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Eggshells - Not Just for Composting!

Updated on March 9, 2016

Eggcellent Cleaning Idea!

A few years ago I came across a handy household tip for using eggshells dissolved in lemon as a lime remover.

Wash and dry your eggshells. Put them into a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin to break them up into pieces. Add about a tablespoon of eggshell pieces to a ½ cup of lemon juice. It will take about 24 hours for the eggshells to dissolve naturally. Add resulting solution to a bottle and leave for 48 hours, shaking it once in a while.

I love old bottles and I found 2 old glass milk bottles that had been left outside for an unknown number of years. Using this solution, I was able to get them sparkly clean on the inside. I have also used this on my vases that have contoured bottoms and rims that my hand won't fit in.

I was looking at some of my vases the other day and was thinking it was time to get them clean again and it got me thinking. I know eggshells are good for this application, and I know about them in the garden, as well as some arts and crafts, but what else are they good for?

So here is what I have learned about eggshells. Who knew?

Cleaning Idea #2 - Non Toxic Abrasive

Did you know ground eggshells can be used to make a great, non-toxic abrasive? Clean those pots and pans with them and see the shine come out. Just mix the coarse ground eggshells with a little soapy water for a powerful clean.

I am going to try this for scouring my counters. I am hoping it will help with some of the stains caused by my herbal teas. I will update later to let you know how it works. For now.. onto the other wonderful uses of eggshells.

Cleaning Idea #3 - Eggshells in the Sink

When working in the kitchen and filling up the sink, put a few coarse eggshells in your drain stopper to catch those large pieces of debris for easy transfer to the garbage. You can also leave them in the plug, as they break down they will naturally clean your pipes.

Crushed eggshells are also great for your garbage disposal, not only does the grittiness help clean the innards, it is also a natural cleaner as it goes down your pipes. Great for the environment, eggshells help put calcium carbonate back into the water system, biodegradable and fish friendly.

This will also work for sharpening your blades in the blender. Put the eggshells in the bottom, add some water, hit the blend button. Once done either you can pour it down the drain, or add it to your houseplants or compost bin!

Cleaning Idea #4 - Eggshells in the Washing Machine

Just like the sink, eggshells will help in your washing machine too. Mix a handful of cleaned eggshells with a cup of lemon juice, pour around the bottom of the washing machine and let sit overnight. Run the rinse cycle. This will help get rid of lime deposits inside the bottom of the washing machine.

Also, help your whites look their best. Grab some cheesecloth and using two slices of lemon and a handful of eggshells, tie them in a bundle and throw in the wash. Soap deposits are what make your white clothes turn grey and this little trick can help prevent that from happening.

Egg(shells) on Your Face!

Seldom used today because of the fear of salmonella, egg whites are a great skin tightener.

Egg yolks used in your hair will make it super soft and super shiny.

For a number of years, eggs have been used in many homemade beauty products.

Eggshells too, are apparently good for the face.

Clean and dry your eggshells as you use them, once you're ready to do something with them, you can pulverize them by putting into a plastic bag and using a rolling pin to make them into a fine powder, or you can use a mortar and pestle to get the desired results. Take a little egg white and mix it with the powder and then spread on your skin. Let it dry and then wash it off to restore a youthful glow to your skin.

Itchy Skin? It takes two days for an eggshell to dissolve in a small jar of apple cider vinegar. Once dissolved, use the resulting mix to treat itchy skin or minor irritations. I'm going to try this in the summer to see if it helps with mosquito bites.

Puppy Power

Eggshells work great as a calcium supplement to help bones and teeth in dogs. Looking at amazon, I was surprised to see you can buy already prepared eggshells to use for this application. Save yourself the cost of buying it and make it yourself.

Wash and dry your eggshells. When you're ready, cook them in a 250º F oven for 30 minutes.

