32 Genius Things To Do With Your Used Tea Bags

Most people know that drinking tea is extremely beneficial for our health. However, very few people know how to make it also benefit their pocket. The secret lies in the re-use that tea bags have!

Keep reading and you’ll be surprised by how many uses, used tea bags can have, even though most people treat them like waste.

For many people, tea bags are a one-use item. One bag equals one cup of tea. Then the used bag goes in the trash bin, right? Well… not quite.

While you may not relish the idea of using the same bag to brew more than one cup of tea, there are still plenty of other uses for those little packets of damp tea leaves.

Read on and discover thirty two genius ways to re-use your old tea bags…

1. Brew Stronger Tea

If you like your tea to have a stronger taste, save your used tea bags and add one to the next cup you brew.

While a used bag doesn’t pack the same punch as a fresh one, the twice-brewed leaves will still lend a bit more flavor to the second cup. 

This technique will work with any kind of tea, but is best with green or red varieties. White teas are generally too delicate to be used in this manner.

2. Add Flavor to Pasta & Grains

Once you’ve brewed your cup of tea, you can re-use the bag to flavor other foods. Hang the pre-brewed bags into a pot of water while it comes to a boil to flavor the water, remove use tea bags, then add your pasta, rice, or other grains.

Need some delicious ideas to get you started? Try jasmine or chamomile tea with rice, green tea with pasta, Chai or cinnamon spice tea with oatmeal.

3. Feed Your Garden

Re-brew used bags in a bucket of water and use the resulting weak tea to water your plants and protect them from fungal infections. 

Alternately, open up used tea bags and sprinkle the damp leaves around the base of your plants to fertilize the soil and deter garden pests like mice. 

You can also add previously-brewed tea bags to your compost pile for a boost of nutrients. Just remember to remove the metal staple if your tea bags are the kind that have them.

4. Clean Carpets and Rugs

Use pre-brewed tea to clean and deodorize your floor coverings. 

Store used tea bags in the refrigerator in a cup of water to keep them from spoiling until you have enough to cover the surface you want to clean. 

Then open the used tea bags and let all of the leaves dry until they are still slightly damp, but no longer wet. 

Sprinkle the loose tea over rugs and carpets and leave them until they are totally dry. Then vacuum them up or sweep the dried tea leaves away.

5. Neutralize Household Odors

Used tea is also great for removing lingering odors from your home. Mix dried used tea leaves into cat litter. Store pre-brewed tea bags in the refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh. 

Drop a few dry used tea bags into the bottom of your trash bins to neutralize bad smells before they can escape into your kitchen. 

6. DIY Air Freshener

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to dry used tea bags to create air fresheners for your home, office, or vehicle. 

Since most tea bags come with a string built in, hanging them is a snap. 

Once the oil wears off, simply add a few more drops to refresh. Also, because tea leaves absorb odors, these creative homemade air fresheners will work double-time to keep your living areas smelling great!

7. Deter Household Pests

Mice don’t particularly like the smell of tea. 

Tuck used tea bags into cupboards, pantries, and in any areas where these pests may enter your home to make them think twice about coming inside. 

For added protection, try saturating the bags with peppermint essential oil. 

Not only will this further deter pesky rodents, it will also repel a variety of other household pests like spiders and ants, while at the same time making your home smell minty fresh!

8. Degrease Dirty Dishes

Soak your dishes in warm water with a couple of used tea bags to break up grease without the application of harsh chemicals. 

The tea will also help to loosen any stuck on food and save you from the endless scrubbing.

9. Deodorizing Hand Scrub

After handling foods like garlic, onions, and fish, use pre-brewed tea bags to scrub your hands and remove those lingering scents. 

10. Soak Your Feet

Add used tea bags to warm water and soak your feet to neutralize foot odors, soften calluses, and nourish your skin.

11. Antioxidant Bath

Because tea leaves contain antioxidants, bathing in warm water steeped with pre-brewed tea bags is great for your skin. 

Either hang the used bags over the faucet and let the water run through them as you fill your bath, or drop the bags directly into the water to create a nourishing tea bath. 

