36 Uses for Eggshells – What To Do with Eggshells

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Does your family use a large number of eggs and you feel bad about always tossing the shells in the trash? Like many items, there are many ideas on what to do with eggshells. You won’t know which of these uses for eggshells to do first!

What To Do With Eggshells

Eggshells are plentiful in any household with chickens. But when you think about it, eggshells have many more purposes than just protecting the eggs! Just like anything else, eggshells can be “repurposed”. Here are a bunch of different tips to use eggshells for!


Eggshells add calcium carbonate and minerals to any compost pile! Just put them eggshells straight into your compost bin or compost pile. You can grind them up first if you want them to mix in faster. This is a great way to help with a calcium deficiency in your soil.

Pest Control

Eggshells sprinkled around the edges of plants and plant beds will deter slugs, cutworms, cats, deer, and other garden pests.


Using Egg Shell Water

After you’ve boiled eggs to make hard-boiled eggs, pour the boiling water directly on weeds in your garden (not on the good plants!). This will help kill the weeds and add a small amount of calcium back into the soil as well.

If you cool down the water after boiling eggs, you can use it to water any of the plants in your garden.

Encourage Your Hens to Lay

Use a blown egg (directions below) and place it back in the coop nest when it’s dried out. This “dummy egg” will encourage your hens to lay in the nests where they are supposed to instead of on the floor.

Make sure you use an egg with a nice hard shell for this project.

Sharpen Your Garden Disposal

Place some eggshells in your garbage disposal and turn it on to help sharpen the blades. You can also use them to sharpen other items like scissors. Some people say that you shouldn’t do this but others swear by it…the choice is up to you!

Strain Your Sink

Place the crushed shells in your sink trap or sink strainer to help catch any unwanted things from going down into the drain. You can remove the shells if you’d like after washing or continue to let them break down over time.

Eggshell Planters
Seed Starters

Use part of an eggshell to make a biodegradable seedling starter. Just fill them with a little dirt, plant your seeds, and put them back in the egg carton to stay upright. Transfer them straight into the ground when you plant the plants outdoors.

This works best for seedlings that will stay small until you are ready to plant them in the ground, not larger things like tomatoes. You could also use them for Microgreens.


Crush eggshells and add them to dish soap to create an abrasive cleaner for cleaning pots, pans, and other grimy dishes.

Just ensure you rinse the dishes well after scrubbing them with the cleaner.

Treat Itchy Skin

Dissolve an eggshell in apple cider vinegar to use on itchy skin. Just dap the vinegar solution on to the itchy spots and let it air dry.

Hardening Chicken Eggshells

Wash thoroughly, dry them, and crush or grind, then add to chicken food to make harder eggshells in future eggs.

If you are concerned about chickens eating the eggshells of the eggs they lay, ensure you’ve washed them well and ground them into a fine powder. The chickens will never even know it’s there.


Keep Cats Out of the Garden

Place the crushed (not ground) eggshells around your garden beds to deter cats from coming in. They will not like the sharp shells on their paws and will avoid making a mess of your beds.

Feed Worms

If you run a vermicompost bin, you need ground-up dried eggshells to give your worms some grit in their diet. You will sprinkle this on top of their regular feeding of scraps.

Create Mosaic Crafts

When I was younger, I remember using our eggshells to make mosaics for a 4-H project. This is especially fun if you have multi-colored eggshells to use.

Make Candle Holders

This would be a fun idea for spring decor, place a wick and pour your wax directly in a broken half of an eggshell (that has been cleaned). Place the candles in some kind of tray or holder to keep them upright and make a pretty spring candle display for your table.

Mason Jar Bird Feeder

Use Them in Birdfood

If you make your own bird food to feed the wild birds, you can crush up the eggshells and add the eggshell powder to your feed. Just like it doesn’t for chickens, the shells will add calcium for the wild bird’s diet.

You could add the eggshells directly into your Mason Jar Bird Feeder if you’ve made one!

Use the Membrane as a Bandage

Not a use for the shell but rather for the membrane that is inside of it. Place the membrane over a cut to help it stop the bleeding.

Blow Them Out

I also made blown eggs when I was younger as a project! Poke a tiny hole into the egg at each end, being careful not to crack the egg in any other way. Use your mouth and blow the contents of the egg out.

Let the egg dry out inside and then decorate the outside to make pretty decor for spring!

Add Eggshells to Your Potting Soil

If you are starting plants indoors, grind up eggshells and use them in your potting soil to give your newly started plants an extra mineral boost.

Make Your Own Calcium Pills

Place finely ground eggshells into a capsule to make calcium pills for people or animals. Be sure and consult with your doctor or vet before adding extra calcium to you or your animal’s diet.

How to Make Chalk Paint

Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk

Combine ground eggshells with food coloring, a small amount of water, and a small amount of all-purpose flour. Mix together to form a paste and pour into molds. You can use toilet paper tubes for large molds or get these long strip molds for small chalk.

