At our house, we go through a lot of eggs, which means we end up with a lot of eggshells. Growing up as children, my wife and I were always told to throw these in the trash bin. Now that we’re older, we’re questioning whether or not that’s the best place for our scraps.
One common use for eggshells is to compost them, but not all of us have compost bins or have a desire to compost in the first place. If composting isn’t ideal and we’d like to keep our eggshells out of the trash can, do we have any other options?
The next logical thing to do with egg shells is to put them down your kitchen sink, right through your garbage disposal. Is this possible, and is it advisable? Could it even be beneficial as a way of sharpening the blades?
Let’s find out.
Are Eggshells Safe to Put in the Garbage Disposal?
This is a hotly debated subject. Some claim that eggshells are not only safe, but that they’re actually good for the disposal because they sharpen the blades. Many others state that when they’ve gotten their pipes unclogged, the culprit was ground up eggshells.
Even garbage disposal manufacturers can’t agree on this one. Some brands list eggshells as a safe item, while most simply avoid putting it in their user manuals.
While they are unlikely to cause any damage, eggshells are not safe to put in your garbage disposal. There are two potential issues that can arise when doing so.
First, the inner membrane of eggshells has been known to gum up the works, so to speak. In other words, the membrane can get caught in the grinding mechanism of your disposal, potentially leading to a jam.
Second, eggshells produce very fine, sand-like particles when ground up. These particles tend to settle in your pipes, which other food particles tend to latch on to as they pass by. Over time, this can lead to a slow drain or clog and a costly repair bill.
What Should You Do with Your Eggshells Instead?
If you shouldn’t put eggshells down your garbage disposal, what should you do with them instead? Thankfully, you have some options.
1 – Compost Them
Another egg-related topic that divides people is whether or not eggshells can be composted. The short answer is yes, they can be composted and provide a nice dose of calcium to your compost pile.
The trick with composting eggshells is to break them down first. Eggshells can take a long time to decompose, so it’s a good idea to grind them up first to help speed up the process.
2 – Feed Your Garden
Similar to adding them to your compost, you can also use your eggshells to feed your plants. Simply grind them up into fine particles, them spread them accordingly.
Eggshells are mostly made of calcium, so they shouldn’t be used as a full replacement for fertilizer. However, they can still provide some additional nutrition for your garden.
3 – Throw Them Away
If none of the options above are suitable for you, you can always simply throw them right into your trash bin. This requires the least amount of effort on your part, but does contribute to our growing landfill problem.
Still, this is likely the most common method used by most people, so it is definitely a valid option to consider.
These are only a few of the things you can do with eggshells. If you want to think outside of the box, check out this massive list from The Prairie Homestead.
Can Eggshells Sharpen the Blades of Your Garbage Disposal?
While some people believe that eggshells can sharpen the blades or grinding mechanism of your garbage disposal, the general consensus is that this is largely a myth. As mentioned in this article from Hunker, the membrane on the inner part of eggshells can potentially cause your disposal to perform more poorly by adhering to the grinding mechanism.
This is still debatable, but even if eggshells do improve the performance of your garbage disposal, is it really worth the risk of clogging your pipes, leading to a potentially large repair bill?
If you’re for looking for an alternative way to sharpen your blades or grinding mechanism, consider using ice cubes instead (although some people claim this isn’t effective either).
Eggs in general seem to have a lot of controversy surrounding them. Are they healthy, or should you avoid them like the plague? Along the same lines, can you put the shells in your disposal, or are you setting yourself up for a huge repair bill?
While your disposal probably won’t have any trouble grinding up your eggshells, your drain pipes might complain about all the fine particles getting sent its way. To be on the safe side, find an alternative use for your eggshells, such as providing nutrients to your garden.