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15 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Throwing Away Your Eggshells

Instead of tossing those eggshells from breakfast, try saving them for these incredible uses.

Eggshells on wooden tableZapylaiev Kostiantyn/Shutterstock

Maybe it’s just good old-fashioned thriftiness, but it falls on us all to take a second look at things we might have thrown away yesteryear. (Plus, it’s a thrifty budget tip as good as these 10 creative ways to save money you hadn’t thought of before!)  With this in mind, we’ve collected a few uses for that staple of trashcans everywhere: the eggshell.

Gardeningalenacepl/Shutterstock

Fertilize the garden

Improve the garden with help from your breakfast. Rinse and remove the clear inner membrane of eggshells. Store dry eggshells in a large, secure container. We promise it won’t stink. (If you’re eating these tasty omelets regularly, the jar will fill up quickly!) Mash them down to fine bits with a steel or wooden spoon. Then you can load up on eggshells again. Once the spring temperatures soften the soil, you can sprinkle and mix the ground eggshells you’ve been saving into your garden for a great source of calcium carbonate for the soil. An added bonus: they reduce soil acidity.

Moisture for skin;Pressmaster/Shutterstock

Help clear your skin

Drop an eggshell into a small container of apple cider vinegar and let it soak for a couple of days. Dab the mixture on minor skin irritations or on itchy skin. We like using this trick, and 13 more at-home remedies for acne.

Egg shell on the table. Calcium carbonate, found naturally in the form of minerals, is part of the egg shell. Used in everyday life to alkalize the soil in gardening.Vadim Zhakupov/Shutterstock

Create a non-toxic abrasive cleaner

You vowed to steer clear of powdered household and industrial cleaners (goodbye, Ajax!) but have no clue what to use instead of these powerful chemicals. We spotted a non-toxic and gentle-on-your-nose cleaner on RealFoodRN.com.

Firstly, collect the eggshells of about a dozen eggs. Once you’re ready to prepare the cleaner, wash the eggshells and line them up on a baking sheet. Dry the shells outside in the sun or on low heat in the oven for a few minutes. Use a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or high-speed blender to blend into a fine paste. You should have about 1 cup of powder. In a mason jar, add 3 cups baking soda to the eggshell powder. To clean, just mix the powder with vinegar (or water). Use this formula on pots and pans (with baked-on food), shower doors (with months of gunk), toilet bowl rings and grout. Try 50 clever ways to clean with baking soda.

Young plant growing in egg shell;A3pfamily/Shutterstock

Start the herb garden of your dreams

Daydream about covering every inch of your winter home with happy, green indoor plants? Here’s one step to realizing that dream. For your next weekend brunch, cook up a super yummy egg dish (eggs benedict casserole is always a winner), and save your shells! When cracking each egg, cut the top of the shell and pour the egg out of the shell to preserve most of the length of the eggshell. Gently rinse before storing. Remember to save the egg carton—this is where your herb starter plants will grow.

Once the shells have dried, use a sharp needle or awl to poke a hole in the bottom of each (for water drainage). Place an eggshell in each carton divot. Fill each most of the way with soil. Place seeds into the soil, according to seed-sowing instructions. Mist soil with a spray bottle and keep the carton in full sun. Water regularly and keep an eye out for sprouts. Once it’s time to transfer into a pot or garden, you can transplant as-is.

Woman breaks eggs and separates a protein from a yolkGeorgy Dzyura/Shutterstock

Yolk separator

Don’t be fooled by the gadgets you see at the store. The best way to separate egg whites from yolks is to use a good old-fashioned eggshell. Crack an egg in half and slowly pour the white into a bowl. Once the white starts tugging at the yolk, use the jagged side of the eggshell to separate the white. Just be sure you crack your eggs the right way.

Running water from faucet in kitchen sinkMari Nelson/Shutterstock

Remove stains from a thermos

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’ve totally experienced this problem: A brown film on the inside of your favorite beverage container. And no matter how hard you scrub, there’s no diminishing the patina. Here’s a solution…you guessed it: eggshells. Add a combination of warm or hot water and crushed eggshells about a third of the way. Close thermos and shake well for a few minutes. The mixture should help break down stains. If you want to keep your kitchen counter clean and germ-free, you should keep your reusable bags away from them. 

