8 Smart Reasons You Should Be Keeping Your Eggshells

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

A couple of summers ago I bought a composter to keep in my garden. I looked up a list of kitchen scraps that I could add to my compost, and one of the items that caught my eye was eggshells! We go through a lot of eggs at our house, so I knew I already had a steady source of eggshells that I could add to my bins. So I started keeping empty eggshells in a container on my countertop, so I could easily add the shells to my compost once the container was full.

Related: 13 Ways To Stop Wasting Food (And Money!)

But seeing those eggshells on my countertop everyday got me thinking about what else I might be able to do with them. After some internet research, I realized that adding eggshells to compost was just the tip of the iceberg! There are plenty of useful things you can do with them, and I’ll be sharing a few of the best ones with you today. :-) But before we get to that, you’ll need to know how to prep your eggshells so they are clean and safe to use.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

How To Clean Eggshells

Before reusing or repurposing eggshells, it’s a good idea to make sure they are clean and free from bacteria. Rinse the shells inside and out, making sure to remove any residue or membrane that may be stuck to the inside. Then bake the shells at 150°F on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

8 Surprising Uses For Eggshells

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

1. Nourishing Face Mask

Pulverize dried egg shells with a mortar and pestle (or in a blender), 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.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

2. 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.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

3. Powerful Cleaner

Ground eggshells make a wonderful, non-toxic abrasive for those tough-to-clean pots and pans. Mix them with a little soapy water for a powerful clean.

You can also use eggshells to clean your hummingbird feeders! These feeders can get crusty and hard-to-clean if they aren’t cleaned regularly. First, rinse it out 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. (You can also use this method to clean narrow containers like your favorite thermos!)

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

4. Garden Helper

Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive, which is why they make a great fertilizer! Crush a few eggshells into tiny pieces and sprinkle into each hole before planting. Then, sprinkle additional shells around the base of your plants every two weeks.

Eggshells can also help deter common garden pests like slugs, snails, and even stray cats! Just crush a few eggshells and scatter them around your vegetables and flowers. The texture of the shells will help keep would-be garden pests at bay.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

5. 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.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

6. House Plant Booster

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

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

7. 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.

You can also add the powdered shell to your dog’s food as a calcium supplement. Calcium is an important part of a dog’s diet, and especially so for dogs being fed homemade food. To add to dog food, add 1/2 tsp of ground eggshells per pound of dog food.

Surprising Uses For Eggshells

8. 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.

What do you do with your eggshells?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Jill, I just join, but can’t figure out how yo read the replies under a person’s comments. Can you explain please Jill, cause if anyone else does \, I won’t be able to read their replies until I find out how to do it. lol Thank You!

  • If you have a worm farm the worms love to breed in the shell halves. Your worm population will increase faster when you add egg shells. Don’t wash them first as the worms feed on the membrane.

  • I was putting crushed egg shells in my compost and adding some to hole when planting tomatoes(calcium is good insurance against blossom end rot), but then I had my garden soil tested and found it had a huge reading for calcium so no need to add more! So glad there are other uses for the shells!

  • Definitely going to try this one…how long will the calcium supplement last if I use a few shells? Any idea how much Ca is in 1t? And I’m sure it doesn’t make a difference, but to confirm – white shells vs brown shells – same amount of calcium in both?

  • You can make toothpaste
    1/4 cup eggshells
    1-3 Tbsp coconut oil
    1 Tbsp baking soda
    Essential oil for taste (peppermint, cinnamon, fennel, clove, rosemary, etc)

    • This really works on a peanut butter container!! Cleaned it out for recycling bin and fast….just a little water, small handful of broken shells and shake, shake, shake!

  • Many birds will supplement their diet by eating eggshell especially during mating season. Helps them to produce stronger eggs for a greater survival rate. Sprinkle extra crushed shells in the garden where you see birds gather so they can take what they need. Left overs will help your garden!

  • I do wish we had a printable version and not get all the junk / advertising inbetween.
    Would make it so much easier to have a ‘Print” button

  • I clean the shells as you indicated above. Then I like to paint them once they’re dry. I use the multi-colored shells in planters on top of the soil to add some decoration to them. My friends and co-workers love them.

      • I swear my labs will eat anything we toss at them. If they see us eat it they will. Mine get raw eggs only if dropped on the floor. The cleaning crew is ever vigilant. Raw egg white binds with b vitamins and will keep them from the body being able to absorb them. Cooked egg, on the other hand, is the perfect protein.

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