Next time you’re making breakfast or baking a cake, try one of these uses for eggshells instead of throwing them away. They’re surprisingly helpful!
Eggshells are one of those kitchen scraps that our grandmothers treasured while we tend to think of them as trash. It turns out, eggshells have a variety of uses in your home and garden. (Related: Kitchen Scraps You Can and Should Reuse.)
9 Ways to Use Eggshells
Of course, eggshells can get smelly if you leave them sitting around. To avoid the odor, stash them in a resealable plastic bag or another container in your freezer. Rinse them beforehand if you prefer, or use a warm water rinse to defrost them quickly before use.
1. Make better 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. Make new Crayons from broken ones. Crumple foil in the holes of a muffin pan and nestle eggshell halves upright in each spot. Put a few pieces of broken Crayons (paper removed) in each eggshell and pop them into a 200°F oven for 10-15 minutes. Let them cool then tear away the shell. Voila-new Crayons perfectly sized for toddlers’ hands.
3. Clean your garbage disposal. 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. (Related: How to clean stinky drains.)
4. Control pests in your garden. Using crushed eggshells as a tomato fertilizer is one of the easiest uses of eggshells. You can also use them to deter pests. Grind dry eggshells in a food processor and sprinkle them around the base of any plants pestered by snails and slugs.
5. Start seeds indoors. Eggshells make great seed starters, and you don’t even have to wash them. Put them back into the container and fill them with a good soil-less mix. Plant your seeds, mist with water, and cover loosely with a leftover produce bag. You can plant them shell and all in the garden once they have a set of true leaves.
6. Clean your hummingbird feeder. To clean a hummingbird feeder without harming the birds, empty the feeder, then add crushed eggshells, fill halfway with warm water, and shake. The shells will act as an abrasive, removing any mold or other gunk. (Related: How to Make Hummingbird Nectar.)
7. Clean a thermos or carafe. It’s tough to get a scrub brush down the narrow neck of a thermos or coffee carafe. Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom, add a drop of liquid dish soap and a handful of crushed eggshells, then fill it halfway with warm water. Shake vigorously, then dump and rinse thoroughly.
8. Scour your cast iron pans. Get rid of baked-on food and other tough messes without ruining the seasoning of your cast iron pots and pans. This is one of my favorite uses for eggshells! All you need to do is dip a corner of a washcloth into some crushed eggshells and scour away the mess. (Related: How to clean and season cast iron.)
9. Make textured paint for kids’ crafts. Mix some clean, dry crushed eggshells with tempura or acrylic paint and let the kids paint popsicle sticks, old paint stirrers, or sheets of construction paper.
BONUS: You can use eggshells to make a mosquito bite home remedy by dissolving them in a jar of apple cider vinegar. Since this process takes about three days, you might want to start a batch and keep it refrigerated for quick treatment. Shake before use and replace monthly.