float Test in Saltwater

If you perform the egg float test in saltwater and the egg floats, it indicates that the egg is less dense than the saltwater solution. This could be due to factors such as age, air cell size, or changes in the composition of the egg over time.


When conducting the egg float test, it’s essential to use the same type of water (either freshwater or saltwater) consistently to ensure accurate comparisons. The saltwater test is particularly useful when dealing with farm-fresh eggs, as they tend to have thicker shells and smaller air cells, making them less likely to float in freshwater.


The next time you come across a floating egg, you’ll now have a better understanding of what it signifies. Remember, floating eggs generally indicate age rather than spoilage, although caution is necessary when it comes to eggs that have gone bad. By conducting the simple float test and practicing proper egg storage and handling, you can ensure the freshness, quality, and safety of your eggs. So go ahead, crack open a fresh egg, and enjoy its many culinary delights!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical or professional advice. Always consult with a qualified expert or your healthcare provider for specific concerns or questions related to egg consumption and safety.

Carry B

Hi, I am an avid seeker of spiritual knowledge and has spent years delving into various spiritual traditions, ancient wisdom, and esoteric teachings. Here In this blog i will share my knowledge to the world. Connect with Our Social Community: Facebook

Recent Posts