15 Surprising Uses For Eggshells

eggshell uses

A couple of weeks ago I bought a composter for my garden. It’s a pretty fancy contraption. It’s actually TWO composters in one. The idea being that you can have one batch “brewing” while another batch is being utilized. They even SPIN…which is apparently important because compost needs to be “stirred” as its’ “cooking”.

As you can probably tell, I don’t know a whole lot about composting….YET. But I am learning…things like what you can and can’t put into your composter. One thing I have learned CAN go in, and is a rich source of calcium and other essential nutrients that plants need, is egg shells! So recently I started my egg shell collection in a container under the kitchen sink which has grown quite rapidly because we eat a lot of eggs around here. (Naturally gluten-free!)


Ironically, since I’ve started saving my eggshells for the composter, I’ve also been learning about many OTHER uses of eggshells. Now I’m torn between throwing them in the composter and using them for some of the MANY other ideas listed below. I guess we’ll just have to start eating MORE eggs so I can do them BOTH.

eggshell uses

A few fun FACTS about egg shells:

  • An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate, which is also the main ingredient in some antacids. Each medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium.
  • The shell makes up 9-12 percent of an egg’s total weight, and contains pores that allow oxygen in and carbon dioxide and moisture out.
  • The shell color of an egg is representative of the breed of hen that produces the egg. White hens produce white eggs and brown hens produce brown eggs.

A few SURPRISING uses of egg shells:

eggshell uses

Nourishing Face Mask
Pulverize dried egg shells with a mortar and pestle, then whisk the powder in with an egg white and use for a healthful, skin-tightening facial. Allow the face mask to dry before rinsing it off.

eggshell uses

Treat Skin Irritations
Drop an eggshell into a small container of apple cider vinegar and let it soak for a couple of days. Dab the mixture on minor skin irritations or on itchy skin.

eggshell uses

Powerful Cleaner
Ground eggshells make a wonderful (and nontoxic!) abrasive for those tough-to-clean pots and pans. Mix them with a little soapy water for a powerful clean.

Hummingbird feeders tend to grow all sorts of nasty stuff. Clean it by first by rinsing with hot water. Then add some crushed egg shells, fill 1/2 way with water, and shake. The shells act as an abrasive, removing mold or other built-up gunk. Rinse well before re-filling with hummingbird food.

It’s almost impossible to get a scrub brush down the narrow neck of a thermos. Clean your thermos using the instructions above for hummingbird feeders.

eggshell uses

Garden Fertilizer
Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive. Crush eggshells into tiny pieces and sprinkle into each hole before planting. Then, sprinkle additional shells around the base of your plants every two weeks.

eggshell uses

Start Some Seedlings
Fill an egg carton with empty, rinsed eggshell halves and poke a hole in each one for drainage. Then add potting soil and one or two seeds to each shell. When the seedlings are big enough for transplanting outside, just crack the shell at the bottom and plant them, shell and all.

Pest Control
Crush eggshells and scatter them around your vegetables and flowers to fend off slugs, snails, and cutworms. These soft-bodied critters don’t like crawling over sharp pieces of shell. The smell of eggs will also deter deer.

House Plant Booster
Keep a mason jar of eggshells covered with water for watering indoor plants.

Cat Deterrent
Have a problem with cats using your garden as a litter box? Crushed up egg shells will keep them away, too. Just scatter shells in the areas that they frequent, and after stepping on those shells a few times, they’ll move on.

eggshell uses

Better Tasting Coffee
Add some crushed eggshells to ground coffee before brewing it to make it taste less bitter. When you’re done, toss the grounds and shells on your compost heap!

eggshell uses

Make Your Own Powdered Calcium Supplement
Skip the pills and simply bake your shells at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let them cool and grind them to a fine powder. Add your supplement (a teaspoon or less) to your favorite smoothie or juice once a day.

eggshell uses

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk

What you need:

  • Approximately five empty egg shells
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon very hot water
  • food coloring (for colored chalk)

