Jan 12, 2011

Garbage Goodies - Egg Shells

Another one of those staples in our garbage can is egg shells.  Did you know that an egg will stand on its end during the vernal equinox (about March 21), one of the two times of the year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length everywhere? I didn't either. 

I sure didn't know all the uses below when I first started researching for this post.  Wow!  Those little shells pack a good punch.  Check out all these fun and practical recycling tips! 
  1. Coffee Enhancer: It has been said that placing crushed eggshells in coffee will produce a smoother and less acidic taste.  The only reason I can figure that this works is that the calcium carbonate in the shell binds with some of the acid in the coffee.  To try this out, bake eggshells in the oven at 350* for 10 minutes or so, crush them and store in an airtight container. A teaspoon placed in the coffee filter with your coffee grounds is purported to give you a smooth, lovely cup of coffee. 
  2. Candy or Jell-O Mold: I personally love this idea and plan to try it out soon.  I think it goes without saying that this requires a steady, careful hand.  Using a needle, pierce both ends of the egg.  Insert an unfolded paper clip and pierce the yolk.  Scramble it up a little if possible to facilitate removal.  Now place your mouth over the hole and blow the egg’s contents out the other hole.  Rinse the inside thoroughly by running water through the egg’s holes.  Allow to dry.  Cover one hold with tape, then fill the hole with melted chocolate or liquid Jell-O.  Allow to set.  Crack to open.  Check out this tutorial and be sure to read the comments for other ideas for blowing out the egg.
  3. Sidewalk Chalk: Another one I plan to try.  I’m saving shells up now.  Beginning with clean, dry shells, use a blender or mortar and pestle to crush 6-8 eggshells until pulverized to powder.  Remove any bits of shells that are not ground.  Combine 1 tsp. very hot tap water with 1 tsp. flour to form a paste, then add the eggshell powder.  Add a few drops of food coloring if colored chalk is desired.  Form into a log shape or whatever shape you fancy.  Wrap in wax paper and allow it to dry for 3 days.  Tear away wax paper as you use the chalk. *Attempted this and failed; I couldn't get the eggshells to powder form.  I ran them for a looong time in my mini food processor, but still no powder, just a scratched-up food processor.  I tried to make it with the larger eggshells bits, but it was a no-go. 
  4.  Bird Feed:  This sounds a little cannibalistic, but I have personally done this.  Break up egg shells into large pieces and place in your yard below a bird feeder or in a chicken yard.  The calcium in the shells will build up depleted stores in momma birds; think of it as pre-natal vitamins for birds!  Chickens love them.
  5.  Compost/Fertilizer: Throw eggshells into your compost pile or sprinkle in your garden.  Calcium is an important component of fertilizer for good soil.  Rinse shells to avoid attracting unwanted bugs.  It is said eggshells are especially good for roses, azaleas, evergreens, magnolias, gardenias, tomatoes, and peppers.
  6. Stain Remover:  Swirl a few crushed pieces of eggshell around in a stained thermos, coffee mug or pot with warm water.  The eggshells act as a gentle abrasive to remove unsightly stains from delicate surfaces without scratching.
  7. Garden Pest Deterrent:  This one I’m not positive about…but I have read that you can sprinkle eggshells around the perimeter of your garden to deter deer, cats, and even slugs from entering.  The eggshells are supposed to be like broken glass to a cat, and they won’t want to enter.   I’ve seen mixed reviews on its efficacy, so try it and let me know.
  8. Mineral Additive:  If you make your own chicken, beef or vegetable stock, then throw in a few eggshells while simmering to “beef up” the mineral content of your stock.  Strain your stock through a few layers of cheesecloth to remove any gritty leftovers in the stock before using. 
  9. Facial:  As whites tend to be a drying agent, spread egg white on your face to remove excess oils.  Wipe clean with washcloth and warm water.

So which one are you going to try?  I'm trying the chocolate mold and eggshell sidewalk chalk, and I'll let you know how they turn out!  I really hope someone tries adding it to their coffee routine--let us know, OK?

2 lovely comments:

lblogger said... Best Blogger Tips

I th ink I will try it in my coffee in the morning!!

Bitterroot Mama said... Best Blogger Tips

I like to throw them in my compost.