Save Your Eggshells

Save your eggshells for the garden!


Each time you crack an egg open, instead of tossing the shell into the trash, drop it into an open container that you keep in the fridge. (I’ve always saved my shells, but my friend Susan suggested keeping them in the fridge – works beautifully.) When the container is full, crush the shells into small bits and sprinkle them around the base of your plants. The sharp eggshells will deter slugs, snails, and other bugs from nibbling on your garden and add a touch of calcium to the soil.


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  • Jessica ,

    You can give yourself a GREAT facial w/ what’s left inside the egg shell. Just scoop what’s left of the egg white out and rub it all over your face. You should not eat, drink, speak or smile while this is drying (my sweet children make it their goal to make me laugh whilst I’m doing mine). I usually will let it stay on for about 30 minutes, then rinse off w/ lukewarm water. It’s a little thing but it makes me feel like a million $$.

  • I’ve got these around my zucchini plants at the moment. It definitely does help!

  • Miranda K ,

    Does this work for indoor plants?
    We should rinse them first right?? I’d hope so.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      It works primarily for crawling pests (think: slugs and cutworms) that you probably don’t have in your indoor plants! And wash them? I don’t.

    • MBH ,

      I was concerned about the safety issue too, especially if storing the crushed shells for long amounts of time, so I bake them. No fuss, I don’t turn on the oven just for egg shells. Whatever temperature is called for in the recipe I’m making, and for however long it says to bake it is more than enough to kill any harmful bacteria on the egg shells.  I just toss them on a cookie sheet and slide it onto an unoccupied rack while other items cook; it doesn’t impact the flavor of the food at all. 
      A few times I forgot the egg shells for a few hours but they didn’t scorch or burn, they just made a cozy crackling sound as they cooled.

    • LeAnn ,

      We don’t wash ours, either. It’s going out into the garden and the thin layers of egg white won’t hurt a thing. They dry quickly and don’t stink. You crush the shells down anyway so it just mixed in and adds some trace nutrients into the soil.

  • Joy A. ,

    Mine go into my bird’s food for extra calcium and the garden

  • Tanya Wicht ,

    If you carefully peel the skin off the inside of the raw eggshell, it can be used to draw out prickles that are too small to tweeze out. it creates a strong suction when applied, wet side down, on skin, then left to dry. if you try it on a bit of skin you will feel the pull.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      What a great tip!

    • Marty Rigwald ,

      A little off topic for eggshell uses — but another way to remove slivers is to use bacon.  Put a small piece of uncooked bacon over the sliver and cover with a bandage.  Overnight (or several hours) the sliver will be pulled out.  No pain, tweezing, or digging at the sliver to remove it.  I wore a lot of bacon as a child!

  • char ,

    if you start seedlings for your garden, you can use the egg shell as a pot to put them in…when they get big enough, you can just give the shell a gentle crush when you plant them.

  • Sheri ,

    OOOOOOHH…….Be very careful putting eggshells in the garden. Although it may be a deterent for bugs, Skunks Love Them and will dig up your whole garden

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      We don’t have skunks here (YAY), but even when we were in prime skunk territory we never had problems with skunks getting into the garden. Curious to hear if others have found this to be a problem!

      • Trisha ,

        We have skunks but even though I save a lot of egg shells and put them in the garden, they never bother the garden at all. I suppose they would if we put whole eggs in the compost or didn’t dry them out first. We usually just store them in the egg carton and when we use it up, put the shells in a little bin to dry out. Then crush. No cooking necessary. Don’t worry, your garden is not going to get salmonella poisoning….nature has this stuff all taken care of. I also run some through the grinder and feed them to my red wiggler worms in my indoor compost bin. 

  • Jennifer Gaytan ,

    I feed mine back to my chickens. Makes their egg shells less brittle. I noticed your comment on the side bar about cartons and asking for eggs in a basket. My customers get a discount on my eggs when they recycle the cartons back to me. I have never bought egg cartons to sell my eggs, all are just recycled ones people had from store bought eggs in the past.

  • rachel ,

    how long can you save the shells in the fridge?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      MONTHS. I leave them uncovered so the shells dry out, then I just keep pushing more into the container as I crack eggs.

      • Make sure you rinse them out first before storing as they will begin to smell bad. Found this out.

      • I stored mine in a container and they ended up going bad.  So, I wash them and let them dry.  A day later I crush them a little and put them in a glass jar.  Don’t crush them into a high speed blender like a Blendtec.  They will ruin the plastic container!

  • I’ve always crushed them and boiled them, let them cool and used them on my indoor plants. The calcium and nitogen is great food for them too.

