10 Reasons To Stop Throwing Away Your Eggshells
Eggshells can be reused in many ways that don’t readily come to mind. Check out these innovative ideas for your home, garden, and more!
Statistics say the average American consumes 250 eggs per year. Remember, we’re not just eating two at a time, sunny-side-up, we’re using them in our homemade baked goods, batters, main dishes, and more. And if you think the only two solutions for all those eggshells are the trash or composting pile, you may want to think again.
In the age of recycling, eggshells —nature’s suit of armor and an excellent source of calcium and minerals—can be reused in many ways that don’t readily come to mind. Enterprising consumers can make the best of what most would consider a highly disposable item.
Top 10 Uses for Eggshells
These ideas can help you raise your eggshell IQ. In all cases, except where specified, eggshells should be crushed, made either coarse or fine, depending on the use:
- Use eggshells as a calcium- and mineral-rich additive to wild bird feed and chicken feed.
- Add them to ground coffee before brewing. The shells help reduce any bitterness. Wash the shells throughly to remove any egg residue, dry, then crush and add to your ground coffee.
- As a soil additive for houseplants, they add minerals and help keep soil loose and aerated.
- Love camping? Use those shells with soapy water as a natural abrasive for pots and pans, especially when cleaning products and really hot water are at a premium.
- Bake clean eggshells at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let cool and grind to a fine powder. Add as a calcium supplement (a teaspoonful does it) to juice, smoothies, etc.
- Add to your garden to keep cats away that may be using it as a litter box. Cats will not like the sharpness under their tender paws. Their smell can also reportedly deter deer and repel slugs, snails, and cutworms without resorting to toxic chemicals. Maybe tantamount to that, mineral-charged eggshells can be crushed and scattered into each hole before planting. Sprinkle additional crushed shells around your plants every couple of weeks. Use them to start your seedlings! Here’s how.
- Skin irritations? Folklore tells us to drop an eggshell into some apple cider vinegar for a couple of days. Apply to skin irritations or itches.
- Unclog drains: Placed in your sink strainer, they can trap errant solids. When they ultimately break down, they will serve to clean pipes on their way out.
- Doggie defense: Dry eggshells in a 250-degree F oven for 30 minutes. Place in plastic bag and roll/crush with a rolling pin to a fine powder. Add to dog food as a supreme calcium supplement (be sure to check with your vet for the proper amount).
- Looking for a fun art project? Crush and add to paint for decorative textured walls or furniture!
Share with us your ideas for eggshells!
Beth Herman is a freelance writer with interests in healthy living and food, family, animal welfare, architecture and design, religion, and yoga. She writes for a variety of national and regional publications, institutions, and websites.
If you have a pot that is black on the bottom, use eggshells and ketchup to clean the black stuff off. It works great.
I would like to join the discussion
I don’t love the “use them to scrub while camping” idea. It seems to me that would result in broken pieces of shell littering our pristine public lands. Pack it out.
you seriously think that broken pieces of egg shells are “littering”; google will help you learn more about eggshells and how great they are for our enviroment
I always leave the egg shells and coffee grounds on the ground when camping. It is great for the soil. Both are used for gardening as well.
First learning about egg shells.Thanks
Me too. So interesting.
Thanks for the information on eggshells.
Be sure to use only farm fresh eggs from chicken fed on an organic diet. No one wants to spread the chemical rot of the “gardening industry” to our own, homegrown food supplies.
As a child on a farm, we gently used a knife to break the shell in a round hole, lifted out the piece, shook out the egg, rinsed the shell well, dried it. Then we used finger nail scissors to cut the edges smooth, painted the outside and sprinkled with glitter. Then we found small photos or cut out small pics from Christmas cards, etc. & glued inside the egg. Then we cut saran wrap to fit, used airplane glue and stretched to wrap tightly until it dried so it made a window. When dry, we trimmed it and decorated the edges with sequins, putting a string on top to hang as an ornament on the Christmas tree! I still have a few! We even made some from duck eggs later in life. Very pretty and fun to make.
Share a picture of the decorated eggs, please.
I broke up shells and glued to wooden box and lacquered. I made this when I was 16 and 74 now and still have this box.
That’s awesome! I’d love to see a picture of that:)
Thanks for all the awesome ideas! I’ve been placing these around plants for years and to help deter slugs from eating my hostas and strawberries. I didn’t know you could pour the water from boiling eggs on weeds! I will be trying this for sure. I do, however, put a teaspoon of salt in my water when I boil eggs, I guess this should still be ok to pour over weeds, but I would not suggest doing this in a flower bed, because salt will most likely kill the good plants too.
Believe it or not. Just for your plan Epsom salt real good. you should do me a favor and Google it, and see what you think
Awesome ideas, many I use, many more to add to my list. I use a mortar an pestle to grind my shells. Never knew about the sterilization technique to add to drinks, or for dogs!
Good ideas .