Make a Laundry Whitener

Place eggshells (should be white or lighter colored) in a garment bag and some lemon slices and put them in the washer with your white clothes. It will help them stay whiter longer!

Remove Grease Stains with Eggshells

Ground eggshells can be scrubbed into a grease stain on clothing (along with soap) to help remove grease stains before washing. For more effective grease stain removal ideas, check out my post on How to Remove Coconut Oil Stains.

Use as Jello Molds

You can use completely washed and dried eggshells as interesting gelatin molds. Try using eggshells in different shapes to keep it fun!

Make Your Own Facial

Combine finely ground eggshells with well-whipped egg whites and smooth over your face. Let the mask dry, wash off, and pat dry to leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.

Make Your Own Toothpaste

I haven’t tried this method but came across it while researching for this article. Here’s a tutorial on how to Make Your Own Toothpaste with Eggshells. If you try it, make sure to leave a comment with how it works!

Give a Nutrient Boost to Nutrient Dense Foods

Add finely ground eggshell powder to your bone broth or to your Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar to give it an extra dose of minerals and nutrients.

How to Grind Eggshells

Many of the ideas on how to reuse eggshells involve grinding them first to break them down. Here’s how to do that:

  • Wash the eggshells first to remove the excess egg from them.
  • Let them sit on a plate or a towel for a day to dry fully.
  • Grind them using a coffee grinder, blender, mortar and pestle, or any other form of grinder. You can grind them as fine as a fine powder depending on what you are using them for.

More Ideas on What to Do With Eggshells from Little House Living Readers:

Crush and add to my garden, especially the tomatoes. – Natasha  G.

We used to dry them in the oven and powder them in the blender. I would then add pepper to them and add them to my chicken scratch. The shells are calcium, and the pepper makes them drink lots of water. You bake them because it makes them different from fresh shells, and they won’t get into the habit of eating their eggs. Now, I put them in my bone broth. It pulls the calcium out into the broth. – Muffy S.

I like to do mosaics with them. I start with large pieces, paint them, break them up, and apply Elmer’s glue to anything and everything. – Candace M.

Repellent for snails when sprinkled along the edges of our gardens. – Heather T.

Ground eggshells can remove tough grease stains on clothing or carpet. It also can be used to remove bitterness in coffee. My mom used to do this. Powdered egg shells can also be used as a calcium supplement in your diet. – Melzora T.

Bake them and crush them and add to dog’s food for added calcium. – Angela M.

Here’s one more cute idea for the kids! Just use potting soil and grass seed and let the kids “cut the hair” of their new friends. Image courtesy of Kathy M.

Uses for Apple Peels

More Ways to Use Household Items

What do you do with eggshells?

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Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

This Uses for Eggshells post was originally published on Little House Living in March 2012. It has been updated as of April 2023.


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  1. I have a mason jar I am filling with crushed egg shells. When I plant my tomatoes I will sprinkle some in the bottom on the holes. Hoping to ward off the dreaded blossom end rot I have had the past two years.

  2. I have a mason jar I am filling with crushed egg shells. When I plant my tomatoes I will sprinkle some in the bottom on the holes. Hoping to ward off the dreaded blossom end rot I have had the past two years.

    1. Dawn – I used to struggle with blossom end rot, too and I found that by watering each tomato plant with a milk/water mixture at least once a day helped to deter it. I think the recipe was for 40% milk/60% water but usually I would take a gallon milk jug that was about 2/3 to 3/4 empty and fill it up with water, shake it to mix with the remaining milk and use that to water my tomatoes. It was the easiest way to “apply” calcium directly to my tomatoes and I assume they took it up in their roots very quickly. I hope this helps!

  3. I have spinkled crushed egg shells and my Tomatoe planet to give them calcium. But when Our garden was infested by aphids the Tomatoes never got any infested. Maybe that was because of the egg shells. Interesting thought. You did mention they ward of thing in the garden. Thank you

  4. Interesting! To store eggshells for the garden, do you have to wash them off first before “storing” them for later. Sorry, this might be a rookie question!

  5. Great ideas! I tried 3 containers to plant in the shells, but nothing happened on any of the 3, sad but it didn’t work for me. 🙁 So I’m going to just save them and add them to the garden!

  6. I’m intrigued by the apple cider vinegar + eggshell for itchy skin. What kinds of itches does it help? How much cider per egg shell? I don’t have chickens, so I would be using the shells from my store-bought eggs if I decide to try this. I have eczema, though, and I imagine vinegar might irritate that.

  7. We boil for 20 mins. Bake at 350 for 20 mins. Put them in the food processor and make into a fine powder. We use it in the dogs and cats food as well as our pot belly pigs food for extra calcium.

  8. I take the membrane out and dry the shells and use them crushed or ground to make art work or jewelry. Glue them on wooden pieces and use alcohol ink or paint . coat and finish them off. lovely pendants . can send pics if interested.

  9. My Granny, used to smash the shells into small pieces and mixed them with the chicken feed. Then the chickens pecked at them, and, as far as I could tell, ate them.
    But these were Irish hens, and I guess we did things a bit different over there?