10 Ingenious Ways to Reuse Your Tea Bag

Feel guilty each time you throw away a used tea bag? You should! There are in fact a lot of useful and creative things you can do with your used tea bags. Here are my 10 favorite home hacks that involve using a left over tea bag.

1. Keep Your Eyes Looking Fresh

Take advantage of the tea’s healing properties to soothe your eyes. You can either use your old tea bag as a cold or warm compress depending on the condition you’re trying to treat.

Chill your used tea bags in the refrigerator and place it over your closed eyes for up to 15 minutes. This is great for relieving puffiness, dark circles, bloodshot eyes, and inflammation due to conjunctivitis.

To use them as a warm compress, steep the bags in hot water for a few minutes. Remove and wait until they’ve cooled down slightly before placing on your eyes. Use this to reduce blepharitis, drain a stye, unclog a blocked tear duct, and relieve dry eyes.

2. Say Goodbye to Burns, Rashes, and Bug Bites

Be it razor burn or sunburn, your old tea bags can come to the rescue. Just gently rub it over your irritated skin to soothe it and relieve the pain. The same goes for itchy bug bites and rashes caused by poison ivy.

3. Tea Rinses for Healthy Hair

Brew a weaker tea with a couple of used tea bags. Once you’re done shampooing and conditioning, use the cooled weak tea as a final rinse.

You can even choose specific types of tea to get the results you want. For example, green tea is great for preventing hair fall, fighting dandruff, and stimulating hair growth. Meanwhile, rosemary tea can darken the hair, add luster and body, stimulate hair growth, and prevent dandruff.

4. Get Rid of Bad Odor

Tea has natural deodorizing abilities. Take advantage of this to keep yourself and your home fresh-smelling.

  • Do your hands reek of onion after a cooking session? Rub your hands with used tea bags.
  • Dry used tea bags and put them in your refrigerator, closet, shoes, and other places where you want to eliminate bad odor.
  • Avoid smelly feet by soaking them in some weak brew made using old tea bags. 
  • Spread the dried used tea leaves on your carpet. Leave them for 20 minutes then vacuum.
  • Microwave a used wet tea bag to remove the bad smell of the appliance.

5. Repel Household Pests

Strategically place dried used tea bags in areas where these pests enter. You can also make a brew from several tea bags and spray them in places where these pests can usually be found.

For example, I put lavender tea bags in my drawers. Not only does it repel insects, I also get fabulous smelling clothes. At the same time, when we’re having a barbecue party, I sprinkle rosemary tea leaves on the grill to stop the flies from coming.

Here are some pest-repelling teas.

  • Peppermint tea – Ants, mice, and flies
  • Lavender tea – Mosquitoes, moths, fleas, flies, and spiders
  • Vanilla tea – Mosquitoes, flies, and gnats
  • Basil tea – Flies and mosquitoes
  • Rosemary tea – Flies, roaches, mosquitoes, slugs, and snails
  • Spearmint tea – Fleas, moths, ants, beetles, rodents, and aphids

6. Rejuvenate Wood Surfaces

Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea contain tannic acid which you can use to bring life to dull wood floors and shelves.

Just boil some used bags to make a brew. Then, once the brew has cooled down, soak a clean cloth and use it to wipe your wooden surface.

7. Make Tea Part of Your Skincare Routine

Photo Courtesy of RiverTea

There are several ways that you can use your used tea bags to get healthier, glowing skin.

  • Toss a couple of used tea bags in your tub for a skin-soothing bath. For a calming and relaxing effect, use jasmine, chamomile, or lavender tea.
  • When preparing your at-home facial steam treatment, add tea to the hot water. Then, lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam for 10 minutes. The steam will open your pores and let your skin absorb the antioxidants from the tea, toning and hydrating your skin.
  • If you suffer from acne, use a weak green tea brew every time you wash your face.
  • Make a light tea brew, allow to cool, and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz it onto your face every now and then to rehydrate your parched skin.

8. Tenderize Meat

Tannin is a natural meat tenderizer so it’s a great addition to your marinate. Just boil water and add several black tea bags depending on how much you need to make. Let it cool down before using it to marinate the meat. You can also directly use a weak brew mixed with beef stock when cooking pot roast or stew.

9. Feed Your Plants

Tea leaves are good plant foods. Make your garden flourish using these hacks.

  • Use leftover tea to water your plants.
  • Mix used tea leaves with other organic wastes to turn them into compost or potting mix. If the tea bag is biodegradable, you can include it as well.
  • Since tea is mildly acidic in nature, you can use it to nurture plants that require acidic soil. It can also help you neutralize basic soil. Sprinkle the tea leaves around the base of the plants then gently work them into the soil.

10. Clean and Preserve Your Kitchenware

Tannin-rich teas like oolong, green tea, and black tea can be used to get rid of greasy food residue. Just add hot water and some used tea bags in a sink of dirty dishes and leave it overnight. Come morning, the tannin would have already broken down the grease making the plates easier to wash.

As for keeping your cast iron cookware rust-free, just gently rub a wet tea bag onto the pan after every use.