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Take a crack at using eggshells

By on January 5, 2012

Keep or toss? You make this decision many times each week with a wide variety of items. Clearly, you can’t and shouldn’t save everything simply because it can be reused sometime later. A handful of bread bag twist-ties neatly contained with an intended purpose? Good. Dozens of plastic milk jugs shoved in the garage and saved without any specific purpose? A fine hoarding mess.

It can be helpful to both your wallet and the environment to reduce waste. For example, during the holiday season, you probably bake and cook more with eggs. How often have you simply thrown away the eggshells? While some people add the shells to their compost, others will discard them without a second thought. Save some and put them to good use around your home.
Here are a few eggs-cellent ways to use them:


Clarify stock:

You save leftover meat, poultry and vegetables to make soup; why not save eggshells for your stock, too? Visit for instructions.

In the garden:

Crushed eggshells are great to add to compost, but they also deter snails and slugs when scattered onto the soil. One reader, Carol from Pennsylvania, shares: “My neighbor used to soak the eggshells in a jar of water for three weeks and then use it to water her plants. She had all kinds of beautiful, huge plants everywhere in her house.” You can plant seeds in eggshells, too. You’ll have to carefully crack the eggs near the top to reuse the shells. Use a spoon to fill the eggshell with soil, then add seeds. Keep the shells upright in an egg carton, and when you’re ready to plant your seedlings, you can plant them eggshell and all. Use eggshells to grow small houseplants, such as tiny succulents or mini African violets, too.

Eggshell chalk:

The only ingredients you need are ground eggshells (you can crush them with a rock or spoon, or by using a mortar and pestle), flour, hot water and a paper towel. Add tempera paint or food coloring if you want colored chalk. For instructions, visit

Eggshell candles:

You can make candles with hollowed-out eggshells. Place a birthday candle upright inside the eggshell, then fill with wax beads or sand until the candle doesn’t lean. Place the eggshell candle in an egg cup to keep it upright. Visit for complete instructions.

For animals:

Eggshells are a wonderful calcium supplement for animals. Dry eggshells in the oven at 250 F for 30 minutes. Crush the shells and add to pet food. Another reader, Donna from California, shares: “One cheap way of adding calcium to backyard chickens’ diet is to save their eggshells and then boil them, crush them and add them back into the birds’ diet.” You can add it to their feed or offer it separately.

photo by fancycwabs


  1. becky3086

    1/5/2012 at 9:17 pm

    I would never use eggs shells in stock. I have however fed them to the chickens and put them in the compost pile. They are also good when ground up (like you do to feed them to your chickens) to put them around your plants to keep slugs away.

  2. The Frugallery

    1/9/2012 at 8:30 am

    Wow, I would have never thought about using egg shells for chalk–I’ll have to try it! I usually use egg shells to sharpen my garbage disposal. If you throw them in the disposal they are supposed to sharpen the blades. Not sure how I’d ever know–but it doesn’t hurt!

  3. RaShell Keller

    2/8/2012 at 12:21 pm

    This site is just full of great ideas! I can’t wait to try out these tips, especially the ones on reusing items (trash) for other things!

  4. The Frugallery

    3/15/2012 at 10:10 am

    I haven’t thought of using egg shells for these uses–great ideas! I usually put them in the compost bin, which I suppose is better than throwing them out!

  5. ashley

    6/5/2012 at 10:19 am

    I have used these in the garden as well. When I dig the hole I drop an egg shell in before putting the plant in. The plants that I do this with do much better!

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