Life without Plastic

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

10 Most Useful Eggshells Hacks

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This post is about 10 amazing ways eggshells can be used to make your life better. You'll never want to toss them again.

1.Super Scrubber- Use boiled crushed eggshells and a little bit of soap (totally optional if you are pre-washing before using the dishwasher) to scrub water bottles, vases, and even caked on gunk from pots and pans before washing dishes. This tip is straight up amazing. I absolutely hate washing dishes, but we eat almost all of our meals at home, so I end up doing my fair share. Honestly, I'm fairly terrible at doing dishes too.

It normally takes forever to get the yogurt out of each little yogurt maker jar when I make yogurt, or to get the film off Mason jars from homemade kombucha, but it was weirdly easy once I dropped half an eggshell in the jar. The eggshell gets in the little crevices so much better. I didn't use a drop of soap, just scrubbed with eggshell half and a dishcloth. After I finished, I cleaned out the drain catcher and put the ground up shell and food (fresh from a meal) into the "scraps for chickens" bucket. The best part was when everything came out of the dishwasher though, it looks like one of those dishwasher detergent commercials! My dishes were perfectly clear and not a speck left on anything.

This tip can also be used on stove-tops and burners for caked on mess. Amazing results here too. I'm going to try using eggshells to tackle cleaning my oven next!

2. Seed starters- Crack an egg across, like an equator, into two halves. Boil for 10 minutes. Make a hole in the bottom of an egg shell half for drainage. Fill with compost or potting soil. Place the eggshell planter in a carton in a sunny window, and gently mist the plant daily. When your seedlings are ready to plant outdoors, (lightly) crush and bury the entire eggshell. The shell will break down and provide extra nutrients for your plants.
3. Insect Bites Don't Have to Itch- At the start of summer, make a bottle of this solution and keep as small cubes in the freezer for insect bites. Boil an eggshell for 10 minutes. Dissolve the boiled eggshell in a small jar of  vinegar for a two days. Apply the mixture directly by holding a solution cube with a clean cloth as it melts to stop the itch of bug bites.

4. Happy Nightshades- Crush eggshells and add to tomato and pepper plants' soil directly, right after flowering for a calcium boost.

5. Less Bitter Coffee Substitute/Coffee- Boil eggshells for 10 minutes, crush, and add crushed eggshells to coffee or coffee substitute and brew as normal for a cleaner, milder-tasting cup.

6. Easter Confetti Eggs- These are so much fun! UG1 and Mr. Greenie had a blast using these last Easter and it was nice not to have to eat a bunch of boiled eggs afterwards. Make by cracking a hole at one end (save the egg for dinner in a jar), boiling for 10 minutes, let cool, clean off, fill with shredded paper, and glue shut with scrap paper. Enjoy by finding the hidden eggs, chasing each other and cracking them open on each other's heads (outside of course).

7.Worm Bin Gnat-Be-Gone- Add eggshells to compost, especially worm bins if any gnats start to take residence there.

8. Calcium Powder- For a calcium boost for pets and in homemade toothpaste, smoothies, etc., boil egg shells for ten minutes to kill germs. Let cool and dry off completely. Crush into a powder with a blender, a rolling pin, or a mortar and pestle. If you don't like the grittiness, you can add the powder to Kombucha or water kefir fermentations and filter out OR pour two TB of powder into a 1/4 cup of vinegar and let soak overnight. The next day, filter the egg shell powder out and use the (now calcium-rich) solution diluted in water to add calcium to smoothies etc. Store extra solution in fridge for about two weeks.

9. No Puppy Dog Tails or Slugs & Snails- Roughly crush eggshells around leafy plants with sharp edges facing up to deter slugs and snails.

10. DIY Chalk-
You will need:
Eggshells, save up for awhile and gather as many as you can.
Corn starch, for thickener and making smoother chalk.
Food coloring, either food you have on hand or store bought
Molds, you can use an ice cube tray, or any other type of mold of your choice to get the shape you like.

Prepare the molds by greasing well. Grind the eggshells. Make sure they're totally dry before you begin. Use a blender, a rolling pin, or a mortar and pestle to grind the eggshells to a fine powder. Be sure not to leave any large shards of shell; the mixture should be very fine.

Mix two parts cornstarch to one part eggshell powder in a bowl. Add water a little at a time until you've created a thick paste. Separate the paste equally into bowls for each color wanted.

Add food coloring into the different bowls slowly and stir . Fill the molds. Spoon the chalk mixture into separate molds, one for each color. For a fun variation, try filling the molds halfway with one color, then filling up the other half with a second color.

Make marbled chalk by filling the molds with two or more colors, then poke through the paint layers and create swirls with a chopstick. Let the chalk dry. Wait at least 12 hours for the chalk to dry before popping it out of the molds and using it.

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There you have it! Ten useful ways to use your eggshells before you compost them. What are some ways that you have used your eggshells lately? Share some photos in the comments below!

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