Once you have finished baking your eggshells, put them in a plastic bag and crush to a fine powder with a rolling pin, again mortar and pestle can also be used. You can add it to your homemade doggy cookies and biscuits, or add directly to your dog's food dish.

Feed the Birds

Calcium carbonate can help make a birds eggshell stronger. You can help the birds by providing them with a calcium carbonate rich dietary supplement made from your saved crushed shells.

The process for this is very similar to the powder used in puppy power. You can keep the cleaned and dried crushed eggshells in the freezer if you want to. Once you have a fair amount stored up, spread them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 250º F oven for 30 minutes.

The birds like little bits of food while they are eating and have a bit more trouble with powder. (I think their tongues get in the way) So make sure you don't crush them too small. You want them to be around ¼ inch or just a little smaller. You can use a rolling pin and a plastic bag, or a mortar and pestle, but you might be able to control the size a little better if you put them in a plastic bag and crush them with your hands.

You can keep the eggshell separate from your regular feeder or when you fill up your bird feeder, just add a handful or two of the shells at a time. Don't be surprised if birds you aren't used to seeing start to hang around. Different species are attracted to the shells and will welcome the new snack.

Eggshell Calcium for You!

Calcium deficiency is a problem that seems to be on the rise. Buying calcium supplements can be expensive, and if you are on a low income budget, it can be frustrating. Did you know one whole medium sized eggshell will make about one teaspoon of powder. This little tiny amount has about 27 elements that our body needs to stay healthy. Not only that, this one teaspoon holds 750-800 mgs of calcium that can be absorbed into the body! I found it very interesting too, that the composition of an eggshell is very similar to that of our bones and teeth.

Eggshell Herb Garden
Eggshell Herb Garden | Source

Gardening With Eggshells

Throughout the winter, wash dry and crush up your eggshells as you go through your daily routine. Put the eggshells in a cleaned spaghetti sauce jar (or any other jar that's handy) and store in your cupboard, or freeze them in a plastic bag.

Once spring has arrived, you are ready to use them in your garden.

There are many reasons to use these eggshells in your garden and here are some great ones that I found. Oh, if you have a compost bin, I'm sure you already know you can just throw them in there and still get their great nutrients to your garden. But, did you also know the shells themselves can be used alone for:

Eco-Friendly Pesticide

Eggshells have sharp edges and that makes them very uncomfortable for slugs, cutworms and snails to crawl across. Deter those nasty little creatures by using crushed eggshells scattered around your vegetables and flowers.

Deer Deterrent

Ok, here's a new one. Deer apparently don't like the smell of eggs, (Ok, who did the study for that one?) Anyway, put crushed eggshells in your garden and it might not deter Thumper, but Bambi seems to shy away.

Fertilizer

Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive. Crush eggshells into tiny pieces and use them as compost. Give your compost bin a boost and add eggshells.

Blossom-End Rot on Tomatoes

Did you know blossom-end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in your tomato plants? Really? I didn't. Apparently, experienced gardeners have know this little tidbit for years and recommend putting crushed eggshells at the bottom of the hole when you transplant your tomatoes. I think starting them in the seedling cup would also help with this problem, something that is worth a try!

Seedling Cup

This is a great way to start seedlings. As I am getting near to my seed starting season, I am thinking of trying this myself to start a couple herbs, the label could be written right on the eggshell! Keep an empty egg carton handy and as you use your eggs, try to break them so that half to three quarters of the egg is left. Wash, dry and put the egg shells into the empty carton.

Once you have a dozen of them, make sure you poke a hole in each one so excess water can drain out. Fill the half shells with a good seed growing medium and one or two seeds each.

Once the little seedlings have sprouted, care for them in the same way you would any other seedlings in an ordinary pot. When they are big enough to be transplanted outside, just crack the shell at the bottom of your little biodegradable "pot" and plant them, shell and all!

I decided on starting herbs in eggshells this year. So far I have garlic chives and Thai basil in a set of a dozen. I will update later on how they do.

