Next time you’re making breakfast or baking a cake, try one of these unusual uses for eggshells instead of throwing them away!
Eggshells are one of those kitchen scraps that our grandmothers treasured whereas we tend to think of them as trash. It turns out, eggshells have a variety of uses in your home and garden. They even make fun kid-friendly craft projects!
Of course, eggshells also get smelly if left on the counter or in the refrigerator too long. Maybe that’s why we tend to toss them right away? To avoid the odor, just rinse your eggshells well then freeze them in a resealable plastic bag or another container. That way you’ll always have some on hand to give these ideas a try.
Unusual Uses for Eggshells
1. Sweeten coffee: Add some crushed, clean eggshells to the basket of your coffee maker along with your ground coffee. They’ll cut the acidic taste, and leave you with a sweeter cuppa joe.
2. Jello molds: If you’ve been careful when peeling the eggs, you’ll have a few intact halves laying about. Carefully wash and dry them, then line the holes in a muffin pan with crumpled aluminum foil. Place the eggshell halves in the foil so they’re upright and fill with Jello. (Follow the directions on the box.) Let it firm up, and peel away the shells for cute little Jello blobs. (Check out these great Jello-shot recipes for grown-up versions!)
3. Candle molds: Follow the steps for Jello molds, above, and pour in molten candle wax. Insert a wick, let the wax set and remove the peel. These are very cute arranged in a shallow bowl of colored Kosher salt.
4. Garbage disposal cleaner: Put a handful of shells in your garbage disposal and run it with a steady stream of hot water to remove grease and food buildup. (Don’t miss: other ways to clean stinky drains.)
5. Pest deterrent: Grind eggshells in a food processor then sprinkle them around the base of your hosta, tomatoes, peppers and other plants. In addition to providing a nice calcium boost for your plants, they’ll keep slimy pests away.
6. Seedling starters: This is another great use for intact eggshell halves, and you don’t even have to wash them. Put them back into the container and fill them with a good seed-starting mix. Plant your seeds, mist with water, and cover loosely with a leftover produce bag. Keep the soil moist, and remove the bag when seedlings begin to emerge. When you’re ready to transplant to the garden, simply give the shells a gentle squeeze and plant them — shell and all — in your garden bed. You’ll be giving them a nice fertilizer boost at the same time.
7. Clean hummingbird feeders: Hummingbird feeders tend to grow all sorts of nasty stuff that can make the little fliers sick. Clean yours weekly by dumping out the contents and rinsing in hot water. Then add some crushed eggshells, fill 1/2 way with water, and shake. The shells will act as an abrasive, removing any mold or other gunk that’s built up. Rinse them well before re-filling with hummingbird nectar and enjoy the colorful flying show.
8. Clean a thermos: It’s tough to get a scrub brush down the narrow neck of a thermos. Clean them using eggshells following the instructions above for hummingbird feeders.
9. Scouring powder: Next time you’ve got a baked-on mess, don’t bother with a scouring pad. Sprinkle on some crushed eggshells and liquid dish soap, and power that mess away with your kitchen washrag or sponge. (Don’t use this for non-stick pans, though.)
10. Children’s art: Crushed eggshells can be dyed with watercolor paint and sprinkled onto wet artwork for a beautiful mosaic effect.