Creative Ways to Use Eggshells

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Eggshell powder uses
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » Creative Ways to Use Eggshells

If you’ve paid a little extra for healthy food or even produced it yourself, you know the value of using up every last bit. Many of my recipes rely on eggs as a healthy protein source, but have you ever thought about holding on to those eggshells?

And I’m not just talking about throwing them into the compost pile!

The Incredible, Edible… Eggshell Powder?

The egg is a pretty incredible little package. Versatile, protein-packed, and full of nutrition (especially if they’re free-range). Eggs are high in:

  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamins A, D, E, B6, and B12

Eggs are also a complete protein because they have all 9 essential amino acids. Unlike the amino acids found in nuts and beans, animal protein sources are better absorbed by our bodies.

Benefits of Eggshell

But what about the shell? It’s about 90% calcium carbonate — the same material in our nails, teeth, and bones. We need calcium intake for proper bone density, heart health, our nervous system, and other functions.

As we age our body needs extra calcium to keep up and a calcium deficiency can contribute to issues like osteoporosis. For strong bones and overall health, it’s important to balance our daily calcium with magnesium, vitamin d3, and vitamin k2 intake.

If you’re trying to get calcium without dairy or take a calcium supplement (which I don’t necessarily recommend), “eating” your eggshells may be for you! A 2003 review found that eggshells are absorbed just as well or even better than regular calcium supplements.

How to Make (Edible) Eggshell Calcium Powder

Here’s how to transform your eggshells into a high-quality, food-derived supplement:

  1. Save your chicken eggshells (you can do this right in the egg carton if you like). Surprisingly, they don’t smell. You can leave the eggshell membrane in the shells but be sure to rinse out any egg white.
  2. Once you have some eggshells, sterilize them for a few minutes in boiling water.
  3. Strain the shells and spread them out on a baking sheet to dry overnight.
  4. Bake eggshells at a low temperature in the oven for about 10 minutes to dry them out. For efficiency’s sake, you can put them in the oven when you’re going to cook or bake anyway. I just take them out before the temperature gets too high.
  5. Grind the eggshells to a very fine powder. A coffee grinder or spice grinder works best. You can also use a mortar and pestle. If you want larger pieces for the garden, then a food processor works well.
  6. Store in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in a cool, dry cupboard.

Using Eggshell Powder in Food

Add about ½ teaspoon eggshell powder per day to food for 400-500 mg of bioavailable calcium. You may notice a slightly gritty quality when added to certain foods. I like using the eggshell powder in smoothies or yogurt, and it’s undetectable in baked goods and heavier foods. Chia Seed Energy Bars or Breakfast Burgers work well for this.

You can also put some crushed eggshells in with vegetables and bones while making bone broth. A small splash of vinegar helps break down the nutrients in the ingredients even better.

Eggshells in the Garden

Not up for eating your eggshells? Calcium is equally important for the garden! Calcium-deficient soil causes slow growth and diseases like blossom end rot (when tomatoes, squash, or peppers turn black on one end). Here’s how to use ground eggshells in the garden.

  • Soil Amendment – The key to using eggshells in the garden is to give it time. Plants take calcium in through the roots. You’ll want to work the eggshell powder deep into the soil in the fall or early spring to allow them to dissolve. Make sure the powder is finely ground (not in large pieces) or it won’t work.
  • Pest Deterrent – Crush leftover eggshells into small shards and sprinkle them over garden soil. Slugs and other garden pests will find the sharp shells inhospitable and look for greener pastures (hopefully!).

Seed Starters from Eggshells

While peat pots and seed starter kits aren’t expensive, there’s an even simpler method. Half of an eggshell makes the perfect renewable seed planter!

  • Save the eggs that break more or less evenly, wash them out, and poke a small hole in the bottom.
  • Fill with seed starting soil and plant your seeds as usual.
  • Move the grown seedlings into the garden right in the shell!

Sidenote: My kids love drawing faces on the eggshells so the seedlings look like “hair.” Thank you Pinterest!

This post has a handy chart to look up planting times for your zone. But on to another great use for eggshells…

The DIY Beauty Booster

Of the many DIY uses for eggshell powder, here are some I’ve tried:

  • Facial – Mix 2 tablespoons of finely powdered eggshell into an egg white. Gently apply the paste as a natural facial mask, letting it dry for 10-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and a circular motion to exfoliate. I really notice firmer, smoother skin after this treatment!
  • Homemade Toothpaste – Use eggshell powder in place of the calcium powder in my DIY remineralizing toothpaste recipe. It will both whiten and remineralize. It also works as a calcium powder replacement in any of my homemade toothpaste or tooth powder recipes.
  • Body Scrub – Add several tablespoons to a homemade body scrub recipe for a double-duty exfoliant that’s also the perfect prep for a summer pedicure!
  • First Aid – Red, irritated skin, or bug bites? Let crushed eggshells soften in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Once it liquifies, apply with a cotton ball for a soothing effect.

