Vinegar Rinse


Before you dye you egg its first color, you should clean and acidify it with a mixture of diluted vinegar by dipping the egg in a jar of the “vinegar rinse.” A vinegar rinse should be prepared in advance, and a jar of it should be placed at the beginning of your row of dyes.

A vinegar rinse is prepared by adding about 2-3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to one cup of water.  A plastic sour cream or hummus container is good for this–avoid glass jars with metal lids, as the vinegar will corrode the lid. Make sure there is enough water in the container to completely cover a submerged egg.


Preparing a vinegar rinse

Place your not previously dyed pysanka into the container, and let it soak for a minute or two, until tiny bubbles start to form on the surface of the shell.  Remove the egg and pat it dry–– never rub it.

Be careful not to leave the egg in the solution too long.  If you forget about it for an extended period of time, the cuticle can be damaged and the shell will begin to dissolve!!! Be attentive.

Make sure that you put the egg in the vinegar rinse ONLY before dyeing the egg in the first color.  The vinegar will remove skin oils and other debris from the surface of the egg, acidify the shell, and prepare it for dyeing. 

You do not normally need to repeat this before applying other colors. Exceptions are if you’ve bleached the egg (either with bleach or Simple Green) or, in some other manner, alkalinized the pH of the egg shell. In such a case, though, you may be better off just dipping the egg briefly into undiluted vinegar.

Over time, your rinse will grow weaker (as the acid is used up) and scummier, as calcium carbonate is dissolved and precipitates into the solution.  When this occurs, simply dump out your rinse and make a new batch.

ALTERNATIVELY, you can use straight vinegar as a rinse.  In this case, all the egg needs is a quick dip in and out of the vinegar.  A minute or less will suffice.

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A Prelude to Dyeing