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Cleaning up egg… the easy way

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Broken egg (courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art)

Egg can be difficult to remove from cookware and fabrics (especially when distractions occur and the eggs get over done). It breaks my heart when people destroy their non-stick cookware with abrasive cleaning products, totally unnecessary damage, just to remove the egg residue.  But there is a natural, easy way to remove egg from a number of materials without harming them. So stop taking the non-stick coating off your cookware, the paint off your car or house and the fabric off the carpet because you (or someone else) put egg on these items. A simple but highly effective approach should be implemented to combat this problem.

Step 1: Rinse the affected area with water (if it is a car or house a high pressure hose might be helpful). This will remove excess egg residue (and any chunky bits)

Step 2: Make up a solution of half vinegar (any type is fine but white is better on fabrics and paint) and half lukewarm water (more cold than hot). The volume of the solution is defined by the size of your problem… a small egg stain on your clothes or carpet requires less than a cup of solution, someone thinking it’s funny to egg your house or car requires a bucket or two of solution.

Step 3: Vinegar/water all mixed together needs to be applied to the problem area (again the method will be determined by the size)… egg baked onto cookware pour solution into said container, for fabric dab with a soft sponge (or wash cloth), on the house or car then use a bigger sponge. Allow the affected area time to soak… again the time is determined by the size and age of the egg “incident” the longer the egg has been there the longer you soak it for… but generally it is long enough when the egg shifts after being touched with a clean (wet) sponge/ cloth or tape/ hose (while you eat breakfast, brush your teeth or do other jobs provides the perfect multitasking opportunity)

Step 4: Rinse the affected area (you may want to now clean with detergent appropriate to the area just to remove any residue and to get rid of the vinegar smell)

I know you all wish someone had told you this sooner because it would have saved a lot of time and effort. Now you know… spread the word before more cookware is sacrificed needlessly. I know there are some doubters out there so let me explain how it works. It’s simple really, egg is a protein and vinegar is a mild acid. Vinegar contains acetic acid, a mild acid, that denatures (or breaks down) the protein structure, once the egg has no structure it is no longer able to cling to your property. Basically egg, like all protein, is made of amino acids bonded together creating amino acid “strings”. To remove the egg you need to cut the strings, acetic acid (in vinegar) does just that. Imagine you have a lose thread on your jumper, pull the thread with your hand and you are going to end up damaging the jumper, take a pair of scissors to it and the thread is removed without the damage (vinegar is like a pair of scissors on the lose threads of egg protein).

So next time you spill or over cook egg don’t stress just reach for the vinegar and you’ll have that egg gone in no time (sorry for sounding like a vinegar infomercial). Get the stain quick and DO NOT use hot water, this makes it worse. If you want to know what else vinegar can remove check out The Vinegar Institute website http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html.

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