Can Dogs Eat Eggshells?

Eggshells are a good calcium source for our canine friends too. You can sprinkle some finely ground eggshell powder over their dog food as a supplement. Just like us though dogs need a balance of nutrients, so it’s best not to overdo it. Some pet experts recommend feeding dogs boiled eggs that have been cut into pieces instead.

Talk to your vet and see if they recommend the extra calcium in your dog’s situation.

What do you think? Would you ever eat your eggshells? Are there other ways you’ve found to use them?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


45 responses to “Creative Ways to Use Eggshells”

  1. Rikka Zimmerman Avatar
    Rikka Zimmerman

    Thanks for the article and thanks to all the people who have contributed to the list of ways to use eggshells. I always love finding ways to repurpose/reuse things that might otherwise just end up in the garbage. Have known about some of these uses, but others are new to me. Great!

  2. Amber Avatar

    I make my coffee on the stove, and add eggshells to it to remove a lot of the bitterness, as well as neutralizing some of the acidity. I’m a major MAJOR fan of Norwegian Egg Coffee though, so I picked the habit up from that. I find that many people can’t “stomach” the idea of the Norwegian Egg Coffee though lol so just the shell is a close second.

      1. Amber Avatar

        No no, it would be added during the making of the coffee, and removed before drinking. In my case, I add them to the metal pot on the stove when I add the grounds. I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why you couldn’t also add them to the glass pot of a coffee maker if you have one. Just make sure they have been rinsed inside so you don’t end up with bits of poached eggs in your coffee 😀

      2. Amber Avatar

        Ohhh wait, were you asking about the Norwegian Egg Coffee? If so then yes, the whole egg (and shell) is mixed in with the coffee grounds to make a paste. This mixture is added to boiling water and left to simmer for a couple minutes (2-3). Afterwards, the pot is removed from the heat and a half cup of cold water is added. The eggs neutralize a lot of the acidity and bitterness as well as clump together with the grounds to help filter them out of the remaining prepared coffee. I was surprised the first time I tried it many years ago, it doesn’t taste of eggs at all, and I can even drink it with no cream because it’s much smoother.

        There is an eggcellent (lol) video online about it, if you can search youtube for “norwegian egg coffee” I’m sure it will come up.

  3. Andree Dionis Avatar
    Andree Dionis

    I put the dried egg shells in my dog & cats raw food!! But love the idea for starting seeds! Cheers

  4. Caliko Avatar

    Anyone know if non-organic egg shells are ok to use?

    Any differences?

    I avoid non-organic eggs because the factories kill chicks and treat their birds humanely.
    But I have family who throw non-organic egg shells all the time.

    1. Hélène Avatar

      Personally, I wouldn’t do it. I thot about as we have access to real eggs rite now, just COFA junk. Personally, I decided it was silly to go to the trouble.

  5. Suzzy Avatar

    My mom made egg shell powder and put in our food when I was a child.the best way to absorb the calcium is to soak it in vinegar overnight and then drink that vinegar or add it to recipes. Mom also used to add ground egg shells to plants. I love the idea of adding it in smoothies or baked goods or when cooking food. Ahh Never buying calcium tablets again. Lol

  6. Hélène Avatar

    You should take K2 to put all that well-absorbed calcium where it belongs, in ur bones and teeth, not lining ur arteries with deposits that cause atherosclerosis or building plaque on ur teeth with calcium deposits.
    Vit D is going to cause increased absorption but the K2 is very important too. Thats why CLO with HVBO is the way to go. Or eat lots of high K2 foods, which isnt easy.

    Never take magnesium with calcium or high calcium foods. The two minerals are frenemies…they need each other but block the other’s absorption if taken together.

    Also, dont add the eggshell powder or any other calcium supplement to a dairy smoothie or when having cheese at your meal. You can only absorb 500mg of Ca at a time. Anything beyond that is just wasted. Space your dairy intake or Ca supplement intake.
    Remember dont take it with Mg either or youve wasted both. They block each other.
    Ive devised to take or eat Ca in am, take Mg at bedtime and perhaps some more Ca in pm at lunch or dinner, leaving several hrs between each supplement’s or food-containing’s ingestion.

    1. Jackie Avatar

      Thank you, Helene, for this useful information and thank you, Katie, for a really interesting post! ?

    2. Jill Avatar

      If this is true of Calcium and Magnesium, why do they put them together in supplements? I just bought one today in fact. I would hate to think that if one cancels out the other that that means my supplement will do me no good at all. I have always thought I read to take them together for better absorbable?

