Eggshells have many surprising uses, including being a natural scrubber in the kitchen, natural fertilizer in the garden, and a great way to deter pests.
I have found so many ways to use eggshells in my everyday life that I am surprised by how much sense it makes for me not to buy commercial cleaning products anymore.
How to prepare your eggshells
To begin, wash the eggshells in water until any egg remnants are gone. Washing your eggshells thoroughly will help eliminate salmonella and other bacteria. You can do this by washing them one by one with your fingers or simply placing the shells into a large bowl of warm water before rinsing.
After washing your eggshells, let them dry out on a paper towel or some other surface that will allow air circulation to ensure they are completely dried before putting into storage.
Once washed and dried out (I usually dry them overnight), you may choose to grind them into a fine powder, roughly break them into pieces, or leave the shells whole.
After you have prepared your eggshells for storage, they are ready to be used in various ways to replace chemical-based products.
Blender cleaning is one of the most straightforward uses for eggshells. Simply fill your blender halfway with water, add a few tablespoons of baking soda and a handful of clean eggshells.
Turn on high until you no longer hear any ‘clanking’ from inside the pitcher, then rinse and clean as usual.
The abrasiveness of the eggshells helps to scrub off all the stuck-on food and residue, while the baking soda helps to eliminate any lingering smells.
If you have a few stubborn bottles that just don’t seem to want to come clean, try using some eggshells. Add a handful of crushed or powdered eggshells to your dish soap and scrub away. The shells will help get into all the nooks and crannies to remove any built-up grime or residue.
You can also use this method to clean your Tupperware. Add a tablespoon of eggshells to your dishwashing detergent and let it soak for an hour or two before scrubbing.
Eggshells can also be used as a window cleaner. Mix one part white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle, then add a handful of eggshells. Shake well before each use, and spray onto windows to scrub away dirt and grease.
Eggshells are a great way to add calcium into your garden without using chemical fertilizers that may harm you or the environment. Simply crush eggshells (or grind them if you have an eggshell coffee grinder) and mix with your soil as you plant.
The calcium helps to fertilize the plants while protecting them from any pests or mold that may attack the roots. This works great for tomatoes, a large crop in our garden every year.
Do-it-yourself pest deterrents
Another great way to use eggshells is as a DIY pest deterrent. Ants, roaches, and other pests don’t like the smell or texture of eggs, so using crushed eggshells around your home can help keep them at bay.
You can sprinkle them along the outside perimeter of your house, in your garden, or around your doors and windows. The ants won’t cross the shells, and the roaches will have a hard time crawling over them.
Dishcloth cleaner & whitener
Another way to use eggshells besides grinding them up is by adding a handful of crushed shells into your wash when you do the laundry, especially when it comes to dishcloths with built-in grease and grime.
The shells will make the water alkaline, which will help to break down the grease and dirt. The shells will also act as a natural whitener for your dishcloths without using any harsh chemicals harmful to you or the environment.
If you’re starting any seeds indoors (or even outdoors), eggshells are a great way to do it. Simply crack open an egg, pour the contents into a bowl (reserving the shells), and then use a spoon to hollow out each shell.
Fill each shell with potting soil, then place one or two seeds in each—water well and place in a sunny spot. Once the seedlings have grown, you can gently crush the shells and transfer them to your garden.
Your seedlings will be full of nutrients from the eggshell and have a natural way to retain water, so they stay hydrated longer. Your plants won’t have any problems transplanting either because their roots are already accustomed to such small spaces, thanks to growing in and transplanting them into the garden or outdoors.
As you can see, there are many ways to reuse eggshells instead of throwing them away. In addition to being eco-friendly, using eggshells in these ways can also save you money on buying expensive commercial cleaning products.
So the next time you make some eggs dishes, save the shells and put them to good use!