Unless you’re of an egg allergy household, with all this cooking and baking you inevitably end up with piles of egg shells. Egg shells are an amazing thing; comprising of calcium carbonate, your average egg shell contains about 750-800 milligrams of calcium. If you have laying hens, then this is why it’s good to feed them ground up egg shell, supplemented with ground oyster shell; it helps them produce eggs with stronger shells as their own calcium supplies become depleted over time. Here are some great additional uses for egg shells.
**Before using egg shells wash them out thoroughly or dry them in an oven for 10 minutes at 150 degree celcius. Otherwise shells can attract pests or become mouldy.
Snails and slugs have soft, fragile bodies and they don’t appreciate sharp surfaces. Sprinkle crushed egg shells around plants prone to slug and snail attacks.
Egg shells break down quickly in the compost and provide calcium and other handy nutrients. Your next batch of veggies will grow better in nutrient rich soil.
If your cat or a wandering neighbourhood cat enjoys using your backyard for a little tray, liberally sprinkle his or her favourite area with crushed eggshells. They’ll find somewhere else to go, hopefully more appropriate.
Sauce bottles, vases, bird feeders and all receptacles with narrow openings can be very difficult to clean effectively. Crushed eggshells are an effective abrasive cleaner. Rinse the container with hot water, then add some crushed shell, fill halfway with hot water and give a good shake. The shell should help dislodge any gunk stuck inside the container. Rinse and repeat!
Similarly, crushed egg shells can help you keep the pipes connected to your kitchen sink much cleaner. Sprinkle crushed (but not powdered) egg shell in your sink strainer. This helps the strainer catch additional solids from going down the pipes, which you can then dispose of. The shells that escape the strainer and go down the pipes act as an abrasive cleaner that will remove built up gunk on the way down.
A treatment for irritated skin can be made from an egg shell that has been dissolved in apple cider vinegar for a couple of days. Apple the mixture with cotton wool to itchy or mildly irritated skin.
Egg on your face.
A mixture of eggshells crushed into fine powder with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, whisked together with an egg white apparently makes a facial that tightens your skin up. Apply, let dry and then rinse.
Fertiliser and prevent blossom end rot.
Before planting tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants, sprinkle the dug hole with crushed eggshells. Once planted, fertilise the plants with more crushed egg shell. This provides the plant with nutrients, particularly calcium. Blossom end rot is a condition often seen in the first fruit of a plant where the blossom end (opposite end of the stem, where the fertilised flower was previously) appears sunken, black and rotted. This occurs due to a lack of calcium, so eggshells are a perfect prevention.
Allegedly if you add a couple of eggshells in a mesh washing bag to a white wash, they shells help remove the grey tinge you sometimes get on repeatedly washed white clothing. No need to crush these shells up, just use your dried shell halves.
Calcium supplement for humans and pets.
For this you will need to bake your eggshells at a higher temperature: 175 degrees celcius for 8 minutes. Cool and grind into a find power either with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. A daily dose of one teaspoon added to a smoothie or similar is an effective calcium supplement. Do the same for your dog by mixing a teaspoon through its regular food.
Remember that classic primary school activity of ‘blowing out’ egg shells? Prick the top and bottom of a egg with a needle to make small holes. Hold the egg above a bowl, position your mouth above the hole in the narrow point of the egg and blow. The insides of the egg should magically squeeze out of the tiny hole drop into the bowl. How can anything so voluminous escape through such a narrow opening? Reminds one of giving birth.
Here’s a fun use for egg shells that the kidlets will enjoy using and can help make. Take 10 clean and dried eggshells, crushed into powder. Sieve to remove any large pieces that have resisted crushing. Combine 1 teaspoon of plain flour and 1 teaspoon of hot water in a bowl and then stir through a tablespoon of crushed shell. Add food colouring to make different colours. Press paste into an ice cube tray or really anything around the house you can find that will suit as a small mould. Let dry for at least 3 days, then pop out of the moulds.
This is by far my favourite use of egg shells. When cracking your eggs open through the week, try to leave as much of the fatter end of the shell intact as possible. They make incredible seed raising pots! Rinse and dry as above. You can pop these shells back in the egg carton. Fill most of the way with potting mix, pop in a seed and top with a little more potting mix. When your seedling is ready to transplant into the veggie patch, crack the bottom of the shell pot and pop the whole thing into the hole. The eggshell will gradually break down and fertilise the seedling, as above.