Chalk drawings on asphalt;Dream79/Shutterstock

Make DIY sidewalk chalk

Win the best mom award (for the millionth time, right?) and attempt homemade sidewalk chalk with these recipes from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The main ingredients are eggshells, flour, and food coloring. We can promise it will be fun—but we can’t promise it won’t be messy.

Roasted coffee groundsKhor Hui Min/Shutterstock

Add to coffee grounds to mellow out brew

If your roommate (or husband) complains about the coffee being too bitter—but you still have a pound of coffee in the pantry, try this tried-and-true hack. Mix in a crumbled eggshell (that has been thoroughly rinsed in vinegar and then water, and dried) to the coffee grounds tomorrow morning. The eggshells, rich in alkaline calcium carbonate, help neutralize some of the coffee’s acidity.

The Great Tit sitting on the bird feeder in the garden.alenacepl/Shutterstock

Feed the birds

You can also be an incredible neighbor to your local birds with this great tip from Birds and Blooms. When you have enough eggshells to cover a baking tray, bake them at around 250 degrees until dry. They will be brittle enough to crush easily. Spread the mixture in a feeder or on the ground for birds to munch on. It’s a great source of calcium for the birds—especially for females during the spring, prime time for laying eggs.

Portrait of beautiful young woman washing her face splashing water in a home bathroom.Josep Suria/Shutterstock

Brighten your face

Eggs may be the secret to restoring your skin’s youthful glow. Using a mortar and pestle, grind down a few eggshells until they reach a powder-like state. Next, mix the powder with egg whites. Gently spread the mixture onto your skin and allow it to dry. Wash thoroughly. Here are 13 more DIY face masks you can make from ingredients you have on hand.

water draining in washbasinjumpot/Shutterstock

Clean up the sink

Most people want their kitchen sink strainer to be spotless—but you may want to consider keeping a few loose eggshells down there while you wash up. The eggshell pieces will help prevent food solids from going down the drain, and as the egg starts to break down it acts as a natural abrasive to help clean drain pipes.

Sleeping PuppyPaul.D.Smith/Shutterstock

Fortify your pet

Crushed eggshells are an excellent way to add extra calcium to your dog’s diet. Try this tip: Spread clean eggshells over a baking sheet and bake in a 250-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a plastic zipper bag, seal and crush the shells with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder. Sprinkle this over your dog’s food. The extra calcium boost can help strengthen Fido’s bones and teeth. Though eggshells are safe for your pet, be sure to check out these 11 foods that you should never share with your dogs.

Big snail in shell crawling on roadZuzha/Shutterstock

Say buh-bye to garden pests

Eggshells work wonders for your garden plants, but they can also repel pests, too. Gather crushed eggshells and scatter them around your soil. This is works a natural deterrent for slugs, snails and even deer, too. Read up on more natural ways to eliminate garden insect pests.

Egg candles for easter decorationLightix/Shutterstock

Make decorative candles

How fun is this? If you’ve managed to keep your eggshell partially intact, it makes the perfect vessel for a homemade candle DIY. Simply melt in candle wax a clean dry shell and add a wick. Keep your candle sitting upright by placing it in an egg cup or bowl shallow bowl filled with sand.

barblast/Instagram

Paint a masterpiece

Paint-filled eggshells can help make the Pollock-esque painting of your dreams. (Or, at least, be the beginning of a fun activity for you and the kids.) Collect eggshells that are mostly intact—the leftovers from your soft-boiled eggs work great. Rinse and dry. Carefully fill each with colored paint, grab a large blank canvas and head outdoors. Grab a friend and take turns throwing the eggs at the canvas to create a totally fun artwork. Trust us, you’re going to want to put this one on your bucket list!

Originally Published on Taste of Home

Joann Pan
Joann Pan is a content creator based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Oprah.com, Mashable.com, The Huffington Post and more.