  • Marilyn ,

    Definately boil them! Salmonella will survive in the garden and you’ll be harvesting sickness instead of healthy foods. Crush shells, boil 5 minutes, let cool and use the water to give an immediate calcium boost to citrus plants like tomatoes and lemon trees. They will reward you with better harvest and your family will not be exposed to salmonella sickness.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I guess I shouldn’t tell you that we eat raw cookie dough, eh? ;) (Eggs from my own healthy hens, though.)

    • Trisha ,

      I eat raw cookie dough from store bought eggs. Raw eggs aren’t bad for you. ;)  raw milk isn’t bad for you either. 

      • I agree! I wash the shells (from my own hens), air dry and then make egg shell calcium for me. The rest of the shells go back to the hens or the garden.

    • gif ,

      1 in 30,000 eggs contain salmonella…

    • Commercial eggs are sprayed with bleach water before they’re packed for shipping. If there was salmonella inside the egg, no one would be eating them, right? Storing unwashed eggshells at room temp isn’t something I’d want to do, but rinsing them well and letting them air dry makes boiling or baking an unnecessary step–for me, anyway.

  • Michelle ,

    We have a terrible slug problem where I live and I heard they can be put around your plants for protection against them. So, I just started saving mine for future use in my spring garden. I wash the shells out, save them up and plan to bake them when I have enough saved up.

  • janice ,

    I always put eggshells in the hole when I plant tomatoes along with an aspirin and some epsom salt..a couple teaspoon worth. I have never washed the eggshells when I do this or when I put them in the composter. I don’t have a skunk or racoon problem and my tomatoes always bear well.

  • Laura Johnson ,

    Oh no! Something else for me to hoard… least it’s for the garden…..

  • I keep mine in a container then put them in the oven to dry out then I crush them up and feed them back to my chooks instead of buying oyster grit. Maybe I should put them in the fridge so that I can crush them up instead of putting them int he oven? Might try that thanks Mx

  • Joe ,

    Why refrigerate them? I save shells in an open container at room temperature – they never go bad, never smell, so I’m wondering why the fridge?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I don’t think refrigerating is absolutely necessary, but it seems like it dries the shells out more quickly (and they don’t take up my minimal counter space).

  • Jean ,

    I too collect my eggshells and banana peels  and then when I use the oven (which is often on during the winter). Then when the banana peels are crispy, separately grind into powder (with a thrift store coffee grinder) and place into marked plastic bags. Each can be used for my plants and worm farm.  Helpful article……

    • Wendy ,

      Banana peels? How do you store them until ready to dry out in oven?

      • Two ways. You can store them in the refridgerator on a plate.  They will dry out immediately.  Or your kitchen counter but that will take time.

        I use to store them in the freezer until I needed them but found the refrigerator option so much easier.

  • Leslie Call ,

    There is also a cool craft I want to try with eggshells. You break the shells and glue them to a small piece of wood, paint with alcohol inks or transparent acrylic paint. After it dries add a coat of Tripe Thick and you have a nice piece of art.

  • Glenn ,

    I just throw mine on the compost pile.

  • Uragr8mom ,

    Do you think the cracked egg shells will detour the caterpillars that eat my tomato plants too? I just saw that they hibernate in the soil until the warm weather returns and the plants grow again. My sister heard from a friend that sprinkling cayenne pepper around your plants helps too. Not sure if it worked but I will tell you do not get it on the leaves of your plants, it burned my tomato plants leaves. I read somewhere once it’s helpful to plant unused match heads under your pepper plants for more sulfur nutrients. Back to the egg shells, I also read somewhere that you can grind them down into a body powder for yourself? I guess a homemade talc? I could not leave banana peels on my counter to dry, too many fruit flies!!

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      It can’t hurt to try it on those caterpillars!

  • Chris Wisnoski ,

    i would recommend baking them to kill off any possible Salmonella or other bacteria, just a few minutes at 350 in a baking dish. Crush them first and more will fit in.

    Adding them to your soil early on will also help stave of BlossomEnd rot in tomatoes. 

  • diane ,

    I have been saving egg shells for awhile to grind into a powder for my dog.Before I put them in the oven I noticed teeny tiny bugs(some were brown some were white looking. the white ones moved) I don’t know if I should use them?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I couldn’t say! But the idea of grinding them for your dog is a good one!

  • Love all the suggestions!!!
    There’s only a rare salmonella when the chickens are fed arsenic. The outbreak of salmonella came from commercial eggs. I get my eggs from a local farm and I make my own calcium solution when I don’t use them for my garden. I peel the inner film and let the shells dry out and crush the shells. When I have enough to fill my jar I add Bragg’s Vinegar and water and it breaks down the shells. Walla…homemade calcium of high quality. BTW you can make your Vitamin C by dehydrating the skins of lemons after you remove as much of the white pulp as possible. Then I put them in my vitamix and fill capsules. I keep them in my freezer to keep them fresh. Meyer Lemons are the best.

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