And you thought eggs were amazing simply for their protein content. These clever uses for the shells, courtesy of First For Women, elevate eggs to superstar status.
1. Pest-proof your garden in a jiffy
Between the deer, slugs, and snails, you’re worried that come May, you won’t have any plants left in your garden! To deter the hungry nuisances, scatter crushed eggshells on the leaves of the nibbled-on plants and around the perimeter of your garden. Snails and slugs can’t safely go over the jagged corners of the crushed shells, and deer hate the smell of eggs—so your garden will stay pest-free.
2. Quickly soothe sore, aching joints
Your weekend-warrior husband can’t seem to go a day without developing a new ache or pain. Eggshells to the rescue! Break one up in a glass jar, then cover with apple cider vinegar and screw the jar shut. Let sit until the pieces dissolve (about 2 days). Eggshells contain nutrients that promote healthy joints, like collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid. These nutrients are infused into the vinegar as the eggshell membrane dissolves, providing quick relief when you rub the solution into sore spots. (The mixture will keep for months in the pantry.)
3. Relieve dry, peeling cuticles
Is the skin around your fingernails dry and peeling? The remedy: Break off a couple pieces of eggshell with the membrane attached. Then tape the shells, membrane side down, to problem areas until the shells begin to feel dry. Eggshell membranes contain healing nutrients like hyaluronan, so your rough, peeling cuticles will be healthy and soft by the next day.
4. Uncover baby-soft skin in seconds
Freshen up your skin with this inexpensive mask: Finely crush one or two eggshells, whisk together with one egg white, and apply all over your face. Let dry, then rinse with warm water. The gently abrasive shells will buff away the dry, dead skin that’s hiding your natural glow. Plus, the eggshells’ calcium will promote cell regeneration and help even out your complexion. The result: soft, radiant skin after a single use!
5. Gently scour any surface—naturally
Finding household cleaners that don’t irritate your sensitive skin and sinuses can be a struggle. If your store-bought scouring powder inflames your eyes, skin, or lungs, try using eggshells as a chemical-free alternative. Just pulverize several dried eggshells and store them in a covered plastic container. When needed, dust the to-be-cleaned surface with the powder and use a sudsy sponge or dishtowel to scrub away the mess. The abrasive particles will safely buff away stains and grease but won’t irritate sensitive skin. (Skip the chemicals for good with these 7 easy green cleaning recipes.)
6. Keep drains running smoothly
If your kitchen sink is draining sluggishly, the culprit may be built-up grease or food in the pipes. Simply place a few well-crushed eggshells in the sink trap. When you run the water, the abrasive shell fragments will travel down the drain and help scrape away clog-inducing gunk, keeping the pipes clear and water flowing smoothly.
7. Brew a better cup of coffee
Lately your morning joe tastes bitter and acidic. The save: Add 1 teaspoon of crushed eggshells to the grounds before brewing. The shells’ alkaline calcium carbonate will neutralize the acid content of the coffee, making it smoother tasting and easier on the stomach. Plus, if you use a percolator (when camping, for example), the shells will weigh down the grounds so they sink to the bottom of the pot.
8. Provide birds with a nutrient boost
When you set up your bird feeder this year, try this trick: Bake five eggshells in a 250°F oven until dry but not brown (about 20 minutes). Let cool, then crumble them into small pieces and sprinkle them in the feeder. The calcium-rich shells will act as a natural supplement to help female birds lay strong eggs (which are about 95% calcium) and maintain bone health. Birds can also use the shells to build nests.
9. Clean narrow-necked vases effortlessly
Cleaning all the residue from inside irregularly shaped vases can be a pain. To easily scrub away even hard-to-reach grime, drop one or two crushed eggshells into the container, add warm water and a drop of dish-washing liquid, and give it a couple swirls. The soap will loosen the gunk so the abrasive shells can scrape it away, leaving every last nook gleaming. This trick works well on thermoses, too.
10. Grow healthier tomato plants
To give your tomatoes a head start this season, add one or two crushed eggshells to the soil before planting. As the eggshells decompose, they will release calcium into the dirt. This helps prevent blossom-end rot, a common problem with tomato plants. Calcium also helps almost any plant grow faster, so try sprinkling eggshells all around your garden. Bonus: eggshells that are mostly whole can be used as healthy starter pots for seedlings.
PUBLISHED: MARCH 10, 2015. By FIRST FOR WOMEN SMART SOLUTIONS
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