Chicken Egg Washer

If you are a serious egg producer, please also check out our hands-on review of The Little Egg Scrubber egg washing machine.

Back yard chickens are phenomenal – feed them waste from their kitchen and they in turn feed you fresh eggs daily. But when you catch the “chicken bug” in a big way, you’ll end up with so many eggs that just washing them turns into an hour long chore.

A bucket based egg washer is ideal for someone who washes several dozen at a time. The egg washer we built for this article will fit 70 of the golden-centered orbs at a time.

The basic premise is simple – air is blown through holes in a submerged pipe resting at the bottom of a standard bucket. The air flows upward through the bucket in the form of bubbles, which agitate the dirt off the eggs.
bucket-egg-washer The commercial version of this egg washer pictured above sells for a burly $135 on Amazon. The DIY version we built below cost us about 30$ in parts.

How the Washer Works

Air is pumped at 15psi from the compressor, through the hose, into the nozzle, down the neck, and into the base. Holes in the base allow air to escape up through the water, which holds submerged dirty eggs in a wire basket. The one we made cleans 95% of eggs within 5 minutes. Following is footage of our egg washer during one of its first tests.

Parts List

  • 5 gallon bucket (you should have lots already!)
  • wire basket (must fit inside bucket with room for a 3/4 PVC pipe to spare)
  • air hose quick connect. This is the most common type, and has the 1/4″ thread compatible with the following bushing:
  • bushing adapter from air hose quick connect to 1/2″ PVC. This is the hardest part to find, here’s a link to the right one.
  • 1/2″ to 3/4″ PVC elbow – threaded on the 1/2″ end
  • 3/4″ PVC T joints x3
  • 3/4″ PVC elbows x4
  • 3/4″ PVC piping. We bought 1 length of 10′ but you only need about 5 feet. Use scraps if you got ’em.

pvc parts

Optional Parts

  • 3/4″ PVC ball valve or a pressure regulator
  • PVC glue

Required Tools:

  • Drill
  • Hacksaw or Chop Saw for cutting PVC
  • Air Compressor to make bubbles


First we’ll create the base piece. This part sits in the bucket’s bottom, immersed in water. Tiny 1/8″ holes throughout this piece bubble compressed air through the eggs, which wash all the grime off. This piece is made using three T-braces, four 3/4″ elbow joints and a couple feet of 3/4″ PVC pipe. bucket egg washer pvc pipe base piece Every T and angle joint holds together with small lengths of PVC. We used two 5-1/2″ lengths to run lengthwise, and six 2″ lengths to hold the sides and back together. This is the exploded diagram of this part. exploded diagram bucket egg washer base You could glue these pieces of PVC together, but they hold together fine without it, since it will only need to hold up against 30 psi at maximum. Once your base piece is together, use a 1/8″ drill bit to make an even distribution of holes through the pipes and joint pieces. I drilled 1 hole on the bottom so water has a place to drain at the end of a washing. holes-drilled-in-base-of-bucket-egg-washer

Compressor to Pipe

This is the most complex part of this design. Air must flow from your compressor into your bucket without losing any air to gaps or bad fittings. We used an air hose quick connect, and a 1/4″F to 1/2″M bushing to convert air hose thread into 1/2″ PVC thread (see parts list for links). Finally, we to 3/4 PVC with a 1/2″ threaded to 3/4″ non-threaded angle joint. egg washer air compressor fitting and bushing egg washer completed nozzle You could use plumber’s tape to ensure an absolutely airtight fit, but we found just screwing them in to be good enough for the psi we are working with.

A Stem to Hold it All Together

Connecting the two above pieces is a simple length of 3/4″ PVC. You can make your stem as long or as short as you find convenient, but it has to be long enough to poke out of your bucket. I made mine comically long to start with because it can always be cut down shorter. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Choosing a Basket

We use a strong wire basket so the eggs don’t get crushed – by my estimate it’s around 2.5 gallons and will hold and clean 70-80 eggs at once. Just be sure to leave enough room for your 3/4″ PVC pipe stem.

Extra Considerations

  • We use a tiny bit of detergent, between 1 and 2 teaspoons which will last through a couple batches without problem.
  • Originally we used a ball valve, but it turned out to be redundant because our compressor already had an attached regulator which we kept between 15 and 30 psi. O
  • A timer set for 5 minutes signals the end of the wash cycle and the beginning of the rinse cycle.
  • To rinse, just spray the eggs through the basket with a strong blast of water to get the last of the grime off.

From Chicken to Carton as Fast as Possible

We’ve established a great workflow that minimizes egg handling. The secret is to only move the eggs twice – once into the basket, and once out of the basket into cartons.

