Here's why you should never put eggshells down the drain

Our kitchens are full of modern conveniences we all use without a second thought. The microwave produces a baked potato in less time than it takes to preheat your oven. The icemaker in the freezer toils away in the background without us having to lift a finger. And the garbage disposal gobbles up and digests all the odds and ends we're too lazy to scrape into the trash can. 

Not everything is fit for drain disposal though, and eggshells top the list. According to The Spruce, eggshell is a sticky catch-all for everything else that goes down your drain — whether you have a garbage disposal or not. If you do, after a spin through the garbage disposal, it can still collect bits of waste and cause a major traffic jam in your pipes. American Home Shield says the membranes can also get wrapped around the garbage disposal impellers and cause damage. So why are folks so intent on putting shells down the drain in the first place?

The myth about eggshells

According to Hunker, there is debate in the plumbing community over whether eggshells actually serve a purpose in maintaining your garbage disposal. Some believe the abrasive bits of shells can sharpen the blades of the disposal as they're processed through it. This is a myth. Eggshells are not strong enough to sharpen metal. However, some plumbing experts believe the shells can aid in cleaning the grinding mechanism, and are therefore good for the system. Opponents of this theory disagree, and say the membrane attaches itself to the grinders, causes build-up, and decreases the machine's effectiveness. 

Good thing that with all the other uses for eggshells in our lives, the debate about putting them down the drain is actually a moot point. Instead of tossing 'em in the trash, you can be putting eggshells to good use in your home!

What should you do with eggshells instead

Perhaps eggshells' most notable, yet unfamiliar use is in our diet. That's right; eggshells are edible, and can be a healthy addition to our diet (and our dog's, too!). You'll want to sterilize and grind them up first, but eggshells can serve as an inexpensive, all-natural calcium supplement with juice added, or in a gel capsule.

If you have a green thumb or aspire to earn one, eggshells can be your garden's greatest benefactor. They can balance the pH of your soil, aerate the ground, and protect against pests. Finally, as if that shell hasn't worked hard enough standing guard over eggy fluid its whole life, The Prairie Homestead says you can use the membrane as a natural bandage. Eggshells, and their conscientious membranes, are the gift that keeps on giving. Hang on to yours next time and save your plumber a trip to unclog your drain.