Creative Ways to Use Eggshells

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Eggshell powder uses
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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. Val Avatar

    In the 10 years I’ve been following Katie and have occasionally commented on her articles I’ve never received a response (all good girl 6 kids and all the work you do I’m amazed as it is). Anyhow I just thought I’d throw this out there. Might be a redic question but can you eat this eggshell supplement if you have a good sensitivity to egg whites?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Eggshells have about 1% protein and 95% calcium carbonate, but I’m not sure if the proteins in the shell are the same as what’s in the egg white though.

  2. Kathleen Avatar

    Thank you so much! Since I found out I have “osteopenia” I’ve been saving my ranch egg shells and finally got a dedicated grinder for them but couldn’t determine how much to take. I also appreciate the reminder to take it with Mg & D!

  3. Katherine Avatar

    I was so excited to finally try this and I had enough to get started. After I boiled them I left them in the oven to leave overnight before I was going to lightly bake them but as my luck would have it I had the oven set to 375 to bake some goodies and I forgot the eggshells. I did remember early on but not soon enough. Some of the eggshells are lightly browned, not even burnt, and others are fine. Would it still be safe to use this batch or do I need to start anew?

  4. Sandra Avatar

    I save my egg shells for the birds. They love them. What they don’t eat, goes into the soil.

  5. Kali Avatar

    In my Family Herbalist classes we talked about using egg shells for calcium intake. We were taught that the calcium is not readily absorbed by the body UNLESS you mix it with Apple Cider Vinegar and take it that way.

    1. Hélène Avatar

      So we should soak the eggshells in acv before drying them? How much, how long?

  6. Kristine Charbonneau Avatar
    Kristine Charbonneau

    Great read! Do you need to bake the shells if you’re putting them in your smoothie? Occasionally I’ll throw a raw egg in it. Never thought about trying the whole egg in there. I’d only do this if I bought my organic eggs at the store. I try to buy them directly from farms whenever I can (and then I ask for them dirty and unrefrigerated!). Thanks!

  7. Jo Ann Avatar
    Jo Ann

    I am thrilled to read about egg shells to help with bone mass. I have chickens, nice brown eggs. I was just told that my bone density dropped 18.8 percent since my last scan which was 2009. I do not want osteoporosis drugs. Have many friends who have had negative reactions from shots and medications. I am so willing to try the egg shell powder.
    Thank you Thank you so much for all the information you share so freely with me and others. I never realized that while utilizing my egg shells for my chickens, I can actually use them (along with those wonderful eggs) to help my body even more.

  8. Stephanie Avatar

    I have pails full of eggshells in the yard that I have been meaning to do something with, so I’m happy to see this post. 🙂 In the past I have made eggshell powder for my homemade dog food. I also have made a calcium supplement with lemon juice and Eggshells. But recently I have just been collecting them!!

    1. Kristine Charbonneau Avatar
      Kristine Charbonneau

      Lemon juice…interesting. Can you explain that to me? I know it’s in place of the vinegar. Thanks!

  9. Susan Avatar

    A few years ago I ordered a supplement for joint pain consisting of egg shell membrane. I had both minor consistent joint aches and occasional periods of exacerbated more widespread joint pain. Well, after finishing the bottle and eliminating the minor joint pain, I decided to start eating the membranes from my organic eggs. After experimenting, I finally came to the following simplest approach, which I do almost daily: Thoroughly wash the outside of the egg(s) because most salmonella risk is on the outside shell. After cracking the shell, while cooking the egg, rinse the shell and the intact membrane. Break off a little of the edge of the shell and pull it so that it pulls the membrane out. My assumption is the chickens with the healthiest lifestyle have the strongest membranes that come out in fewer pieces. The membrane is raw and the risk of Salmonella from the inside of the egg is possible, but much less then the outside of the egg, Other than that very small risk, I assume raw is healthier than cooked. Okay, here is the challenging part: getting used to eating the raw membrane. Yuck, right? Its just the idea you have to get used to. The membrane is tough and presumably most digestible if chewed well and dissolved in the mouth. The first time is disgusting. The second time you know what to expect and the third time its no big deal, like you’ve been doing it all your life. My joints stay typically pain free now due in part to the membrane and probably a few other factors including not wearing clothes with high polyester content. I finally realized the periodic attacks of “arthritis” like symptoms would start the day after wearing (against my skin) one of the 2 polyester shirts I used to own.

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