Eggs are delicious – personally, I consider them a meal staple! But the shells? No so much. Eggshells are the last things you want to be eating and are usually considered garbage. While we don’t necessarily condone eating straight-up eggshells (please don’t do that), we would like you to reconsider tossing those shells away! Eggshells are packed full of nutrients – almost as many as the eggs inside of them, in fact. With that much oomph in them, it would be such a waste to throw away perfectly good shells! Here are 15 brilliant ways you can use your eggshells around the house and in the garden rather than tossing them out.

1. Fertilizer

Egg shells are rich in calcium, which means they have great nutrients for your plants. You can use eggshells for this purpose either in your compost or in your fertilizer! If you’re using them in the garden, you can crush eggshells and sprinkle them into a hole right before planting to fertilize the soil. Then every two weeks, crush eggshells and sprinkle them around the base of your plants. For your compost, just crush or grind the shells up and add to your compost.

2. Prevent Blossom End Rot

TomatoesonVinesebra via Dollar Photo Club
One of the benefits of feeding your plants this calcium boost? It helps avoid them being killed by blossom end rot. Tomatoes and cucumbers are especially susceptible to this type of rot, so protect them by sprinkling crushed eggshells around your vegetables.

3. Seedling Starters

Finding a place to grow seedlings can be a pretty creative venture! In this case, eggshells actually make great seedling holders. Take an eggshell, rinse, add a hole on bottom for drainage and crack the other end. Fill this end with dirt and one to two seeds. Once they’re ready to be planted, just crack the eggshell at the bottom and plant the young plant along with the shell.

4. Pest Control

Lazy tabby cat sleeping on grey rug.ysbrandcosijn
As much as we might appreciate eggshells (or at least we do after reading this list!) pests are not a big fan. Crushed eggshells around vegetables and flowers will keep away snails, slugs, and cutworms because they don’t like crawling over the sharp shards of shell. This trick should keep cats from using your garden as a litter box, too.

5. Clean Dishes

It seems weird, using something we consider garbage to clean dishes. But eggshells work wonderfully as an abrasive for tough food stains. Shells are also great for cleaning oddly shaped glasses, like vases. Just rinse the vase (or other glasses) with warm water, add a few crushed eggshells, and then add a drop of dish washing soap. Shake and rinse thoroughly to clean the oblong glass.

6. Remove Coffee and Tea Stain

Cup of tea with lemon and honeyes75
I can’t even tell you how many of my mugs are stained with coffee and tea, which is just unsightly. And no matter how hard I scrub, the stain just won’t go away. What I need is eggshells, apparently! Adding some ground up eggshells to your mug and adding warm water will do the trick. Let it sit overnight, letting the eggshells absorb the stain.

7. Whiten Laundry

Just like eggshells remove the stains from your mugs, they can also remove stains from clothes, leaving them a sparkling white. Just stick some eggshells in a mesh bag to your laundry and your white clothes will lose their grayish tint. Actual magic.

8. Feed Them To Chickens

Peeling EggshellHousehold Hacker
This just adds to the riddle of what came first, the chicken or the egg…or the eggshell? Weird as it seems, the shells of a chicken’s egg will help them lay stronger eggs. Laying hens need lots of calcium and often need supplements (in this case, eggshells) in order to get that calcium. Calcium deficient hens lead to thin-shelled, weaker eggs.

9. Homemade Calcium Supplement

Just like your chickens, you need calcium, too! Calcium deficiency is bad for your bones among other things. Clean and sanitize the eggshells, let them dry, and then blend them to powder using a blender or coffee grinder. Spoon them into gelatin capsules or add them to smoothies for the extra calcium and other health benefits.

So we guess you CAN eat your eggshells…just only in this special way.

10. Pet Calcium Supplement

PortugueseWaterDogForListcynoclub via Deposit Photos
You’re not the only one who could use the calcium in an eggshell! Your pets can also use a calcium boost, and these shells are a free way to do it. Just add sterilized, ground eggshells (following the same instructions above) to your pets’ food.

11. Make Sidewalk Chalk

A fun outdoor activity to do with the kids is playing with sidewalk chalk! No chalk on hand? That’s okay, you can actually make your own out of eggshells. Grind up 5-8 shells, add 1 tsp of hot water, 1 tsp of flour, and food coloring. Mix together and then pack into toilet rolls till dried. Recycled fun!

12. Coffee Additive

KitchenCounterCoffeePotchas53 via Dollar Photo Club
Finding your coffee has been bitter lately? Adding some shells to your coffee grinds might help. Add an eggshell to the filter in the coffee maker to take some of the bitterness out of the coffee. Plus, what’s left over in the filter is perfect for adding to your compost!

13. Gelatin Molds

This is especially great for Easter time, when everything is egg-themed! Eggshells can act as a clever mold, great for gelatin or egg-shaped chocolate treats.

14. Facials

Woman Takes Facial in BathDepositPhotos
The nutrients in eggshells are great for your skin! Get all that goodness directly on your face by turning those shells into a relaxing face mask. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the egg shells (a blender would probably work as well) and then mix with egg whites. This makes a great facial, but be sure to let the mixture dry completely before you rinse it off.

15. Use as a Bandage

This one is weird…stick with us. You can use the membrane inside eggshells for perfect bandages; they’re waterproof and won’t let anything at your cut or scrape. Crack the egg, swipe some membrane, wrap it around the cut and let it harden. Gross? Maybe. Effective? You better believe it.

Do you use your eggshells in a smart way? Share your ideas in the comments section below.