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10 Ways to Use Leftover Eggshells in Your Home and Garden

Crushed eggshells on a cutting board

The next time you bake a cake or make an omelet, don’t throw away those leftover eggshells. Surprisingly versatile, eggshells can be used in many different ways around your home and garden. These hacks will help you reduce your waste and be more creative.

Fertilize Your Plants

Someone sprinkles eggshells in a plant
johan kusuma/Shutterstock.com

You can fertilize your plants with a variety of natural sources, including compost, manure, and, yes, eggshells. Crushed eggshells are an excellent source of calcium, which plants need to grow healthy. For strong and healthy plants, you can add leftover eggshells to your garden soil to provide a steady source of calcium.

Simply save your eggshells, rinse them out, and let them dry. Crush them into small pieces once they are dry and sprinkle them around your plants’ soil. The eggshells will break down slowly over time, providing a steady source of calcium for your plants.

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Make a Natural Pesticide

Eggshells in soil
Eva Foreman/Shutterstock.com

One of the biggest challenges for gardeners is dealing with pests, and finding natural ways to keep them at bay can be a great option. Fortunately, eggshells may be useful as a natural pesticide to help deter slugs and snails.

By crushing the eggshells into small pieces, you can create a rough surface that these pests don’t like to crawl over, preventing them from reaching your plants. Full disclosure, this advice has mixed reviews online, and may or may not be effective for your garden. However, considering eggshells also act as a fertilizer and are safe to use, it’s worth a shot if you have a snail or slug problem.

Feed the Birds

Two birds in a bird feeder

Birds are a welcome sight in any garden, and providing them with a source of calcium can be beneficial for their health and encourage them to keep coming back. Crushed eggshells are an excellent source of calcium, making them a perfect addition to a bird’s diet, especially during nesting season.

By saving your eggshells, rinsing them out, and letting them dry, you can create a valuable source of nutrition for the birds in your garden. Once the shells are dry, you can crush them into small pieces and sprinkle the crushed eggshells on the ground for birds to find and enjoy. You can also mix them with birdseed to create a calcium-rich mix that birds will love.

SWEETFULL Solar Bird Feeder for Outdoors

A beautiful bird feeder to hang outside.

Start Seedlings

Plant soil in egg shells
Marius GODOI/Shutterstock.com

Starting seedlings is a fun and rewarding activity for any gardener (or kid), and using eggshells as containers can be an eco-friendly and nutrient-rich option. After enjoying your eggs, rinse out the eggshells and carefully crack the top of the shell and remove a piece to create a large hole. Gently rinse out the interior of the shell and let it dry.

Once dry, fill the shell with soil and plant a seed inside. Place the eggshell in a warm, sunny spot and keep the soil moist until the seedling emerges. You can use an egg carton as a DIY plant box for this process. When the seedling is big enough to transplant, you can plant the entire eggshell in the soil, where it will break down and provide valuable nutrients to the growing plant.

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Make a Scouring Powder

Someone washes dishes
Romix Image/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to clean your pots and pans, you can use eggshells to make a DIY scouring powder. After you’ve used your eggs, rinse out the eggshells and let them dry. Crush the eggshells or grind them with a grinding tool.

Mix the crushed eggshells with baking soda to create a natural abrasive powder that can remove tough stains and grime. Use a sponge or cloth to apply the mixture to your pots and pans, scrubbing gently until the stains are removed. The eggshells will help to lift dirt and grime, while the baking soda will provide additional cleaning power.

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A great pantry staple.

Create Calcium-Rich Compost

Compost with egg shells
Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Adding eggshells to your compost pile is an easy and effective way to create calcium-rich compost. Rinse out your eggshells and let them dry. Once dry, crush them into small pieces using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin, just like you would when adding them to plant soil as a fertilizer.

Add the crushed eggshells to your compost pile, mixing them in with other organic matter like vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings. As the compost decomposes, the eggshells will break down slowly, releasing valuable calcium into the soil.

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Keep Your Coffee Tasting Fresh

Eggs and coffee beans
NARUCHA KLINUDOM/Shutterstock.com

If you’re a coffee lover, you know that the quality of your coffee can be affected by a number of factors. One of these is bitterness, which can be caused by over-extraction during brewing. An easy fix for this is to use eggshells to reduce bitterness and improve the flavor of your coffee.

After you’ve used your eggs, rinse out the eggshells and let them dry. Add a few crushed eggshells to your coffee grounds before brewing. The eggshells will help to neutralize the acids in the coffee, resulting in a smoother, less bitter cup.

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Starbucks House Blend coffee is a medium roast with notes of toffee and dusted cocoa

Decorate Your Garden

Colored eggs

Eggshells can be a versatile and inexpensive way to add some decorative flair to your garden. After rinsing leftover eggshells and letting them dry, dye them whatever colors you would like to see in your garden.

Once they dry, you can sprinkle them around your garden for an eye-catching display. This will add a fun and festive touch to your outdoor space, while providing healthy nutrients to your soil.

Easter PAAS Classic Egg Decorating Kit

Dye your eggshells bright, beautiful colors.

Create Chalkboard Paint

A heart drawn with chalk
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for a creative way to repurpose your eggshells, you can use them to create a homemade chalkboard paint that’s both fun and functional. To get started, you’ll need to rinse out your eggshells and let them dry. Grind the pieces into a fine powder and add them to a bowl with acrylic paint.

Stir the mixture until you achieve a smooth consistency. You can choose any color of acrylic paint that you like, depending on the look you want for your chalkboard. Once the mixture is ready, apply it to a surface with a paintbrush or roller.

The eggshells will provide a slightly gritty texture that will allow chalk to adhere well to the surface, creating a chalkboard effect. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the surface as a chalkboard. This DIY project is a great way to add a personal touch to a child’s playroom or a home office, and it’s a fun activity to do with kids.

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 16 Piece

A kit with plenty of colors to choose from.

Keep Your Drains Clean

A sink drain

Using crushed eggshells to keep your drains clean and odor-free is a simple and effective solution for grimy drains. The abrasive texture of the eggshells works to break down any buildup in the pipes, preventing clogs and backups. Adding crushed eggshells to your drain also helps to neutralize any mild odors that may be coming from your pipes.

To perform this easy cleaning hack, just crush your eggshells into small pieces and add them to your sink or shower drain. Follow up with hot water to help the eggshells move through the pipes. Not only is this method environmentally friendly, but it’s also cost-effective, using something you would normally discard to solve a common household problem.

Earthworm Drain Cleaner

If you need some help cleaning your drains.

Eggshells are a versatile and useful material that can be used in many ways around the home and garden. From fertilizing plants to cleaning your drains, here’s how to use eggshells instead of throwing them in the garbage.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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