Wash and dry the egg shells.
Crush the egg shell into a bowl and grind it until it is a powder. Make sure all the pieces are ground. Take out any big pieces before going on to the next step.
Mix the flour and hot water in another bowl. Then add 1 tablespoon egg shell powder and mix into a thick paste.
Add your favorite color food coloring. Just add a drop or two for colored chalk. If you want white chalk do not add anything.
Shape the paste into chalk sticks or press into soap molds for fun shapes. If making chalk sticks roll the sticks up tightly in a paper towel.
Let your chalk dry for 3 days.

eggshell uses

Laundry Whitener
Some say that if you toss some shells in a mesh bag in your laundry, the gray tint to your whites will disappear.

eggshell uses

Eggshell Candles
The next time you have eggs for breakfast, carefully crack the shells in half and save them as a base to fill with beeswax for candles. Just insert a wick, let the wax set and remove the peel.

eggshell uses

For most eggshell uses, it is better to make sure they are clean and free from bacteria. If you don’t wash the eggs thoroughly before using, bake the shells at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.


What do you do with eggshells?



Print Friendly
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter111Pin on Pinterest10.3kGoogle+0

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. says

    I use my egg shells to grow beautiful tomatoes. Dry rot on tomatoes is a lack of calcium in the soil. Dig the hole for tomato plant, put a large handful of crushed shells in the bottom, put your plant in, cover with soil, then sprinkle more shells around the plant.

  2. cheryl kinjerki says

    A little correction about which chickens lay which eggs. From the website, backyardchickens.com
    Some white chickens (leghorns) lay white eggs. Others (white rocks) lay brown eggs. In many instances chickens with white ear LOBES lay white eggs and chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs, but there are several exceptions to this generalization.

    • Barbara says

      I was going to make the same comment! Earlobe color not chicken color. And another interesting factoid is that all eggs are either white or blue. Their color changes during the last 90 or so minutes before laying. The chicken has a way to actually dye the egg brown. If the egg comes out too fast you get streaked eggs.

      • Susie M says

        I have heard that about the earlobe color – but I have 5 white hens, 3 with red lobes that lay medium brown eggs, and the other two are silkies that have iridescent blueish green earlobes, but they lay pale flesh colored eggs. So I guess that shoots that all to pot! ha ha!

      • G Sutton says

        We have Light Brahma’s – they are all white with some black feathers and they lay all brown eggs. Just thought I would throw that info in with the rest of the “color” of the egg comments.. very interesting!

    • Jean says

      I was also going to comment about which chickens lay what color eggs. I have a brown leghorn who lays white eggs. Ameracaunas are Easter eggers and lay blue/green eggs. We have sever different varieties of chickens and get a wonderful variety of egg colors.
      Thanks for the extra uses for shells! Great article!

    • Pam says

      Thanks for addressing this…as someone who raises chickens knows, the color of egg depends on the breed of chicken, not the color of the bird…if this was the logic, then the green and blue tinted eggs would come from blue or green birds! I don’t know where these mis-facts come from but it is good to educate when we see them. I have heard of the ear lobe color to egg color connection, but have never checked my Girls to verify. I have learned the color of egg laid according to each breed of chicken.

    • Tina says

      wondered when someone would correct this, all leghorns lay white eggs and they come in brown, white, black , mottled ,ect. so white chickens don’t just lay white eggs and brown chickens don’t just lay brown eggs.

  3. Sharon Annis says

    You can also bake them and crush them to feed them to your backyard chickens. You want to make sure you break them up so they don’t resemble an egg when they eat it so they don’t learn to eat their own eggs. This way you are giving them extra calcium to help them make strong egg shells.

  4. Judy says

    I use them when making soup stock for canning. It makes the stock clearer. When the homemade stock is about ready for straining. I take 2 eggs. Separate & using only the whites & the crushed shells mix together with about 1 tablespoon of water. Pour this on top of the simmering stock. It becomes a sort of raft as it floats to the top. All of the sediment, pieces of vegetables etc.-cling to the raft. I let that simmer for about 10 minutes & then strain it through a cheesecloth lined strainer.

