Eggs seem to spend their lives traveling between the chicken, the supermarket refrigerator, and your plate, so it’d be easy to assume that’s all they’re good for. But despite being a pretty awesomely nutritious and tasty plate filler, there’s a lot more to that almost-chicken than meets the eye. So next time you’re about to crack an egg into your pan, maybe pause for a second, and consider if you might not want to use it for something a little different.
Painting a masterpiece
Oil paint and contemporary art go together like bacon and eggs, but it didn’t used to be that way. Oil paint came into being during the Italian renaissance, around 1500 AD, and quickly became the paint of choice. But prior to that, for a couple thousand years, the painting medium of choice came from chickens. Egg tempera consists of finely ground pigment, a little water, and the yolk of an egg, all mixed together. Because the yolk doesn’t keep that well, a new batch has to be mixed daily. But once painted onto a surface, it’s incredibly stable, and examples still exist dating from the 4th century.
Egg tempera is still a valid painting medium—if not quite as convenient as ready-made oil paints—and it’s perfectly possible to make your own. Simply grind some good quality colored pigment into a paste with water, then add some egg yolk. The yellow of the yolk will bleach out in a short time, and then you can host a painting party like it’s 1499.
Treating your hair
It’s official: you can stop buying all those uber-expensive hair treatments, because there’s a homemade treatment that costs a fraction of the price and works just as well. Eggs are famously full of protein—as well as a couple of other things your hair might appreciate—and all you have to do is rub it in and leave it there for a while. In most cases, simply applying a whole raw egg to clean, damp hair, leaving it there for 20 minutes, and then washing it out (with cool water, to avoid cooking the egg) will moisturize your hair and remove unwanted oils. For oily hair, separate and use just the white, and for dry hair, separate and use just the yolk.
Egg isn’t found in most supermarket products because it doesn’t store well for long periods (how much would you pay for something that smelled of rotten eggs?), but that means that by simply going to your own refrigerator, you have access to a treatment that cosmetic companies would happily charge you an arm and a leg for, but you can pick up for less than the price of breakfast.
Clean your shoes
It used to be that every household had a shoe polishing kit, but no longer. Now people are more likely to just throw shoes away, rather than attempt to maintain them over any period of time. But if you do happen to have a favorite-but-worn pair of leather shoes (or even a belt, sofa, or car seat), then eggs might be what you are looking for. Simply separate the white from the yolk, then use a soft sponge to rub the white into the leather until it’s fully absorbed. Repeat until there’s no egg left, or you reach the desired level of shine. Egg white is odorless, and so it won’t add to any existing foot odor problems. Plus, if you happen to find yourself in the company of an old military drill instructor, and you feel like you’re treading on eggshells, it won’t be for the condition of your shoes.
Improve bad coffee
If you wake up one morning and discover that someone has drank all the good coffee, leaving you with nothing but the nasty stuff at the back of the cupboard, then fear not. Thanks to eggs, bad coffee doesn’t have to mean bitter coffee. Simply crush some egg shells into the filter with the grounds before brewing, and when the wake-up juice gets to your cup, it’ll be smoother than you ever could have expected. It works because coffee is naturally acidic, but eggshells are alkaline, and by mixing them you can reduce the acidity in the coffee, making it an all-around more pleasant breakfast beverage. It also happens to be a great excuse for making yourself eggs in the morning (or any other time you make coffee). Best of all, depending on how good the bad coffee tastes with the egg treatment, you might even be able to use it for guests, and save the good stuff for yourself.
Fix a leaking radiator
It might not be common these days, but it remains a possibility for your car radiator to spring a leak. If this happens to you while driving around town, there are any number of sensible solutions, ranging from taking it to the mechanic to buying a commercial radiator repair product from an auto parts store. But what happens if you’re in the middle of nowhere, there’s no one you can call, and your radiator decides to dehydrate? Well, if you’re in a pinch, you could always try fixing it with an egg. Simply crack open an egg, and carefully pour the white into the radiator, while keeping the yolk in the shell. If you did it right, and still have enough water in the system, then the egg should migrate to the leak. As the water heats up, the egg white will cook in place, sealing the hole.
This is by no means a permanent solution, and if you have absolutely any other option you should take it. This is because the egg won’t just cook in the radiator hole, but in your heater core and any other inconvenient (not to mention expensive) place it can find. But if you’re in an egg-streme situation, it might just save your life.
Photos : shutterstock