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2X4: Four Egg-Cellent Uses for Eggshells

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Jessica
07.15.13

Whether you like them sunny-side up or with hollandaise sauce, you probably cook eggs like a boss. But what about the shell? Don’t underestimate the egg’s outer layer! Next time you whip up breakfast, save the crushed shell and try one of these tricks around the house: 

Photo 2: Williams Sonoma

Brew Better Coffee. Smooth-tasting coffee is delicious. Bitter coffee? Not so much. To save your homebrewed java from becoming a bitter-Betty, add a crushed eggshell to the ground coffee in the filter. The calcium in the eggshell reduces the natural acidity of the coffee so your cup of Joe will taste smooth. Bonus: The shell also helps any loose grounds sink to the bottom of the cup, so you wind up with a fresh sip of coffee instead of a mouthful of dregs.

Improve Compost. You’re a grade-A composter and have a nice-sized pile outside (or have perfected the art of countertop composting). Want to kick things up one more notch? Add eggshells! Eggshells are primarily composed of calcium carbonate, which is also known as “lime” in the agricultural world. Lime will break down quickly in your compost pile and improve your compost’s fertilization chops. Wait until your eggshells are dry, then put them in a plastic bag and pound them with the heel of your hand until they’re crushed. They’re now ready for your pile. 

Photo 4: Hay Needle

Clear Clogged Drains. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, and your kitchen drains are prone to cloggage, a few eggshells may be just what Dr. Drain ordered. Keep a few crushed eggshells in your kitchen sink strainer at all times. Sure, it may look a little unorthodox, but the shells will trap additional solids from heading down your pipes. Plus, the shells break up over time and clean your pipes on their way down the drain. Tip: If a clog-inducing solid does make it past your eggshell barrier, try this nontoxic drain-cleaning recipe.

Clean Pots and Pans. Burnt rice is annoying for you, but it’s downright devastating for your pots and pans. If you have an extremely dirty or greasy pot or pan, save the day with crushed eggshells! During the soaking stage, add a handful of the eggshells and mild, dishwashing liquid to the water. The shells will break up food particles and remove any stuck grease. After the soaking stage (a few hours is fine), go through your normal pot or pan cleaning routine. Tip: Use hot water to soak unless you’re cleaning off food that has a flour base. For flour, use cold water. Hot water will only set the food into the pot or pan. 

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