When grinding eggshells, I strongly suggest using a glass blender. I used a plastic one once and the shells dulled it immensely so I couldn’t see through it anymore!
I have used egg shells as planters for years. Also, (if you buy eggs in the clear plastic cartons) these make great mini green houses. You can adjust the lid to control temp and humidity. Just place a cotton ball in each corner and soak with water, mist the inside of the lid, if you are unable to water for a day or two. Keep lid closed, but not sealed. Once plants are large enough for the garden, carry them out, plant, start again! To identify plants, ( I know.. You’ll remember!) Use cuticle sticks ( broken in 2″ pieces. Dip ends in non toxic acrylic paint. Make a chart.. Blue: catnip. Red: sage.. Etc. Insert unpainted end in egg planter. If you are really organic, use beet juice, blueberries, cucumber.. Or any fruit or vegetable that stains. Happy gardening!
Thanks for so many ideas for using eggshells that will add to the ones I was taught by my elders. Used to think their ideas were “old wives tales” until I became an adult and used in my own planting and gardening efforts. Now, I have a few more new ideas to put into practice.
Learned from the oldtimers , too. Loved reading your suggestions, many i’ve practiced for years. Thanks.
When you clean lint from dryer screen, place lint in empty egg carton boxes and when each section is filled pour melted wax (old candles are great) over lint. Break sections apart to start fire in your fireplace or barbecue grill.
With a pin make 2 tiny holes, one on each end of the shell. Then use the pin to break the yoke inside the eggshell. Either allow the egg to drip out or use a little force by blowing into one hole and cook egg as usual. Put eggshell in your chickens nest and this will promote her to lay more eggs.
There are plenty of great ideas for eggshells here. But what about those cardboard containers the eggs come in? Try this and put a charcoal briquette in each little section of the container. Then drizzle melted parafin over each one. The finished product makes a nifty little package that’s neat, easy to store, and great for starting a charcoal grill while camping or boating. We used them on our sailboat when I was growing up and they worked like a charm!
If you suffer with slugs and snails eating your Hosta plants scatter broken eggshells around the plants. That’ll keep them away !!
I was taught to float eggshells on top when making a stock. When cooled the fats stick to them and make skimming easier.
Put your egg shells in your garbage disposal to sharpen the blades
That’s an old wives tale. Any plumber will advise you never to put them they your disposal.
I soak fresh cracked eggs shells in h2o
in a small container. Water my plants with…
They love it!!!
Thanks for the info, roses love crushed egg shells.
All GREAT IDEAS.. I am moving to a new home and can’t wait to start using all of the gardening tips!
Use then as containers to start seeds! When ready for transplant, crunch the bottom so roots can get out and bury the whole shell.
Don’t forget to save the egg cartons. Useful for many small items: nails, pills, beads…
I use the boiled egg water as s patio weed killer. Just pour it on the weed and it will burn it away.
You can also put the eggshells in a jar with some water, wait a week, then sprinkle the water on your plants for the minerals.
This is an uncommon use, but if you keep snails in tanks, you can actually use an eggshell to patch a cracked snail’s shell.
Are the snails pets?
grind them up and put them in your chicken feed
very good information about egg shells. thanks for sharing.
Great comments, will try them…thank you
you mentioned an abrasive, to clean pots, here is something you can try.add it to abottle of baby lotion,after it is crushed first and use it for a hand scrub, or a good foot rub!
Great advise!!! Thanks for all the helpful and healthy information!
I like putting them into my compost for the worms to eat grind them fined for them
Break up the shells into small pieces and glue down on a substrate to make a mosaic picture. Paint shells before or after. Sign and frame for an original work of art.
Don’t give to dogs under 1 year old as they can cause problems with their kidneys. They can’t handle too much calcium before one year.
and, the water used to boil eggs….excellent for your plants!
Egg shells dumped from a boat, simulate minnows(shiners), and draw fish.
My parents used to crumble them and feed them back to the chickens! We always had good eggs so it must have worked. Dad said it gave them some calcium!
I dry shells and then pulverize in a blender to be used in plant mix.
I put them in the microwave for three minutes and crush them. I add them to the holes I plant my tomatoes in to prevent end blossom rot. I also add them to my bird seed and potted plants.
In one of her books, Adele Davis suggested soaking crumbled egg shell in fresh lemon juice for several days. Try refrigerating this calcium extraction in a glass jar over several days; even a week. Add to fresh O.J., smoothies, salad dressings and other foods.
When scissors need sharpening, just cut thru repeatedly, over full length of scissors, wash scissors well afterwards. (Can also be done w/dull knives, but it is possible to cut hand holding egg – extra caution on those). m
I read about the egg shells which have add more for what I alredy knew! Thanks good information! A+
Use the egg shells as plant starters also ..
Step 1 clean ..
Step 2 fill with dirt.
Step 3 add seed
Allow seed to grow then transplant into ground.