Feathered Nest at Windy Corner

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Time to Etch Eggs for Easter

Easter is just around the corner and I've had requests for some special etched eggs.

I gathered my tools together but didn’t have any etching solution on hand. I've always used toilet bowl cleaner for this so I went to the local Dollar General and picked up a jug of the Works. It used to contain 20% hydrochloric acid but the strength of the current product available is 9% acid. Hmmm.

I thought I’d better do a test. And while I was at it, I decided to sample other household chemicals I had around. I’m sharing the results with all my egging friends and anyone else interested. Eggshells are made up of calcium carbonate so I put several brown eggs in cups of cleaning products that claim to "bust" calcium buildup. I checked at 10-minute intervals to see if the outer brown layer of the shells was being etched. Only four solutions did a reasonable job.
In my experiment, CLR was the winner followed by the (new 9%) Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner. At just 10 minutes, the eggs in these cups revealed a clear, white layer of shell. Vinegar and Comet Cleaner did a fair job but it took 45 minutes for either to work and the results were uneven.
Once my waxed eggs were etched, I melted the designs, sketched details, and carved the shells. I look forward to doing a few more of these eggs this season featuring letters of the alphabet, bugs, bunnies, and for my granddaughters, cats!

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