  1. Eggs are scooped from under their mother hens, right into the wire baskets we clean in.
  2. We run the eggs through the washer sooner rather than later, so that grime has less of a chance to dry hard onto the eggs.
  3. Eggs are rinsed off well on top, sides and bottom and left to dry in the same basket.
  4. Once dry, all eggs are placed delicately into cartons.


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24 thoughts on “Chicken Egg Washer

  1. Wow, that’s not something I’ve ever thought about! But yeah, $135 would take a long time to pay back in eggs.

    I’m a big fan of using PVC pipe for stuff. Even though this type of pipe is not generally rated to be used for pressurized air, you might like this bolt-action mini potato gun that I built: . Not really bucket-related, but maybe I could use a bucket for an air reservoir… :)

  2. I actually have one of those incredible egg washers, I purchased form friend when I bought their egg business. Let me tell you that it is a lifesaver. I have done anywhere from 150-300 eggs a day with the incredible egg washer. It was well worth the money. However for the small producer it is a sizable investment. I like the one out of PVC pipe. The most crucial thing when using and egg washer is don’t do to high a pressure. Don’t wash the eggs to long. Try to make sure you don’t have any cracked eggs in you basket when you put it in to wash. One broken egg in the wash will make more foam then you ever could imagine!

    • Thanks very much for the review! We are talking about building one but we are only producing around 50 eggs a day.

      Edit: we built one and have updated this article to show it.

  3. Ack! Washing eggs makes them MORE vulnerable to bacterial incursion because it removes the eggs’ natural bloom. Don’t wash eggs unless you absolutely have to. (Also, for eggs you DO have to wash, use water about 20 degrees hotter than the temperature of the eggs; cooler water creates a vacuum that pulls anything on the surface inside the shell.)

    • The organic farmer that resell all of my eggs has told us to never wash farm fresh egg with water. We just use scotch brite to remove the “dirt”.

    • My state required that I wash the eggs with cool water prior to selling them. It all depends on where you live. Some states required 120 degree water (which I think would start to cook the eggs) and the sanitizing them with a teaspoon of bleach in a 5 gallon bucket! Can you imagine??? Thank goodness we just have to wash in cool water.

      • Egg whites start to cook at 144°F and the yolk starts to cook at 149°F… 120°F water will not have any cooking effect on the egg… When I was a chef we used a highly calibrated steam oven to cook poached eggs and soft boiled eggs, we would set the steam oven at 145° and 100% humidity, and then place the eggs in there, you could literally leave them in that oven all day at 145° and the yolk would never cook, perfect soft boiled or poached eggs even hours later… As for the teaspoon of bleach, any residue bleach will evaporate without minutes/hours of drying this is how commercial eggs are sanitized in the stores in most states…

    • Washing eggs does not necessarily remove bloom nor make eggs more susceptible to bacterial or viral incursion. There is a reason most commercially sold eggs are washed. There are positives and negatives for both methods and many factors to consider; there is no “one rule”. This is similar to the “refrigerate or not” situation. If you resell, you also have to consider local regulations. In the end, if it’s just for yourself or regulations permit it, do what you’d like.

  4. Made this in less than 15 minutes and it works great! Very inexpensive, I put a pressure gauge on mine cause I had it laying around. Great idea thanks so much for sharing. Saved me a lot of money.

      • thinking about making one my self but am expecting about 100 to 120 eggs a day is there any way to scale this up or do I need to build more than one

        • Scale up by using shopping hand baskets, square type, that are basically just mesh plastic. Then get a plastic square tub at lowes to fit how ever many baskets at a time you want to run, scale your pvc model to match underneath the baskets. There ya have it.

    • I use Seventh Generation ‘Powerful Clean’ free and clear dishwasher detergent… No dies, perfumes or chlorine and you can get it at some Walmarts and most Targets for about $7 a box… Use about 1 teaspoon a wash, and be sure to rinse well, just to make sure no residue is left…

  5. You should not wash eggs. If you must wash the wash just prior to use as removing the egg’s natural bloom will permit bacteria to enter the egg’s shell. The bloom keeps the eggs airtight therefore watertight and its removal makes them porous.

  6. There are lots of DIY ideas which you could use on those colorless cabinets in your kitchen to bring back that sparkle.
    You have to carefully think of the gadgets and kitchen appliances
    that are never used and are lying at the back of the cupboard.
    Many units are designed with that in mind, but they can still be used free-standing.

  7. How well does this washer do to remove dried on manure???

    We wash 500-800 eggs a day. We are required to wash. Right now we do it all by hand.

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