How to Make Miniature Flower Pots from Eggshells

Is it just me, or did you already know all about what eggshells can be used for?

See results

Eggshells - Fuel of the Future?

In researching for eggshells, I came across this article on Engineered eggshells to help make hydrogen fuel. This article discusses a patented process that uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel.

It also states a key ingredient in eggshells, calcium carbonate, captures 78 percent of carbon dioxide by weight. Which means, given equal amounts of carbon dioxide and eggshell, the eggshell would absorb 78 percent of the carbon dioxide.

This makes eggshells the most effective carbon dioxide absorber ever tested.

This article also discusses a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from inside the shell, allowing it to be used commercially,

Eggshell Coffee Anyone?

In my house we use salt to get rid of some of the bitter taste coffee can have, but I had no idea you could use crushed eggshells instead.

Just add a bit of crushed, clean eggshells to your grounds before brewing to take out the bitterness.

Once you're done, add the coffee grounds and eggshells to the compost bin to help those beautiful gardens grow!

As an Egg Mold

Use a blown out egg to shape a variety of things. Add juice, tape the little hole and freeze for egg shaped, colored ice cubes. Use for egg shaped jello mold and any other egg shaped idea you might have.

Eggshells in Medicine

Did you know the little, super thin membrane on the inside of the egg has been used over the ages as a home remedy for a wide range of ailments?

About 10 percent of this little membrane consists of collagen. Collagen is an important part in cosmetic surgery and in medicine, where doctors use it to help burn victims regenerate skin.

This thin little membrane can be used as a handy bandage for minor cuts and scrapes, used to draw out a pimple or a blackhead, or even to treat ingrown toenails. It will also work great for pulling out a tiny sliver or a piece of glass.

For more information, check out Jocelyn's Tips website, it has a great article called 6 Tips Using Eggshell Membrane.

Home Cure for Heartburn

Source

Eggshell Art

Eggshells can be used in a number of art projects. Whole shells, crushed shells and ground shells are used in a number of different ways to create a variety of projects.

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

  • 7 Teaspoons Finely Ground Eggshells (7 Medium Eggshells)
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Flour
  • Drop of Food Coloring (Optional)
  • Mixture should be stiff enough to roll in construction paper and set aside til dry.

Use up those shells from colored Easter eggs by creating a mosaic, jewelry and more.

Blow out an eggshell to create some fantastic projects.

Eggshell Pendant

© 2013 Eco-Lhee

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Interesting uses of eggshells. I add them to my compost but was told not to put them in the garbage disposal because the skin gets wrapped around the blades and can cause it to sieze up.

    • Eco-Lhee profile image
      Author

      Eco-Lhee 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I've never heard of that... Is the skin tough enough to do that? And would it work better if they were washed out first before putting into the garbage disposal. I don't have one, it just came up in my research.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      The membranes are thin and wrap around the blades. The membranes build up over time, rendering the blades dull and useless. I don't use my disposal anymore. I have a septic tank and was told not to put many of the foods down the disposal that most people do, as it clogs the pipes leading to the septic tank, thus causing expensive back-ups.

      I don't think it's worth the effort of washing the shells (where does the wash-off go?). It's best to put them in the compost bin or in the garden.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Well, I'll never look at eggshells the same way again. I crack them and toss the shell in the trash. I like the idea of planting in them. That's a fun project to do with my granddaughters. I am also due for a eggwhite facial. Thanks for the reminder! :)

    • Eco-Lhee profile image
      Author

      Eco-Lhee 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Warrior I can see your point, I will remember that if I get a disposal. I would have thought the membrane would break down. It seems such a little thing, & yes rinsing it out would make it go... down the sink!

      Sunshine, I started chives and basil in some eggshells, it's not as easy as it looks, I had to leave the shells for a couple of days to 'harden' and you have to be careful because the wet dirt makes them break easier. But they are starting to grow. :)

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