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Don't Discard Your Eggshells

Clover growing out of the egg isolated on white.New life concept This is because the eggshells have so many uses. We have written about eggs, and all their benefits and uses, in several posts including one on how to store eggs, the importance of the eggs you choose to buy and eat and even tips on how to use the membrane that comes from the inside of the shell. Now it is the turn of the eggshells themselves. Here are our top ten tips for using eggshells.

In the home

1. To brighten your whites in your laundry This a natural alternative. Place a couple of eggshells inside a small muslin bag, secured tightly with a knot, and pop into your washing machine. Full steam ahead for your normal load and washing program.

2. To scour pots and pans This is a non-toxic and safer household abrasive. Combine crushed eggshells with soapy water and use to buff away dried-on stubborn stains on your pots, pans and other dishes in the kitchen.

In the garden

3. To give young seedlings for the garden or vegetable patch a head start Sow your seeds directly into naturally biodegradable eggshells (with the tops off) as planters. Make a small hole in the bottom for drainage before filling with compost. When the seedling is large enough, plant straight into the flower or vegetable bed – shell and all.

4. To fertilize your garden Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive. Crush eggshells into tiny pieces and sprinkle some into each hole before planting. Then, sprinkle additional shells around the base of your plants every two weeks.

5. To add to your organic composter Yes because eggshells are a rich source of calcium and other essential nutrients that plants need, you can add them to all the other vegetable and organic waste in your composter to build up a rich supply of your own compost in the months ahead.

6. To clean your hummingbird feeders When I spend any time in California, I am always so thrilled to see the hummingbirds. If you have hummingbird feeders in your garden, you need to keep them clean to prevent any unwanted bacteria growing. First clean the feeder by rinsing with hot water. Then add some crushed eggshells, fill halfway with water, and shake. The shells act as an abrasive, removing mold or other built-up deposits. Rinse well before re-filling with hummingbird natural food liquid.

7. To prevent pests in your garden Crush eggshells and scatter them around your vegetables and flowers to fend off slugs, snails and cutworms. These soft-bodied insects are not supposed to like crawling over sharp pieces of shell. Along with other ways, eggshells can also be used as a cat deterrent in your garden.

In the bathroom

8. To treat tired skin Make your own natural exfoliating face mask by grinding clean eggshells into a fine powder before mixing with an egg yolk and one teaspoon of honey. Then massage gently into the skin, leave for fifteen minutes before washing off with warm water and patting dry. Result? Rejuvenated skin. Or you can use

9. To make a nourishing face mask Crush dried eggshells with a mortar and pestle before whisking the powder into an egg white. Spread the mixture on the face for a healthy skin-tightening face mask. Let it dry completely before rinsing it off with warm water and patting dry.

10. To treat skin irritations 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.

Did you know these facts about eggshells?

An eggshell is made of calcium carbonate – the main ingredient in some antacids. Each medium sized eggshell has about 750 to 800 mgs of calcium. The shell makes up 9 to 12 percent of an egg’s total weight, containing pores that allow oxygen in - and carbon dioxide and moisture out. The color of an eggshell will tell you the breed of hen that produced the egg with white hens laying white eggs and brown hens (of course!) brown eggs.