As an added bonus, use fragrant tea like Jasmine for an aromatherapy experience or try pre-brewed Chamomile tea to relax your whole body while you bathe.

12. Soothe Irritated Skin

Cool, moist tea bags are an excellent way to naturally soothe skin irritations.

Place them over sore, tired eyes to ease discomfort. 

Massage over sunburn to cool skin and reduce inflammation. Place against bruises to ease discomfort and help speed healing. 

Gently rub over stings and bites to draw out the toxins and lessen pain and swelling.

14. Eliminate Bad Breath

Use twice-brewed tea to make an all-natural breath-freshening mouthwash. Simply brew up some weak tea using your used tea bags. (While this will work with many kinds of tea, peppermint and green teas tend to work best.)

15. Condition Hair

Brew up some weak tea with your used bags and use after your shampoo to condition and nourish your hair and scalp.

16. Renew Wood Surfaces

Use weak tea made from pre-brewed bags to clean and shine hardwood floors and polish wood furniture.

17. Homemade Glass Cleaner

Re-brew used tea bags and spray the weak tea onto windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces to loosen up dirt, grime, fingerprints, and other gunk. Be sure to wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth to minimize streaks and dust particles.

18. Dye Paper and Cloth

Steep used tea bags and use the weak tea water to turn boring white paper into sepia-toned, antique parchment.

Or use weak tea made from pre-brewed bags to dye white cloth in shades of warm brown, orange, or pale green.

19. Remove Bags and Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Warm or cold, tea bags help revitalize tired, achy, or puffy eyes.

So lie back with brewed, refrigerated tea bags over your eyes and the tannins in the tea leaves will stimulate blood circulation and diminish the bags and dark circles under your eyes.

20. Relieves  and Heals Razor Burn

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.

21. DIY Home Facial For Glowing Skin

Use tea bags for a DIY, at-home facial that would cost you hundreds 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!

22. Relieves Toothaches, Canker Sore or Fat Lip

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

23. Burns

Black tea contains tannic acid, which draws heat from burns to help make them less painful.

Treat the burn by placing two or three cool, wet black tea bags on it, using gauze to hold the bags in place. This will take the pain away and prevent blisters from forming. 

24. Safely Drain A Blister or Abscess 

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.

25. Poison Ivy

If you've just rolled around in some poison ivy, moisten a cotton ball with 
strongly brewed tea and dab it on your skin to dry up the weepy rash.

26. Remove Odor From Your Refrigerator 

You don't have to buy a box of baking soda just to get rid of the odors in your fridge. A brewed tea bag will do the same thing and can easily be replaced.

27. Clean Toilet Stains 

Rumor has it that used tea bags can magically remove stubborn stains in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Just leave them in the toilet for several hours, then flush the toilet and brush the bowl.

28. Prevent fleas

Tea is also rumored to help prevent fleas, so sprinkle some dry used tea leaves around pet bedding.

29.  Soothe Bleeding Gums

For an older child who loses a tooth, try putting a cold, wet teabag in the mouth where the tooth was lost. It can reduce bleeding and soothe pain.

30. Prevent Dizziness

People drink tea for a variety of health reasons, but many older adults do not realize that black tea could reduce their dizziness when standing up. 

The tea boosts blood pressure, reducing the threat of dizziness. WebMD also lists a litany of other health benefits of black tea, including reduced risk of heart attacks, kidney stones, Parkinson's disease and ovarian cancer.

31. Help Houseplants

Occasionally use brewed tea instead of water to feed ferns and other houseplants that like rich, acidic soil.

32. Add To Potted Plants

A few used teabags in the bottom of a planter can help the soil retain water, and adds valuable nutrients.

A Final Note

With all of these great ideas for re-using your old tea bags, you’ll most likely want to store a few away until you’re ready to use them. 

Moist tea bags can be kept at room temperature for a day at the most.

Otherwise, you will want to refrigerate them to prevent mold and bacteria growth. 

Just remember that all natural foods – tea included – will go bad after a long enough period of time, even when kept chilled. 

When in doubt, use your nose. If your old tea bags smell funky when you take them out of the refrigerator, it’s probably best to toss them and use a fresh bag just to be safe.


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