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Take a Crack at These Unique Uses for Eggshells

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Kara
04.09.14

You may have heard that eggshells do wonders for your compost bin, but did you know that these calcium-rich shells are also great at deterring slugs and cleaning pots and pans? Check out these five clever ways to use your leftover eggshells:

1. Make Candles

Turn your eggshells into votives for a spring table setting or mantle display! Start by cracking off about a quarter of the top portion of your eggshells. If you’re a perfectionist, you can make a hole at the top of the shell with a sewing needle and then peel away from there, but cracking them against a counter is faster and works pretty well. Then, rinse the shells clean and place them back in their carton. Secure a wire-core wick to the bottom of your shells with a little warm candle wax, and then fill each shell with hot wax (a funnel helps for this). Let the wax cool, trim your wicks and light your candles!

Photo: LessCandles | Etsy

2. Prevent Slugs

If your garden has been the victim of a slug invasion in the past, deter them with eggshells this spring! Slugs hate to slither across rough surfaces, so crumbled eggshells are the perfect barrier between these pests and your precious plants. To make it even tougher on the slugs, dry out your eggshells before you break them up by storing them in an airtight container for a day or two. Note: Make sure you add more dry eggshells after it rains!

3. Clean Pots and Pans 

The next time you need to clean a greasy pan, add crushed eggshells to the dirty pan along with a couple drops of your regular dish soap. The shells will break up the food particles and help remove the grease!

4. Start Seedlings 

Empty shells make great homes for seedlings before they’re ready for the garden or a bigger pot. When you crack your eggs, try to keep a little more than half of the shell intact. Rinse it clean and let it dry. Poke a small hole with a sewing needle in the bottom of each shell for water drainage, and then fill an egg carton with the eggshell halves. Add some potting soil and one or two seeds to each shell. Tip: Water your seedlings early and often and put them in a warm, well-lit space with natural light until they begin to sprout.  

Photo: Small + Friendly

5. Fertilize Soil 

When your seedlings have grown up and are ready to move to a bigger pot or a spot in your garden, sprinkle eggshells in the bottom of the planter or the hole you’ve made in the soil. The calcium and other minerals from the eggshells will help stave off blossom-end rot (which is a common problem in tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables) and give your plants a nutrient boost.

Photo: Le Robin's Nest

Photo: LessCandles | Etsy

Photo: Seakettle

Photo: Le Robin's Nest

Photo: LessCandles | Etsy

Photo: Small + Friendly

Photo: Seakettle

Photo: LessCandles | Etsy

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