A lot of homesteaders have a steady supply of eggs and, therefore, eggshells. Quite a few of us throw them away without a second thought. Today, I want to talk about some natural ways to use your eggshells around the house instead of throwing them out.
Before you can use the egg shells, though, you are going to want to clean them. It’s easier than it sounds—you just need to rinse them out while they are still newly empty. If that doesn’t seem like enough, you can use a mild dish soap to wash the inside and outside. Then, let them dry thoroughly. You can lay out the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet to air out if necessary. Depending on how you want to use them, you might have to be a little more careful with your eggshells, but you should be fine!
1. Feed them to your chickens
This is a really easy way to get your chickens an extra boost of calcium. You do want to be careful though. Only use eggshells from healthy chickens (your own or natural eggs—no store bought) and make sure you don’t get any egg in with the shells. Just crush the shells and let them dry out. You can even bake the crushed eggshells for about 5 minutes and mix them in with regular feed!
2. Compost them
Okay, some of you might have thought of this one but it just had to be included! This will add lots of calcium to your compost which is good for your garden. You are welcome to put the eggshells in there how they are, or crush them up so that they will break down faster.
3. Protect your garden
Eggshell powder (aka really really ground up eggshell) can be applied to leaves to help kill beetles and make sure they don’t come back. If you have a slug or snail problem, leave the pieces a little bigger to prevent them from returning.
4. Improve your coffee
Personally, I haven’t tried this. And honestly, I probably wont because I love coffee so much just the way it is. But, apparently people have been using this trick for hundreds of years so I figured it needed to be added. You can boil eggshells into your coffee and it supposedly will help reduce bitterness and even clarify your brew.
5. Make homemade chalk
By combining a half dozen egg shells, water, and flour (food coloring is always a great option too) you can easily make sidewalk chalk! This could be a fun little distraction for kids. You can find a more detailed sidewalk chalk recipe here.
6. Get brighter whites
You can accompany your load of whites with a handful of broken eggshells (and maybe a little lemon) to keep them from turning gray with time. Its not going to be as effective as bleach, unfortunately, but its a nice all-natural alternative. Be sure to put them in a little cheese-cloth bag so you don’t make a mess!
7. Plant your seedlings
You can use your eggshells as little mini start up planters! This is one of my favorite biodegradable planters. All you do is poke a hole at the bottom of your egg for drainage, then fill it with the proper soil and seed. When its time, crack the eggshell just a little and plant directly in the soil for an extra calcium boost! More detailed instructions on how to plant seedlings with your eggshells can be found here.
There are a ton of interesting ways to re use eggshells—these are just a few ideas. Feel free to research more ways to use your used-to-be useless old eggshells. I’d love to hear what you find! Share with me in the comments below!