Practical Uses for Egg Shells

Practical Uses for Egg Shells

bg_lg_eggshellSurprisingly, egg shells have a lot of uses around your home and garden. As an organic resource, they are priceless for homesteaders – certainly not something that should go to waste.

Cleaning agent – it’s a Green (non-toxic and natural) abrasive. You can use it on knives, stained pots, stainless steel, etc. It will do well when mixed with soapy water.

Fertilizer – crushed egg shells enrich your compost, as they contain a lot of useful minerals

Seedling starters – you can use them as mini pots. Simply fill them with potting mix and poke a hole in the bottom so that water can drain out of them. You can set up a 12 or 18 hole seedling nursery in egg cartons. Once your seedlings are mature enough, you can transplant them, along with the shells, into the ground. Just make sure to crack the shells so that the roots have somewhere to go. The shells will enrich the ground wonderfully.

Scarecrow for snails – you can crush the eggshells around your plants and they will fend off snails, slugs, etc. Just as we don’t like to walk on glass, similarly, they don’t like the sharp angles of the egg shells and would gladly go back to trapsing about regular dirt.

Eggshell Candles – this is a fun project for the kids. You will need your eggshells more or less intact for this one. Set them in a shot glass for stability while you are working. Get some wicks and candle wax. Pour wax into the shell (don’t hurt yourself, observe all safety precautions), and stick the wicks in. When the wax is cool, you can remove the shell and now you have an interesting looking candle. A word of caution: this candle is not very stable and I would not recommend letting be a stand-alone candle. You can light it safely if you cut the bottom off and place it in a small jar, or if you impale it on a special candle holder with a spike.

Food additives for humans and pets

Egg shells are made of calcium carbonate. Each egg holds about 800 milligrams of pre-digested calcium. (don’t let the “pre-digested” term scare you, it simply means that it’s absorbable by the body without any other special process)

Pet food additive – the calcium in egg shells is already “pre-digested” and gets absorbed by body much better than calcium from, for example, milk. Just dry them in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes, then crush them into a fine powder, preferably in a plastic bag, so that moisture doesn’t get back into the calcium. You may add it to your pet’s food sparingly, since too much calcium can be a bad thing.

Chicken food additive – chickens love them, because the re-absorbed calcium helps them make their own egg shells. To them, the shells are a premium food.

Human food additive – take a whole white egg and dunk it in a jar with lemon juice. The juice should just cover the egg. Leave the egg in the lemon juice for about a week. You will see that the juice has dissolved the shell to a large extent. You may discard the egg. The juice is now a calcium-rich Vitamin C supplement that you can take. You can take 1/2 of a teaspoon, every few days. Consult a physician, though, and s/he will explain how much calcium you need. While we are on the subject, try to stay away from sugar completely, since your body needs to pull calcium from all available sources (including your bones!) in order to digest sugar.

Salve for skin irritations – you can put eggshells into a small amount of apple cider vinegar and allow it to sit for two or three days. The resulting compound will bring relief for minor skin irritations.

When using eggshells is a bad idea

Garbage disposal cleaner – there is a myth circulating out there that throwing eggshells down into the garbage disposal and running it will help clean it. That’s all it is – a myth. It stands a better chance of clogging it than cleaning it.