Ways to Use Eggshells in Your Home & Life (Don't Throw Away Your Eggshells!)
Eggs! Having chickens means lots of eggs, and with eggs come eggshells. Or maybe your family loves eggs and just purchases a lot from the stores or backyard chicken owners? I started out just composting my eggshells, but honestly, I felt like my kitchen composter was being overloaded with calcium. I admit: I threw some away...then I felt guilty. Why? Because I had heard eggshells have so many uses!
So what CAN you do with all those leftover eggshells?
TONS of things, my friend!
About four years ago (and because of my guilt complex) I started looking into and experimenting with things you can do with eggshells. Here are my favorite ways to put those eggshells to use in your home and life. **You don't want to miss #8. It's one of the most important!
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15 Ways to Use Eggshells in Your Home & Life
You probably won't be doing all of these things all the time...but if you even use some of these eggshell ideas some of the time, you'll be on your way to green and healthy living. Here's how I use leftover eggshells these days, in no particular order:
1) Make Your Own Eggshell Calcium Powder
Who knew? An eggshell is the perfect composition of the calcium you need to take daily. I'm serious! Making your own eggshell calcium powder is so easy it's ridiculous. Plus, you'll know exactly what is in your own supplement you make. It's a WIN.
2) Create a Powerful Abrasive Cleaner
Crushed eggshells are an excellent abrasive. Here's how I make an easy, inexpensive abrasive with my eggshells. Using a mortar and pestle, crush up enough eggshells so you have about 1/4 cup of shells. This is about six eggs or so.
Add 1/2 cup baking soda and mix together with the crushed eggshells. When you are ready to clean, sprinkle this powder onto the area and scrub. If you want to make it extra powerful, add some vinegar to the mix! BAM! You'll have a shiny clean surface!
3) Use Eggshell Halves to Start Your Seeds
I have been meaning to use my leftover eggshells to start seeds, but I haven't got around to it yet. My friend, Joy, over at The Locust Blossom has had great success with this. Here is an article about how she got them started, and another article about the results of using eggshells as seed starting containers.
I'll be doing this for sure this winter!
4) Add to Compost
Yep. I mentioned this one above. You just crush the egg shells and add them to your compost bin, either inside or out. I love this kitchen composter, and I have had three of them going at times! Your soil loves to have some extra calcium, and the eggshells will provide!
I even know a couple of folks who toss their eggshells willy-nilly into the yard. I can't bear to do this, though. It kind of looks trashy, imho. And people who don't know that eggshells are good for your soil just think you might be a little strange.
5) How to Use Egg Shells as a Calcium Supplement for Your Hens
In order for your ladies to create lovely egg shells, they need calcium! Many people I know supplement their chicken feed with oyster shells or other kinds of calcium, but why spend the money when you can supplement for free?
Just crush the shells REALLY well so the chickens don't perceive that the crushed bits are really the shells from their own eggs. You don't want them to start that nasty habit of pecking at their own eggs. It's VERY annoying if that bad habit gets going, and it can be hard to break.
6) Pest Control in the Garden
Bugs do not like the sharp edges from the eggshells. Just crush the egg shells well, and sprinkle the powder around the base of (or even on) your plants!
7) Calcium Supplement for Your Nightshades and Other Plants
Your plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, etc. LOVE some extra calcium. Just crush the egg shells as finely as you can in a grinder or using a mortar and pestle. Dig them into the soil around the plant base. They will decompose over time and make your plants happy.
8) Make Your Own Tooth Powder
Did you know you can naturally remineralize your teeth? And did you know that it's so easy to make your very own natural tooth powder that is GOOD for your teeth, too? You can! And eggshell calcium is one of the best ingredients to use.
Here is the article for How to Make Your Own Tooth Powder, and in this one you'll find out How to Make Your Own Calcium Powder from Eggshells. For your tooth powder, you'll want to be sure those eggshells are sterilized, so just take a quick look at the directions.
9) Nourish Your Water Kefir
You can take finely ground eggshell and put a little into your water kefir. This helps keep your water kefir grains healthy and strong. Just a little will do, though---about 1/4 teaspoon per quart at a time should be plenty.
10) Make Calcium Infused Raw ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
To infuse your raw apple cider vinegar with calcium, all you need to do is place a crushed eggshell or two or three into your container of vinegar. The vinegar will break down the shell, leaching the calcium into the liquid.
What to do with this calcium infused vinegar? Here are two ideas:
Raw apple cider vinegar makes a great external liniment for minor wounds and sore muscles. Including the extra calcium won't hurt! Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it absorbs everything like crazy.
Use this calcium infused vinegar to make homemade salad dressings! Just be sure to boil them first so they are sterile if you are consuming them internally.
11) Give Your Bone Broth a Calcium Boost:
This is one of my favorite ways to use my eggshells. I just add them to my bone broths as it simmers and breaks down the bones and marrow. The long, slow cooking process will also break down the eggshells, enhancing the calcium in the broth even more!
Here is how to make basic bone broth, and I highly recommend this practice! You can make it from any kind of bone(s), add whatever vegetables you want, personalize it with spices...and you have a delicious, healthy drink or soup base!
12) Infuse in Your Kombucha
Just like you can infuse your raw apple cider vinegar, you can add a bit of calcium powder to your kombucha for additional nutrition. Just add the calcium powder after you have removed the SCOBY.
13) Make Sidewalk Chalk
Now this is a very cool idea! And what a great summer project to do with kids, too! Chalk is basically calcium, and here is how to turn your eggshells into fun sidewalk chalk.
14) Smooth Out Your Coffee
Adding a tablespoon or so of fine calcium powder to your coffee grounds before brewing will help reduce the acidity of the coffee. In addition, you'll be giving your body a little extra calcium too! :-)
15) Feed the Wild Birds
If you don't have your own chickens to supplement, then how about crushing those shells and sprinkling them around the yard for the wild birds? They need extra calcium too! :-)
Thoughts on Things to Do With Eggshells
You know, when I think of all the ways you can use eggshells instead of just tossing them in the trash, I'm amazed. Trash or treasure, right? Turns out—-eggshells are little crisp white (or brown or green) treasures!
I want to just mention real quick that if you are going to feed your eggshells to chickens or your other pets or even to yourself, please be sure to use eggs that are pasture raised. It's truly best if you know where your eggs are coming from.
Factory farmed eggs come from chickens who are stressed and have far higher amounts of bacteria (including salmonella) than backyard chickens do. You can find out more about factory farms in this article: Don’t Eat THAT Meat! And Stop Supporting Animal Abuse.
Don't you just love when you can turn your trash into something useful on your homestead? I sure do!
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Do you have other ways you like to use eggshells? Share in the comments! :-)
Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance,
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