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