How to Tell if Your Egg is Old

August 28, 2013 | By | Comments (16)

Picture this: You’re in the midst of making banana bread. You’ve got the butter softened, the bananas mashed, the dry ingredients combined. Now you need your eggs. Gasp! They expired two weeks ago. What would you do in this situation: Use them and never look back, or hope your neighbors can rescue you with fresher eggs?

You can probably use them and never look back. If refrigerated, eggs typically stay safe well after their expiration date. But if the idea of using a slightly out of date egg makes you even the least bit nervous, here’s a simple test you can do to see if your egg is past its prime or perfectly acceptable.

how to tell if an egg is oldThe test: Fill a large pitcher or glass with water. Gently release the egg into the water. If the egg sinks, it’s still good. If it floats, it’s old.

See our Instagram demonstration of the egg test in the video below.

Notice above I said floating eggs are old, not bad. Here’s why: Egg shells are porous. As eggs age, the air cell grows larger. Older eggs have larger air cells, so they float. Newer eggs have smaller air cells, so they sink. The USDA says even eggs that float may still be good. Before you toss the floater, crack it open. If it’s discolored or giving off a foul odor, it’s best to toss it. If it looks and smells like a normal egg, you’re most likely safe to use it.

See our collection of egg recipes.



  1. What’s the Best Way to Cook Eggs for a Crowd? | Cooking Light

    […] How to Tell if Your Egg Is Old […]

    December 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  2. Michele Cummings

    Never thought about bad eggs! Never had a problem!

    November 6, 2015 at 6:29 am
  3. How To Tell If An Egg Is Boiled |

    […] […]

    July 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm
  4. The Incredible, Edible…Wait, Are Those Eggs Bad? | mkeMAHS

    […] or purchase date. What the what?! Still in disbelief, I continued my research and came across How To Tell If Your Egg is Old, written by Kimberly Holland for Drop your egg in a glass of water. Sinks=good, […]

    July 21, 2015 at 11:52 am
  5. Lisa
    January 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm
  6. Donnis Honeywell

    When as a child I lived in New Jersey, my grandfather would ship a case of eggs at a time to us from Missouri and they would keep for weeks and weeks and weeks in the refrigerator.

    September 8, 2014 at 11:47 am
  7. Carol Bell McMillion

    I have a difficult time remembering if my refrigerated eggs are still good or not. Perfect test so will post it on the inside of a cabinet door. Thanks so much for posting!

    September 8, 2014 at 5:47 am
  8. Debbie Hines

    Look at that I learn something everyday. Thank you for sharing this post

    May 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm
  9. Egg Age | Two E's

    […] How to Tell if Your Egg is Old ( […]

    September 6, 2013 at 10:28 am
  10. howtolossweigth

    Very simple..

    September 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm
  11. Carol Irvin

    I was told by a poultry man that to keep eggs fresh for months, all you need to do is turn the carton upside down for storage. That allows air to get around the whole egg and keeps it fresh.

    September 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm
  12. Thomas L. Rea

    Large pitcher “of glass”?

    September 4, 2013 at 10:42 am
    • Kimberly Holland

      Thanks, Thomas. It’s fixed.

      September 4, 2013 at 10:44 am
  13. How to Tell if Your Egg is Old | Womens Health Trend Watch

    […] Simmer and Boil […]

    August 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm
  14. Silke from KnifeandCutlery

    Great tip! Unless you have farm fresh eggs or your own hens, I would recommend to always crack your eggs one by one in a separate bowl. That way if one egg is bad you will not spoil the whole batter.

    August 29, 2013 at 7:42 am
  15. Michelle Klug

    Love this!

    August 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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