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15 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Throwing Away Your Eggshells
Instead of tossing those eggshells from breakfast, try saving them for these incredible uses.
Shutterstock / Zapylaiev Kostiantyn
Maybe it’s just good old-fashioned thriftiness, but it falls on us all to take a second look at things we might have thrown away yesteryear. (It’s one of the money-saving secrets we learned from Grandma!) With this in mind, we’ve collected a few uses for that staple of trashcans everywhere: the eggshell.
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Fertilize the Garden
Improve the garden with help from your breakfast. Rinse and remove the clear inner membrane of eggshells. Store dry eggshells in a large, secure container. We promise it won’t stink. (If you’re eating these tasty omelets regularly, the jar will fill up quickly!) Mash them down to fine bits with a steel or wooden spoon. Then you can load up on eggshells again. Once the spring temperatures soften the soil, you can sprinkle and mix the ground eggshells you’ve been saving into your garden for a great source of calcium carbonate for the soil. An added bonus: they reduce soil acidity.
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Help Clear Your Skin
We got this DIY beauty tip from our pals at Reader’s Digest: 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.
Shutterstock / Vadim Zhakupov
Create a Non-Toxic Abrasive Cleaner
You vowed to steer clear of powdered household and industrial cleaners (goodbye, Ajax!) but have no clue what to use instead of these powerful chemicals. We spotted a non-toxic and gentle-on-your-nose cleaner on RealFoodRN.com.
Firstly, collect the eggshells of about a dozen eggs. Once you’re ready to prepare the cleaner, wash the eggshells and line them up on a baking sheet. Dry the shells outside in the sun or on low heat in the oven for a few minutes. Use a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or high-speed blender to blend into a fine paste. You should have about 1 cup of powder. In a mason jar, add 3 cups baking soda to the eggshell powder. To clean, just mix the powder with vinegar (or water). Use this formula on pots and pans (with baked-on food), shower doors (with months of gunk), toilet bowl rings and grout.
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Start the Herb Garden of Your Dreams
Daydream about covering every inch of your winter home with happy, green indoor plants? Here’s one step to realizing that dream. For your next weekend brunch, cook up a super yummy egg dish (eggs benedict casserole is always a winner). When cracking each egg, cut the top of the shell and pour the egg out of the shell to preserve most of the length of the eggshell. Gently rinse before storing. Remember to save the egg carton—this is where your herb starter plants will grow.
Once the shells have dried, use a sharp needle or awl to poke a hole in the bottom of each (for water drainage). Place an eggshell in each carton divot. Fill each most of the way with soil. Place seeds into soil, according to seed-sowing instructions. Mist soil with spray bottle and keep carton in full sun. Water regularly and keep an eye out for sprouts. Once it’s time to transfer into a pot or garden, you can transplant as-is.
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Don’t be fooled by the gadgets you see at the store. The best way to separate egg whites from yolks is to use a good old-fashioned eggshell. Crack an egg in half and slowly pour the white into a bowl. Once the white starts tugging at the yolk, use the jagged side of the eggshell to separate the white. And, hey, don’t discard that yolk either. Here are 36 things you can make with egg yolk.
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Remove Stains From Thermos
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’ve totally experienced this problem: A brown film on the inside of your favorite beverage container. And no matter how hard you scrub, there’s no diminishing the patina. Here’s a solution…you guessed it: eggshells. Add a combination of warm or hot water and crushed eggshells about a third of the way. Close thermos and shake well for a few minutes. The mixture should help break down stains.
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Make DIY Sidewalk Chalk
Win the best mom award (for the millionth time, right?) and attempt homemade sidewalk chalk with these recipes from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The main ingredients are eggshells, flour and food coloring. We can promise it will be fun—but we can’t promise it won’t be messy.
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Add to Coffee Grounds to Mellow Out Brew
If your roommate (or husband) complains about the coffee being too bitter—but you still have a pound of coffee in the pantry, try this tried-and-true hack. Mix in a crumbled eggshell (that has been thoroughly rinsed in vinegar and then water, and dried) to the coffee grounds tomorrow morning. The eggshells, rich in alkaline calcium carbonate, help neutralize some of the coffee’s acidity.
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Feed the Birds
You can also be an incredible neighbor to your local birds with this great tip from Birds and Blooms. When you have enough eggshells to cover a baking tray, bake them at around 250 degrees until dry. They will be brittle enough to crush easily. Spread the mixture in a feeder or on the ground for birds to munch on. It’s a great source of calcium for the birds—especially for females during the spring, prime time for laying eggs.
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Brighten Your Face
Eggs may be the secret to restoring your skin’s youthful glow. Using a mortar and pestle, grind down a few eggshells until they reach a powder-like state. Next, mix the powder with egg whites. Gently spread the mixture onto your skin and allow it to dry. Wash thoroughly.
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Clean Up the Sink
Most people want their kitchen sink strainer to be spotless—but you may want to consider keeping a few loose eggshells down there while you wash up. The eggshell pieces will help prevent food solids from going down the drain, and as the egg starts to break down it acts as a natural abrasive to help clean drain pipes.
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Fortify your pet
According to Reader’s Digest, crushed eggshells are an excellent way to add extra calcium to your dog’s diet. Try this tip: Spread clean eggshells over a baking sheet and bake in a 250-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a plastic zipper bag, seal and crush the shells with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder. Sprinkle this over your dog’s food. The extra calcium boost can help strengthen Fido’s bones and teeth. Though eggshells are safe for your pet, be sure to check out these 12 common foods that could be toxic for dogs.
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Say Buh-Bye to Garden Pests
Eggshells work wonders for your garden plants, but they can also repel pests, too. Gather crushed eggshells and scatter them around your soil. This is works a natural deterrent for slugs, snails and even deer, too. Read up on more natural ways to eliminate garden insect pests from our friends at Birds & Blooms.
Make Decorative Candles
How fun is this? If you’ve managed to keep your eggshell partially intact, it makes the perfect vessel for a homemade candle DIY. Simply melt in candle wax a clean dry shell and add a wick. Keep your candle sitting upright by placing it in an egg cup or bowl shallow bowl filled with sand.
Paint a Masterpiece
Paint-filled eggshells can help make the Pollock-esque painting of your dreams. (Or, at least, be the beginning of a fun activity for you and the kids.) Collect eggshells that are mostly intact—the leftovers from your soft-boiled eggs work great. Rinse and dry. Carefully fill each with colored paint, grab a large blank canvas and head outdoors. Grab a friend and take turns throwing the eggs at the canvas to create a totally fun artwork. Trust us, you’re going to want to put this one on your bucket list!