      1. Hélène Avatar

        Nope, they package them together because you need both to properly use them. However, biochemically speaking, they should not be taken together. Manufacturers dont care. They would have to have 2 separate pills in the bottle and instructions to take the pink one in the a.m. and the blue one at night. Manufacturers also make 1000mg pills for Ca. You waste that excess 500mg every time you take it. You can’t take in that much at once. No one tells you to eat fat with your mineral pills either. Skim milk gives you little absorbable Ca…unless you eat some fat with it. I cringe when I see parents give a glass of lowfat or skim milk to their kids. What a waste of the calcium and other minerals in that milk.
        Pills rly arent the answer. Real, whole, properly prepared food is. Bone broth is another source of nondairy calcium if you re not able to have dairy. Believe it or not, citrus fruit with its high vit C is a good companion to calcium intake. Vit C increases Ca absorption, like it increases iron absorption.
        Have an orange and a piece of raw milk cheese…YUM

  7. Shelley Avatar

    I crush up my egg shells and feed them back to my chickens to increase their calcium levels. Hopefully I get the nutritional benefit of this in the eggs they produce for me.

  8. Irene Sisson Avatar
    Irene Sisson

    My Mom always put her used egg shells in her watering can for houseplant fertilizer, like once a month.

  9. carmen Avatar

    I use eggshells to clean bottles and jars when i cant reach with a bottle brush. Just crunch them until you can fit them through the neck of the bottle, add a little water with a bit of soap an shake it. It will scratch and get rid of all the dirt 😉

  10. Darlene Avatar

    Dumping vinegar into your planted plants is probably not a good idea unless they are an “acid-loving” plant like blueberries. It doesn’t take much acid to change the ph of your soil. Too high a ph and your plants get sick and die.

  11. Marija Avatar

    I save my eggshells until I make bone broth and then add them for an extra calcium boost 🙂

  12. Atiya Sk Avatar
    Atiya Sk

    Here’s what I do with my eggshells.After cracking them for whatever purpose, I use the tiny bit of leftover egg white (which is stuck to the inside of the egg shell) and apply on my acne scars. I’ve been doing this for a couple of months and my scars are getting clearer day by day. And then I mash the eggshells and dump them in the plant pot and mix them with the soil. My plants are growing beautifully, my skin is happy and of course my body too is !

    1. Rikka Zimmerman Avatar
      Rikka Zimmerman

      Wow, haven’t heard that use before. Wonder if it will work on other types of scars. Will have to remember to give it a try and see what happens. Thanks!

  13. Jolene Cochran Avatar
    Jolene Cochran

    I love the idea of using eggshells as seed starters! I am forever scrambling to find suitable containers come springtime. I am definitely trying this idea!

  14. Paola Avatar

    Would the sterilizing of the egg shell destroy some of the nutrients? How does that work?

  15. Wally Avatar

    It’s best to soak the eggshells in vinegar for a day or two, stirring once in a while, before you put the whole mess around your plants as a fertilizer. Plain, crushed-up eggshells would not be absorbable by the plant, I don’t think. An acid medium frees up the calcium for the plant. I read this somewhere in a gardening column.

    1. Kristine Charbonneau Avatar
      Kristine Charbonneau

      Vinegar makes sense. Wellness Mama’s bone broth recipe recommends Apple cider vinegar to help release nutrients.

    2. Arlene Avatar

      I had a plant that was dying and used egg shells crushed up in my food processor. I didn’t even mix the shells into the soil just spread it on top. After a few weeks my plant began to grow beautifully.

  16. Kanika Avatar

    Interesting! I was going to ask you about using egg shells for toothpaste and supplements. I have read that egg shells can be used to make chalk.

  17. Mariana Avatar

    Well, now I feel bad for having wasted so many egg shells through my life. Three only yesterday! X(
    But I plan to use many of your recipes. Thanks!!!

  18. Victoria Avatar

    THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE POST KATIE. I enjoyed it so much. It had tips using egg shells for so many things! I had 2 hard boiled eggs yesterday and didn’t save the shells. Ugh…

  19. Judith Avatar

    I use eggshells in your toothpaste recipe instead of the calcium. Works great but you have to grind it very fine, otherwise the toothpaste is quite crunchy 🙂

    I recently read about using the eggshells to make a fertiliser like your compost tea. Brew the eggshells with water, let sit overnight and then use for watering the plants who like calcium rich soil.

    Thanks for your always inspiring ideas!
    Greetings from Germany

    1. Angela Avatar

      What a great idea to get that calcium to the plants sooner, thanks Judith!

  20. Lisa Avatar

    Here is a totally non-health related fun use for eggshells. Eggshell mosaics! The eggshells can be colored and then used to form designs on cardboard or other surface using craft glue. I once decorated an old picture frame with egg shell pieces. Once it dies, this item – now coated in calcium – will last forever! Just Goggle “eggshell mosaics” or search for the term on Pinterest.

    1. Kyle Miller Avatar
      Kyle Miller

      I think this is a great idea and I did it myself however 1/2 tsp of eggshell powder weighed around 2g which is twice as much as the 400mg calcium that most websites say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *