When pranksters hurl eggs at your home, the resulting mess can be very difficult to clean. It's best to get at the stain before the egg has a chance to dry, but if you can't, common household cleaners may still be able to come to your rescue.
The first step in getting rid of egg stains is to remove any pieces of shell so that they don't scratch the surface of the siding material while you're trying to remove the stain. If the egg hasn't dried yet, you'll probably be able to wash away shell and much of the egg residue with a low-pressure stream of warm water.
Don't use a high-pressure hose, which can splatter the egg onto other surfaces, and don't use hot water, which can cook the egg and cause it to stick even more stubbornly to the surface.
Work from above the stain and wash the residue downward. Wet the surface below the stain before you begin so that the egg is less likely to stick as it's washed away.
If the egg has dried, you'll probably have to begin cleaning with detergent rather than with water alone.
Mild household detergents may remove minor egg stains, especially on nonporous surfaces such as vinyl siding. Dish-washing detergents are sometimes adequate, but they may not work on dried stains or porous surfaces. Laundry detergents that contain enzymes may be more effective, but don't use detergents that contain bleach.
Mix the detergent with warm water and scrub the stain with a brush, and rinse the area with clean, warm water after the egg is gone.
Egg on brick, concrete, stucco, roof shingles or other rough or porous surfaces may not wash away easily with detergent. In this case:
- Mix the detergent with water and talc to form a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to the stain.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour.
The prolonged exposure to the paste may be better able than detergent alone to dissolve the egg.
Extremely stubborn stains may demand more potent cleaners. All-purpose household cleaners can be effective, as long as they're alkaline-based; these cleaners are especially good at dissolving the fats in egg stains. Common alkaline household cleaners include brands such as Simple Green, Formula 409 and Zep.
Use the cleaner in a solution of warm water and scrub the stain gently to dissolve and remove the egg. Rinse the area with clean, warm water to remove any residue of both the egg and the cleaner.
Alkaline cleaners may cause skin irritation or injury. Follow all label directions and cautions, and wear gloves and eye protection while using them.
Avoid using acidic cleaners, including homemade remedies, such as vinegar or cola, because the acid in these substances can cause the proteins in the egg to coagulate and bond with the surface.
Evan Gillespie grew up working in his family's hardware and home-improvement business and is an experienced gardener. He has been writing on home, garden and design topics since 1996. His work has appeared in the South Bend Tribune, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Arts Everywhere magazine and many other publications.