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Monday, September 23, 2013

Creative Uses for Your Used Tea Bags

By Diane Hoffmaster

            

I absolutely adore tea. My pantry is stocked with containers of both loose leaf and bagged varieties. Every morning, I find myself sipping an energizing green tea and evenings often include something soothing and relaxing like a caffeine-free, herbal tea.  Needless to say, I end up with a lot of used tea bags over the course of the week. Below are a few creative ways to put your used tea bags to work!

tea cup and used teabag1. Feed your plants: Tea leaves are loaded with nitrogen and make wonderful compost that adds nutrients to your garden plants. If you don’t have access to a compost bin, steep your used tea bag in water until it begins to change color. Then, use this to water your house plants or garden.

2. Reduce under eye circles: The plant-based compounds in tea help reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. After steeping your tea, place the used tea bags in the refrigerator to chill. Add the cold bags to your eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes. Green tea is especially effective at reducing under eye circles.

3. Absorb fridge odors: Store used, damp tea bags in an open Ziploc® brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal in the refrigerator to stop foul odor. As the bags dry overnight, they will help to absorb odor, leaving it smelling fresh again.

4. DIY pedicure: Start your pedicure off right by steeping a few spent tea bags in a basin filled with warm water and soaking your feet for 15 minutes. The tannic acid found in tea helps kill odor causing bacteria and releases antioxidants leaving you with smooth and soft feet.  

5. Tenderize your meat: Steep a couple of tea bags in warm water until the water turns dark. Use this as an alternative to water for a homemade marinade that adds tender texture to your meat.

6. Make a soothing mouthwash: Canker sores can create quite a bit of mouth pain but the anti-inflammatory nature of tea can provide some relief. Steep your tea in a cup of warm water and add a few peppermint leaves. Rinse and spit for fresh breath and a little pain relief!

What other ways can you think of to reuse old tea bags? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment sections below!

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

1 Comment so far

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On Tuesday, June 24, 2014, Evangeline from Shelbyville, Indiana wrote

for antique looking cloth, boil some old tea bags, add fabric and let sit for a few hours. Rinse, dry and iron the fabric.

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