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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uncommon Uses For Eggshells

This post was generously contributed by Linda Ann Nickerson

EIGHT GREAT USES FOR EGG SHELLS


Here’s a tongue-twisting riddle: How many eggs does a good cook crack, when a good cook does crack eggs?
Eggs are the staple of any cook’s kitchen. Most anyone would agree. However, did you know that egg shells can also be quite useful outside the kitchen?
Before you crunch those cracked egg shells into your garbage disposal unit or toss them into the trash can, you might want to consider these helpful and unusual ways to reuse egg shells.
ADD VIGOR TO GARDEN VEGETABLES
Mixing egg shell pieces into the soil around your pepper or tomato plants will encourage healthy growth. (Egg shells are 93% calcium carbonate, which is an excellent fertilizer for such plants.)
BLESS THE BIRDS
Spread tiny pieces of egg shells out on your bird feeder on your deck or in your yard. The local birds will enjoy the egg shells, and they may even use the egg shell pieces to build their nests.
CLEAN YOUR COFFEE CUP
You can put cracked egg shells inside your lidded commuter coffee cup or thermos to clean it. Add water, and shake your cup well. The egg shell pieces will help to remove residue without breaking the plastic or glass liner of your mug or cup. Be sure to rinse and wash your mug or cup thoroughly before using. (Remember, raw egg may pose a threat of salmonella infection.)
CONSIDER COMPOSTING
Add cracked egg shells to your compost heap, along with any other organic refuse (banana peels, apple cores, coffee grounds and other natural items).
DISCOURAGE GARDEN SLUGS
Place crushed egg shells around your hostas, lilies, peonies and other desirable garden plants to prevent slugs and snails from eating them. The sharp edges of the egg shells will deter these soft-bellied creatures from approaching your plants.
PUMP UP HOUSEPLANTS
Put egg shell pieces into a jar of fresh water with a tight-sealing lid. After several days, you can remove the egg shell pieces and water your houseplants with a nutritious soaking.
START SEEDLINGS
Egg shells are excellent tiny receptacles for growing plants from seed. Put broken half-shells back in the empty egg carton. Fill egg shells with dirt, and plant your seeds. Each egg shell works like a slow-release fertilizer for a sprouting plant.
WARD OFF WILDLIFE
Tossing broken egg shells into your shrubbery may deter deer and other unwelcome wildlife from destroying your landscaping.
111783_m Learn more about this author, Linda Ann Nickerson.