Can You Compost Eggshells? A Step-by-Step Guide To Effective Eggshell Composting

Composting is an eco-friendly practice that helps reduce waste and enrich the soil in your garden. Many organic materials can be composted, but what about eggshells? In this article, we will explore whether or not you can compost eggshells and the benefits they bring to your compost pile.

Benefits of Composting Eggshells

Eggshells are a valuable addition to your compost due to their nutrient-rich composition. They contain essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are beneficial for plant growth. When these nutrients break down in the composting process, they become readily available for plants to absorb, promoting healthy development.

Furthermore, eggshells have natural pH balancing properties. Composting with eggshells can help maintain the ideal pH level in your compost pile, creating an environment where beneficial microorganisms thrive. These microorganisms play a crucial role in breaking down organic matter and transforming it into nutrient-rich compost.

Another advantage of composting eggshells is their pest deterrent properties. The sharp edges of crushed eggshells can deter pests like slugs and snails from feasting on your plants. By adding eggshells to your compost, you indirectly protect your garden from these unwanted visitors.

How to Compost Eggshells

Composting eggshells is a simple and rewarding process that contributes to the overall health of your compost pile and garden. To compost eggshells effectively, follow these step-by-step guidelines:

1. Collecting and Storing Eggshells:

Start by gathering eggshells from your kitchen. Whether they are from breakfast omelets, baking projects, or boiled eggs, all types of eggshells can be composted. It’s important to remove any remaining egg residue by rinsing the shells with water. After rinsing, allow the shells to air dry thoroughly. It’s recommended to store the dried eggshells in a designated container until you’re ready to add them to your compost pile. This container can be a small bin or a resealable bag placed in a convenient location, such as your kitchen countertop or under the sink.

2. Preparing Eggshells for Composting:

Before adding eggshells to your compost, it’s beneficial to prepare them for faster decomposition. One effective way to do this is by crushing the eggshells into smaller pieces. Crushing the shells not only increases their surface area but also breaks them down into manageable sizes that can decompose more efficiently. There are various methods you can use to crush the eggshells:

  • Mortar and Pestle: Grind the dried eggshells into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle. This method is ideal if you prefer a finer texture for your compost.
  • Rolling Pin or Blender: Place the dried eggshells in a resealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Alternatively, you can also use a blender or food processor to achieve a coarse texture. Be cautious when using these appliances and ensure the shells are dry to avoid damaging the equipment.

Choose a method that suits your preferences and the desired texture for your compost. Remember, the goal is to break the eggshells into smaller pieces rather than pulverizing them completely.

3. Adding Eggshells to the Compost Pile:

Once you have prepared the eggshells, it’s time to add them to your compost pile. Ensure that your compost pile is a good balance of organic materials, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, yard waste, and other compostable items. The addition of crushed eggshells brings valuable nutrients and helps maintain the pH balance of the compost.

To incorporate the eggshells effectively, follow these steps:

  • Layering Method: As you build your compost pile, alternate layers of organic materials with layers of crushed eggshells. This layering technique ensures the even distribution of nutrients and aids in the breakdown process.
  • Mixing Method: Another approach is to mix the crushed eggshells directly into the existing compost pile. Use a garden fork or shovel to thoroughly blend the eggshells with the other compostable materials. This method helps distribute the nutrients more evenly throughout the pile.

Remember to maintain the proper moisture level in your compost pile by periodically watering it. The moisture should be similar to that of a damp sponge. This promotes the activity of beneficial microorganisms and facilitates the decomposition process.

Continue adding kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other compostable materials as you normally would. Over time, the eggshells will break down, releasing their nutrients into the compost.

Common Misconceptions about Composting Eggshells

There are a few common misconceptions about composting eggshells that we should address. One concern is that eggshells attract pests. While it’s true that eggshells may attract pests like fruit flies if they are not properly crushed and mixed into the compost, following the recommended practices eliminates this problem.

Another misconception is that eggshells slow down the composting process. Eggshells do take longer to decompose compared to softer organic materials. However, by crushing them into smaller pieces and ensuring proper mixing with other compostable materials, the decomposition process can proceed efficiently.

Tips for Successful Composting with Eggshells

To maximize the benefits of composting eggshells, consider the following tips:

  1. Crushing eggshells for faster decomposition: As mentioned earlier, crushing eggshells into smaller pieces accelerates their decomposition. You can use a mortar and pestle, a rolling pin, or even a blender to crush them effectively.
  2. Mixing eggshells with other organic materials: Incorporate eggshells into your compost pile alongside other organic materials. Mixing them well helps distribute the nutrients and prevents clumping.


In conclusion, composting eggshells is not only possible but also highly beneficial for your garden. They contribute valuable nutrients, balance the pH of your compost pile, and act as a natural pest deterrent. By following simple steps like collecting, preparing, and adding eggshells to your compost, you can enhance the quality of your soil and promote healthy plant growth.


1. Can I compost eggshells from both cooked and raw eggs? Yes, you can compost eggshells from both cooked and raw eggs. However, it’s important to note that cooked eggshells may take longer to decompose due to their altered structure.

2. Do I need to remove the membrane inside the eggshells before composting? No, it’s not necessary to remove the membrane inside the eggshells. The membrane will break down during the composting process.

3. Can I compost colored eggshells? Yes, you can compost colored eggshells. The colorants used on eggshells are typically non-toxic and will not harm your compost or plants.

4. How long does it take for eggshells to decompose in the compost pile? Eggshells can take several months to a year to fully decompose in the compost pile, depending on various factors such as temperature, moisture, and the size of the eggshell pieces.

5. Can I use powdered eggshells directly in the garden instead of composting them? Yes, you can use powdered eggshells directly in the garden as a natural fertilizer. However, composting them first allows for a more even distribution of nutrients throughout the soil.