Bleaching

 
 

Using bleach to remove dye from eggs is a quick and easy way of getting the eggshell back to white quickly.  Bleach works not by actually removing the dye from the shell, or removing a layer of the shell (etching), but by “breaking” the dyes themselves. 

Sodium hypochlorite (ordinary laundry bleach) is an oxidizing bleach; it works by breaking the chemical bonds that make up the chromophore, a group of atoms and electrons forming part of an organic molecule that causes it to be colored (reflect light). This changes the molecule into a different substance that either does not contain a chromophore, or contains a chromophore that does not absorb visible light.

What does that mean?  The dye molecules are still there, just invisible.  It is a chemical cloak of invisibility!

Bleaching the egg is fairly simple.  Just put he egg in a solution of bleach (a few tablespoons to a cup of water), and watch the color disappear as if by magic.  The bleach does make the egg slippery, though--rinse it under cold water until it is no longer slippery, and then let it sit and ry for at least half an hour.

DYEING:  Bleach can also have undesirable effects.  One is that is affect the cuticle, rendering it unsuitable for dyeing.  The oxidation is not limited to the dye, but he proteins in the cuticle can be disrupted, too.  I do not try to dye after bleaching, but reserve this method for eggs meant to have a white background (and will confess to not bleaching at all in many, many years).

Some recommend rinsing the egg thoroughly, and then soaking it for a minute in pure vinegar.  This is said to improve dyeing, but it will still no dye as well as an unbleached shell would.

WAX REMOVAL: bleach can change the consistency of a shell, so removing wax afterwards can be problematic.  Some recommend using a solvent like Goo Gone or mineral spirits to remove the wax; drenching the egg in cooking oil (as you would do for an etched shell) can help, too.

YELLOWING:  bleached eggs have a tendency to yellow over time.  I do not know why this happens, but it happens with white fabrics that are bleached, too. 




  Orange Rinse        Detergents



Back to Main Dyeing page

Back to Main Pysankarstvo page



Search my site with Google

 

Sodium Hypochlorite