  5. Wendy says

    Tons of great ideas here! I have used egg shells as starters for my chives. The seeds are so small, it is great to have them in a handy container to plant. They have done much better than the seeds I just planted straight into the pot.

  6. Josie says

    We feed egg shells back to our chickens. Instead of composting food, it all goes in the chicken pen. They will eat pretty much anything. Just don’t feed them raw potatoes or onions.

    • Trixie F says

      That’s what we always did, too. Then it’s like getting three uses from the shells: 1) a carrying case for the actual egg, 2) a calcium supplement for the chickens (which results in firmer shells, and 3) fertilizer for the lawn/gardens via extra calcium droppings from the chickens. :)

    • JenniPaige says

      Yup, I do that as well. After making morning breakfast I clean out all eggs used and but them to dry after I have collected enough shells I pulverize them in the food processor. Then I feed it to the laying hens.

    • Danni says

      Feeding the shells back to the hens helps to insure their eggs contain a good amount of calcium, which strengthens the shells on the new eggs.

    • Edith says

      why not potatoes we have given them to our chickens and they love them is it hurtful to them please let me know

      • L. Brundage says

        The cyanide in the potatoes is poisonous to chickens. As far as I know, the onions just taint the taste of the egg but potatoes are really bad for them (along with anything (bread etc.) that is moldy.

      • Barbara Florang Casper says

        I was raised on an old time farm, and we had lots of free range chickens (locked in their house during the winter). They were fed all leftovers, scraps, corn, oats, and even would eat the left over dogfood/milk Dad fed the dogs. They were always healthy, and good layers and made the best noodles and dumplings!

    • mari dots says

      Make sure that you bake the egg shells and crush them very finely before feeding them back to your chickens. If you feed fresh egg shells back to them, it causes them to eat their own eggs as soon as they are laid. I put egg shells on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 15 minutes in a hot oven, then when they cool, run them over with a rolling pin. Big chunks of shell can cut the chickens as they swallow. But its a great way to recycle the shells!

    • MARI DOTS says

      Use caution feeding your chickens their egg shells. Chickens eating raw egg shells will often start breaking and eating their own eggs as soon as they lay it or find another one somewhere. The best way is to bake the broken shells at 300 for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet, then use a rolling pin to smash them into tiny pieces and then feed them back to the chickens. Saves having to buy oyster shell for the calcium they need and they aren’t so inclined to eat their own eggs that way. I’ve done this for years when I have chickens so I know it works well.

  7. Glenda M says

    Love these ideas. I have used them in making jewelry and they are so cute. Used glitter to make them glow. My DH had a composter he made,unfortunately it began walking down the hill so it has to be modified with a smaller motor so it doesn’t walk. Was so funy to watch.

      • donna renninger says

        Do you know that the lining of an egg shell is for a boil. Put the wet side down on a boil, put a band aid over it. You can feel it drawing the core out. i tried it.

      • Mary Simmons says

        This is a family remedy for me – learned about it when someone told my parents to use it on my sister – it worked!!!!!

    • tj says

      If you don’t mind me asking but. How did he make his iv been thinking on making one my self that would self turn. And it sounds like his came up with one that works wonderfully. plase e mail me at tj.spiri@gmail.com thank u ..o and it not realy for me its for my girl she wants a new one because someone stole are steel one for scrap..

  8. Brenda says

    The part about cleaning them should be stressed. Don’t collect them without them being rinsed or even washed like your dishes! Dry totally before storage, or you will have a rotten egg smell and useless shells. Put the shells around green peppers when planting, and they may just “fix” your soil to get the best pepper, ever. Love the ideas and you site. Thanks, again.

  9. says

    Wow, who knew?! So many things to do with them, most of them I’d never ever heard before. We crush ours up and put them in the scrap bucket for our chooks to eat, so the next lot of eggs has lovely strong shells too. Also, I’d heard to put two half shells in the garden to look like eyes to deter cabbage moths, but it hasn’t worked too well for me!
    Thanks for the great ideas.