As I’m one that likes to re-use and recycle, I have some great re-uses for you tea lovers out there! Why throw out those once used tea bags – they can be used for so much more!
Under Eye Circles and Puffiness
The tannin in tea bags has been proven to reduce swelling (bags under the eyes) and discoloration (dark circles). Put your used tea bag in the fridge or let it cool down for a half hour. Then put it over your eyes for 10-15 minutes. You can also try using a caffeinated tea bag. It will reduce the inflammation even more. Green tea bags work best because not only do they have caffeine, but they also contain EGCG (another anti-inflammatory).
Odor Control Tea leaves absorb surrounding odors, even if they’ve already been used. – Put a used tea bag in the fridge to control odors.
- Dry a used tea bag and put it in your potpourri.
- If it’s a green tea bag, you can make Chagra (which is basically dried out green leaves from a used tea bag.) You can sprinkle it onto a variety of spots in the house to take bad odors away — the cat’s litter box, a wooden cutting board etc. It not only deodorizes, but it’s also anti-bacterial.
-Put a couple of used tea bags in your musty coolers. It takes the odor away!
Around the House
Control dust from fireplace ash: Before you begin cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle wet tea leaves over the area. The tea will keep the ashes from spreading all over as you lift them out.
Perfume a sachet: Next time you make a sachet, try perfuming it with the fragrant aroma of your favorite herbal tea. Just open a few used herbal tea bags and spread the wet tea on some old newspaper to dry. Then use the dry tea as stuffing for the sachet.
Use tea bags to stain furniture: The dye gives a nice antique finish, and works on fabric and paper too. If you feel like being a bit more artsy, mix the tea leaves with acrylic paint. It will give your painting a unique texture.
Loosen caked on pots and pans: Soak your pots and pans with a couple of tea bags overnight. They will come clean easily in the morning.
Get rid of warts: Tannic acid will eradicate warts and it’s found naturally in black tea. Place a warm wet tea bag directly onto a wart for 10-15 minutes. Do this two or three times each day and the wart will shrink significantly in just a few days. Can also be effective in reducing a sty.
Moisturizing Lips: Dip a tea bag into a little amount of lukewarm water and press on lips for 3 to 5 minutes. The tannic acid from black tea helps in moisturizing the lips.
Cool sunburned skin: A few wet tea bags applied to the affected skin will take out the sting. If the sunburn is too widespread to treat this way, put some tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub.
Reduce razor burn: To soothe razor burn and relieve painful nicks and cuts, apply a wet tea bag to the affected area.
Treat skin blemishes: Moistened, cooled teabags are also effective on insect bites, cold sores, minor cuts and bruises and minor burns. Use like a compress over the spot and allow to sit. Tea will bring comforting relief and promote healing.
Drain a boil with a boiled tea bag! Cover a boil with a wet tea bag overnight and the boil should drain without pain by the time you wake up next morning.
Soothe nipples sore from nursing: Just brew a cup of tea, remove the bag, and place it in a cup of ice for about a minute. Then place the wet tea bag on the sore nipple and cover it with a nursing pad under your bra for several minutes while you enjoy a cup of tea. The tannic acid in the wet tea leaves will soothe and help heal the sore nipple.
Soothe those bleeding gums: To stop the bleeding and soothe the pain from a lost or recently pulled tooth, wet a tea bag with cool water and press it directly onto the site. Used tea bags can also be used to prevent dry socket after dental extractions.
Relieve pain from an injection: Try wetting a tea bag and placing it over the site of the injection. The tannic acid in the tea will soothe the soreness. (A great natural remedy to try on your little ones next time they get their shots!)
In the Garden
Feed the Plants: Tea bags do wonders for the garden. They enrich the soil by increasing nitrogen levels, and also give earthworms (fertilizers) something to eat. Bury the tea bags outside in the dirt – don’t worry, the tea bag itself will decompose.
Give roses a boost: Sprinkle new or used tea leaves (loose or in tea bags) around your rosebushes and cover with mulch. When you water the plants, the nutrients from the tea will be released into the soil, spurring growth. Roses love the tannic acid that occurs naturally in tea.
Prepare planter for potting: For healthier potted plants, place a few used tea bags on top of the drainage layer at the bottom of the planter before potting. The tea bags will retain water and leach nutrients to the soil.