Stupid me forgot to take out two, unpeeled hard boiled eggs still in the water before leaving on a 4-week long vacation.

If I just leave them be, will they stink up my apartment with that terrible rotten egg smell they use in fart packs?

Condo management is going to be entering my (rented) unit to test the fire alarm in about a week - would it have stunk up my apartment then?

The only person with the keys is the landlord (who lives far away) and the management. It'd be embarrassing to ask either to dispose of my eggs.

  • Here are some google results that will help you greatly, google.ca/… you should contact management
    – Huangism
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:37
  • Question: Did you leave the pot boiling too? If so, you should contact your landlord immediately to have him turn it off and throw out the eggs. If not, then you only have to worry about whether or not the eggs cracked.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 28, 2015 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


If you boiled the eggs but left them in the pot of water, you may be in luck. The shell should keep the rotten egg safe from cracking and exposing the apartment to the truly rancid smell of spoilt eggs, assuming they haven't cracked during boiling.

You will know a spoiled egg when you crack open the shell. Whether raw or cooked, a spoiled egg will have an unpleasant odor. No question about it: throw it out. - Net Wellness

What you will probably find when you get home are unmolested eggs in a stagnant pot of water. Throw the eggs out if they haven't cracked. They WILL be spoilt. This answer describes why.

According to the USDA (similar information can be found from other food agencies):

Why do hard-cooked eggs spoil faster than fresh eggs?

When shell eggs are hard cooked, the protective coating is washed away, leaving bare the pores in the shell for bacteria to enter and contaminate it. Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and used within a week.

Simply put, you're damaging the shell, and that expedites spoilage.

If you're unlucky and the eggs did crack...well, the water might absorb some of the scent, but after four weeks, you're still likely going to have some odor. Throw the eggs out, pour the water out, throughly clean the pot, and try to air your apartment out as best you can.

  • 1
    I would also recommend boiling lemons cut into quarters (with the peel still on) for a bit to get rid of some of the smell. I'm not quite sure why it works, but I do this whenever I cook fish and the smell is subdued fairly quickly. For something like rotten eggs in stagnant water, I'd probably take 4 or 5 lemons, quarter them, and place them in a pot of water and let it boil for a while. If the water gets low, add more water. Let this go on for about an hour or so.
    – jsanc623
    Jan 29, 2015 at 16:59
  • 2
    Thank you very much for the amazing answer (I read it just before my flight, but no time to reply). I'd thought that the eggs didn't crack, since I was really careful when boiling them, but when I checked after getting back a few days ago, there was some egg white in the water. No smell at all though, to my great relief! The eggs had brown stuff around the shells and some of the water had evaporated, but nothing else.
    – makhdumi
    Feb 25, 2015 at 17:03

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