EGGciting Things to do with Egg Shells

When researching the “Things to Re-Use in Your Garden” story, for our recent Spring Newsletter, I was shocked to see just how many uses there are for egg shells.  I am all for reusing anything and everything and I feel I’m pretty good at it but I have to say, I never knew just how many things you could do with eggs shells. I will never throw another egg shell in the bin ever again!  Now I didn’t have enough space in the newsletter to do these guys justice so I thought I would give them their own blog. Hope you enjoy it.

Egg Shells for Around the House

Egg Shells in a potClean your Pots and Pans: Ground eggshells make a wonderful (and nontoxic!) abrasive cleaner. It really is simple to make, you just have to ground them up and mix them with a little dishwashing liquid for a really powerful clean. They are excellent at scrubbing posts and pans or removing baked on grime from your baking dish.

Unclog your drains: Put a few crushed eggshells in your kitchen sink strainer. This will help trap additional solids and as they slowly break down, they will also help to naturally clean your pipes on their way out.

Blade Sharpening: This one I found really interesting!  Keep egg shells in the freezer and use to clean and sharpen blender blades.  Put the 4 – 5 egg shells in the blender add 1 – 2 cups of water and turn on the blender for about 1 minute and your blades will be sharp and sparkling clean.  Once you’re done use the mixture to water an indoor plant and give the soil a calcium boost or pour it in the compost bin.

Laundry Whitener: To help your whites not to turn grey, put a handful of clean, broken eggshells and 2 slices of lemon in a little cheesecloth bag, pop them in the washing machine with your clothes and voila no more “grey” whites!

Clean vases:  Vases can be impossible to clean, especially the tall and slender ones, and if you are anything like me, you always leave the flowers in a little too long and end up with a bit of green algae growing in the bottom. Sound familiar, well then this tip is for you!  Just rinse the vase with warm water, add a few crushed eggshells, fill with warm water, and then add a drop of dishwashing soap. Shake vigorously for 1 minute and rinse thoroughly.

Remove coffee and tea stains: Is your favourite coffee mug or tea cup permanently stained no matter how you scrub? Just crush up few eggshells, drop them in the mug and add warm water. Let it sit overnight, this will allow the eggshells to absorb the stain and in the morning, the stains will have vanished!

Egg Shells for the Backyard and Garden

small plants growing in an egg shellCompost for nutrient rich, fertilized soil: Eggshells are very quick to decompose in your compost pile and are excellent for adding calcium and other minerals to the soil in the process.

Fantastic Seedling Starters: If you are good at cracking your eggs in half you can keep the shells and use them as seedling starters.  Just sit the halves in an egg carton, fill with organic potting mix and place 2 or 3 seeds in each shell. Sit them on the window sill until they are big enough to transplant to the garden.

Organic pest control in the garden: Eggshell are really effective in deterring plant eating slugs and snails from your garden. Simply sprinkle crushed eggshells around the base or your plants and you will keep the little critters away.

Prevent Blossom End Rot: Blossom-end rot is a common problem for tomatoes and cucumbers, but I recently learned that it is actually caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant. So to solve this problem just pop a few shells in the bottom of the hole next time you are planting tomatoes or sprinkle crushed eggshell around the vegetables; this will provide the soil with calcium carbonate boost and hopefully stop blossom end rot.

Toss them in the compost pile: If all of the above just seems like a bit too much hassle, you can always just throw your shells on the compost heap or crumble them up into an indoor plant, this will add calcium to your compost or plant soil and has to be better than just putting them in the bin.

Egg Shells for Animals

picture of a puppyFeed them to your chickens: Boost your brood’s calcium intake by crushing the shells and feeding them back to your hens.

Fortify your pet: Dry eggshells in a 250-degree oven for 30 minutes. Then put them in a plastic zipper bag, seal it, and crush the shells with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder. Put this into your dog’s food. It is a great calcium supplement and will help strengthen bones and teeth.

Wild Bird Treat: You can also feed them to wild birds. They’re high in calcium and are great for birds in the spring when they are laying eggs. It is recommended you sterilise them first by drying the eggshells in a 250-degree oven for 30 minutes, but it is not essential. So if you don’t have the time, just skip this step and move straight to putting them in a plastic zipper bag, sealing it, and crushing the shells with a rolling pin. Once crushed, you can then add them to your bird feeder.

Egg Shells for Food, Health and Healing

Girl with a face mask on looking in a mirrorLess Bitter Coffee: Egg shells are alkaline, while coffee is acidic. When added to coffee, the egg shells remove much of the bitterness and mellow out the flavour. Add an eggshell to your coffee in the filter, and your morning coffee will be less bitter. The spent coffee grounds, eggshell and bio-degradable filter are then conveniently ready for the compost pile. If you have an espresso coffee machine just add the egg shells into the portafilter with the coffee grounds before attaching it to your machine.

Egg on Your Face: To restore a youthful glow to your skin pulverize dried egg shells with a mortar and pestle, or if you don’t have one put shells in a plastic zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to grind them into a powder.  Whisk the powder in with an egg white and use for a healthful, skin-tightening facial. Pop a few cucumber slices on your eyes and lay back and relax. Once the face mask has dried, simply rinse it off with some warm water.

Treat Skin Irritations: Put 1 eggshell in a small container or jar (one that holds about 200mls) and pour in apple cider vinegar, almost to the top.  The egg will dissolve in the vinegar in about two days. You can then use the mixture to treat minor skin irritations and itchy skin.