This is Day 86 of the Green in 365 series!
By Sara Shay from Your Thriving Family
It’s Easter time, which means eggs are on your mind! Why not figure out some other uses for all those egg shells you’ll have hanging around the house? Don’t just trash them!
Shells are roughly composed of 95% calcium carbonate and 5% is calcium phosphate, magnesium carbonate, and proteins. Whenever using egg shells be sure to remove the inner membrane, wash and air dry them. This will prevent the attraction of pests and smells in your home.
The preparation of reusing shells sounded a little laborious to me at first, particularly removing the inner lining. But once I realized to just do the best I could and not put aside the pieces that were too time consuming to clean off, I was much happier. Some people use the not so “clean” shells for mixing into soil for the added nutrients. Here are some things you can do with the membrane.
Once the shells are clean, you can crush them in a bag with a rolling pin. Or smash with fingers in a bowl (this is how I do it for our chickens). You can also use a coffee grinder for making powdered egg shells.
How to Reuse Egg Shells
Egg shells help enrich the soil. Tomato plants particularly benefit from this. The added calcium prevents blossom rot, something I used to experience quite often!
Crushed shells help deter cats from peeing around plants and getting into beds, the shells irritate their paws. Shells also help in the fight against worms, slugs and other pests that can invade your garden.
Half a shell is also a great way to start seedling and transfer directly to the soil. Just crush the egg a bit before planting so the roots have somewhere to go. The shells will compost over time.
Drains and Pipes -This is a great non-toxic way to clear out your sink. Leave crushed egg shells in the drain catcher to slowly filter down into the pipes. This will allow the shells to be gently abrasive and clean out particles. You can also run crushed shells though the garbage disposal with some expired yogurt – the yogurt will “eat” organic matter and the shells will remove it.
Abrasive cleaner – As you would use salt for natural scouring, use powdered egg shells!
Coffee – Powdered egg shells in the filter with your coffee beans is said to brew a smoother cup of coffee, the calcium interacts with the acid. I have yet to try this, but as soon as I am back on coffee I am definitely giving this a try.
Kefir Water – If you make your own kefir water you can add a clean quarter of a shell a batch instead of buying mineral drops! Reuse your shells, nourish the grains and save money.
Chickens – If you raise chickens you can give the shells right back to them to create new shells! (Do not use store bought for this.) Do make sure these are “clean” shells crushed to at least 1/8″ pieces, too small and they won’t be able to eat them. Offer independently, not in their food. This way they can eat them if they need them and if they don’t it won’t overload their system – animals are much better on listening to their bodies about what they need than we humans are!
Blown Eggs – Prick either end of the egg and blow! Use a small phillips screw driver to apply pressure as you turn and create a hole. Then use a paperclip to break the yolk, this makes it easier to come out. I do a few at a time, either for scrambled eggs, baking, or to prep a few at night for the next mornings breakfast.
You can decorate these by drawing on them. Use the wax and dye method. Or if they are already colorful just create a beautiful scene with them!
Chalk – Use six powdered egg shells, 1 tsp. flour and 1 tsp hot water to make chalk! This is lots of fun to do with your kids!
Photo by Fresh Eggs Daily
Egg Candles – Fill shells with wax and a wick. You could even use all the remnants from used candles you’ve been saving.
For the last three you may want to source some local colorful eggs. Not only will you get nutrient dense eggs for your family, but you also get a lot more variety of color! There are lots more chicken and egg ideas on my Pinterest board!
Do you already reuse egg shells in your home? If not how are you going to start?
Sara is a full-time mama to three beautiful, sweet & mischievous blessings. Wife of 8 years to a man who has an amazing heart for working with youth. She is a homemaker, gardener, chicken-raiser, doula, and an adjunct & Theatre Tech at a Christian University. At Your Thriving Family you will find her writing about family, food, marriage,children, miscarriage, pregnancy and God – trying to find some balance it all. As a family they are trying to figure out how to THRIVE, not merely survive this life.
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I didn’t realize they were good with tomatoes (we typically just put them in the compost pile). But, since tomatoes are probably my number one plant in the garden, so anything that helps is a bonus in my book!
Sara Shay says
Tomatoes are my number one as well!
Won’t the blown eggs stink since the membranes have not been removed?
Sara Shay says
They dry out and there is no smell. I have a large basket of blown eggs in the kitchen and they don’t smell a bit 🙂
You can actually wash the bloom off (what is left on them that keeps bacteria from getting inside), and let them dry – without blowing them. It takes a few months, but eventually the egg inside will dry/evaporate.
annie @ montanasolarcreations says
What a great list of ideas, I just pinned this 🙂
Sara Shay says
Katie@ Nourishing Simplicity says
I do almost all of these at times!! 🙂