One of the best ways to relax in the evening is a soothing cup of hot tea. Not only does it taste delicious, but the aroma and steam do wonders for your skin and sinuses. When you finish brewing your tea, what do you do with that tea bag? For those who toss a tea bag after one use, there are so many innovative ways you can do to extend the life of that tea bag.
It’s actually quite surprising what you can do with a used tea bag. Did you know it could take rust of a cast iron skillet or give a unique flavor to your steamed rice? Below we have listed twenty different ways to keep that tea bag alive for another day.
- The antibacterial contents of tea bags will help neutralize the odor in your kitty’s litter box. Just sprinkle the dried out contents of a brewed tea bag into the kitty litter
- Wipe cast-iron pots and pans with a brewed tea bag to remove and prevent rust
- Tea can act like a leave-in conditioner: Make your dry hair shiny by rinsing your hair with unsweetened tea. Leave your head alone to dry, and then rinse out the tea
- Make a natural air freshener with twice-brewed tea combined with your favorite essential oils. Deodorize stuffy rooms by pouring one quart twice-brewed tea and four tablespoons lemon juice or your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle
- As a hot compress-This works wonders on pinkeye, canker sores and fever blisters. Have you had a plantar wart smack dab in the middle of the sole of your right foot? Warm, wet tea bags can draw out the infections
- Break down grease-Soak pots and pans covered in thick caked-on food in a sink filled with hot water and several used tea bags. The tannins in the tea will break down that stubborn residue in no time
- Make plant food-Feed your hungry plants with used tea leaves. Break open a nutrient-rich tea bag and disperse the contents over the soil or add them to your compost. Roses and ferns especially like the acidic tannins in tea. You can also nurse your sickly plants back to health by watering them with twice-brewed tea. And for healthier potted plants, place a few brewed tea bags over the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter before potting. The tea bags will retain water and leach nutrients to the soil
- Relieve tired eyes-This is a classic oldie goldie! Place cooled tea bags on your eyes, spa-style, for 10 minutes to relieve puffy, red eyes. Chamomile’s soothing properties work particularly well to relieve agitated eyes. So lie back with brewed, chilled tea bags over your eyes and the tannins in the tealeaves will stimulate blood circulation and diminish the bags and dark circles under your eyes. As a cold compress-tea bags help with tired eyes, bruises, sunburn, bee stings, or mosquito bites. Did you (or your child) get a shot at the doctor’s office and the spot still hurts? Apply a cool, moist tea bag to these kinds of affected areas on the skin to get soothing relief and quicker healing
- Take the sting out of bug bites-When summer bugs and incest get a hold of you, relieve the pain of bites and stings by making a used tea bag compress. Simply place a cooled tea bag on the painful area to sooth the ache and reduce inflammation. This method also works on sunburns. If you have a bruise, sunburn, bee sting, mosquito bite, or cold sore put a cool, damp tea bag on the affected area and use like a compress. The tea will bring comforting relief, reduce inflammation, and promote healing
- Enhance wooden furniture and floors-Spiff up your wooden décor with twice-brewed tea. Boil 6 to 10 used tea bags in about a gallon of water. Mop your floors like normal or use a soft cloth dampened in the water to clean furniture. The acidic tannins in tea will make your wooden floors and furniture shine. To polish your wooden floors-You might need to amass quite a few tea bags for this one. Mop your wooden floors with brewed tea, and while you’re at it, shine up some furniture, too
- Eliminate bad breath- Make a mouthwash using twice-brewed tea. Simply swish around a generous amount of twice-brewed green or mint tea in your mouth to kill the bad breath bacteria. Now, go ahead, pucker up
- A homemade pedicure-Your mouth isn’t the only body part that can benefit from odor-neutralizing tea. Next time you plan to treat yourself to a natural pedicure, give your tootsies an antibacterial boost by soaking your feet in a basin of warm water topped with several used tea bags. Luxuriate for 15 minutes. Give your feet a daily tea bath that calms, restores, and also eliminates offensive odors! Just boil three or four brewed tea bags in one quart of water for ten minutes. Once the water has cooled enough to be comfortable for your feet, soak them for twenty to thirty minutes
- Make flavored rice- When cooking rice, add your used herbal tea bags to the water to create a mild-flavored rice that’s all your own. Try dropping in a few used jasmine tea bags to your boiling water. Or cook an incredibly moist turkey by adding a brewed tea bag and a cup of water to the pan. The tannin in the tea is a natural meat tenderizer and adds a unique, delicious flavor
- The tannin in tea also helps treat plantar warts. Just press a wet, warmed tea bag directly on the area for ten to fifteen minutes and let the skin dry naturally. If you repeat this treatment for a few days the wart will eventually disappear completely
- Soothe razor burn and relieve nicks and cuts by pressing a wet tea bag to your skin. Not only will the tea take some of the sting out, it will also stop the bleeding
- Drain a blister or abscess without pain by covering the affected area with a wet tea bag overnight; you'll see results by the time you wake up the next morning
- Use tea bags for a DIY, at-home facial that would cost you big time at a spa. Simply place a brewed tea bag in a bowl of hot water, position your face above the bowl, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel to hold the steam in. The antioxidants and tannins in the tea will tighten your pores, reduce puffiness, and leave your face glowing!
- Hydrate your skin- Instead of your usual bath salts, run your bath water over several used tea bags for an aromatic and skin-rejuvenating soak. The tealeaves will help restore your dried out skin from too many summer days spent outdoors to velvety softness. Any kind of tea will serve this purpose, but the antioxidants in green tea are particularly effective for rehydrating your skin
- Warm up a brewed tea bag, take the leaves out of it, roll them in a scrap of fabric, and use as a compress for a painful toothache, canker sore, or fat lip
- Glass cleaner- Make windows or other glass sparkle by rubbing with a damp teabag or applying brewed tea from a spray bottle, then wiping it away\ with a cloth. Make your mirrors sparkle and shine by using cooled, twice-brewed tea as a cleaner. Just dip a soft cloth in the tea and use it to wipe away dirt and grime, and then buff dry. You can also clean your dark leather shoes by wiping a damp, brewed tea bag in a circular motion
Did you learn any new uses for your used tea bags? What will you do with your next tea bag? Tell us in the comments and please share any additional ways you reuse tea bags!