Don’t throw those egg shells away! Egg shells are like a gold mine that most people just throw away. Egg shells can be used for everything from gardening, to cleaning, personal care and adding a little more calcium to your pet’s diet! These are the uses for egg shells that I use most often plus a couple I haven’t tried yet.
How to save and prepare Egg Shells
There is some debate on how best to save egg shells. Some say they need to be washed and others say not. For me, I just throw mine in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals until dried out (usually only a minute). I have also just thrown them into the compost without doing anything to them. So, using them will all depend on how you will use them. Over the years, I have never had a problem either way.
To crush, put them into a baggie and use a rolling pin on them. You can also place in a paper towel and just crush with your hand. To grind up, you can pulverize in a mortar or use a blender. For ground up egg shells, you want these to be ‘ground’ and not just crushed.
Uses for Egg Shells
Gardening and Potted Plants
- We love to use finely ground egg shells in the bottom of the planting hole on our tomatoes. You can also add to the soil around the stem of the tomato just be careful not to disturb the roots. As the egg shells break down, calcium will be released into the soil. Calcium helps prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes.
- When boiling eggs, save the water to water your tomato plants! The nutrients leached into the water from the eggs will provide additional nutrients!
- Grind up the egg shells to almost a powder by using a rolling pin. Add the ground up egg shells to your garden soil. This will provide extra calcium to all your plants.
- Don’t you hate it when slugs attack your plants?! Slugs and snails have a healthy appetite for my Hosta plants. The solutions is, of course, egg shells! Crunch them up into small pieces (not quite a powder) and make a ring on top of the soil around the plant. Slugs and snails can’t crawl over them to get to the plant without injury, thus saving your plants!
- Egg shells also work to deter cut worms in the garden on plants such as brocolli, cabbage, peppers, etc. by making a circle around the stems.
- Egg shells can also be used in potted plants. When potting up a new plant, place in the bottom of the pot (instead of stones) to prevent soil from draining through the hole. Over time and as they break down they are a great source of of nutrition for potted plants.
- Seedling starters: Place potting soil into the halves of the egg shell. Plant your seed. If you have an egg carton, it is very convenient to store these starters in. Once you are ready to plant, just break apart the egg shell and plant. Use the broken up egg shell in the bottom of the planting hole!
Adding egg shells to the compost pile will add nutrients to your compost. Eggs shells are slow to compost, so you will want to crush them up fairly small. But, even if thrown in ‘as is’ they won’t hurt anything other than looks. They will eventually break down, but will take forever and a day but won’t hurt anything
- Ground up egg shells are a great natural abrasive. Grind up the egg shells into a very fine powder. To use, sprinkle onto what needs scrubbed. Use a wet and/or soapy sponge or cloth to scrub with. Egg shells can be used on anything that would normal require an abrasive cleaner. It can even be used on pots, pans and glass bakeware. Note: Be careful! It is abrasive! Make sure abrasives can be used on your cookware!
- If you have a disposal in your kitchen sink, place some crumbled egg shells in it, add a little water and run. This will cut the grime and help keep it clear. It will also benefit your plumbing pipes!
- Egg shells are great used in a facial mask! To make, you will need to grind and pulverized the egg shells. Add this to the white of egg. Apply to your face and let dry. Peel off and rinse. It’s a great skin tightening facial mask!
- Soak egg shells in a apple cider vinegar for 2-3 days. Apply solution to bump, itchy skin and minor skin problems with a cotton ball.
It has been said that if you add eggshell to your coffee before brewing it, the coffee will be less bitter. Even though I’ve been told, I haven’t personally tried this use, but wanted to go ahead and include it here. (For this one, I would make sure to wash and dry out thoroughly).
Adding crushed ground egg shell to your pets food will provide extra calcium for strong bones and teeth. They never know it’s there and they get extra calcium! I do this for my pets and they never know they are getting extra calcium!
Wild Birds and Chickens
Crushed egg shells can be added to wild bird feed and given to your chickens. Birds and chickens use the grit from egg shells in their gizzards to help digest food. Some folks question the feeding of crushed egg shells back to your chickens. The question is whether this will cause the chickens to eat their own eggs. The answer is no. They don’t seem to know or mind. They love the crushed eggs shells and will scratch and search the crumbles out. Egg shells provides both nutrients and grit for birds and chickens.
If you are a crafty person, which I’m not, there are a multitude of crafts you can do with egg shells. I have saw egg shells crushed and dyed with food coloring to decorate vases, children’s crafts and painted like a faberge egg! I’m sure a crafty person could think of a lot more to do with them!
As you can see, there are a multitude of uses for egg shells! Do you save your egg shells? What ways do you use them?