There’s no arguing that tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In the U.S. alone, Americans drank more than 84 billion servings of tea (over 3.8 billion gallons!) in just the last year (TeaUSA, 2018). That makes for a whole lot of tea bags, which usually end up in the dumpster after just one use. It turns out that used tea bags are a lot more versatile than we give them credit for. Here are 10 surprisingly useful ways to repurpose those used tea bags.
Your used tea bags can actually help your compost heap decompose faster. Sprinkle the contents of the bag over the top or, if the bag is made up of decomposable materials, just throw them right in.
Nurture your flowerbeds
Mix in the contents of your used tea bags into topsoil to nurture your flowers and plants and to keep away pests from picking at your horticulture. The acids in the tea are especially helpful to plants like ferns and roses.
Keep your potted plants vibrant
When you’re preparing your potted plants, place a used tea bag over the drain hole. The bag will hold water and infuse the soil with different nutrients.
Infuse the watering can
Rebrew your old bags and use the tea to water your plants. In addition to fertilizing and enhancing the soil, the tea water can help prevent fungal infections.
Season your dishes
Tea bags have lots of uses outside of the garden, too! Add a used tea bag to your grains while they’re cooking (rice, barley, quinoa, pasta, etc.) to give them a nice, aromatic and unexpected hint of flavor. You can also re-brew and use tea to marinate meats or place used teabags at the bottom of a roasting pan with some water for a succulent roast chicken or turkey.
Condition your hair
Your Thanksgiving turkey isn’t the only thing to get moisturized with recycled tea bags – you can use the water from re-brewed bags as a natural conditioner. It will leave your hair silky smooth and free of harsh chemicals. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a dime for a salon-worthy treatment.
Soothe irritated skin
Tea has properties that can help relieve itchy skin, so reuse your teabags on rashes and bug bites. Additionally, you can place used bags that have cooled off over sunburns for some sought-after relief.
Enhance your beauty regimen
Resoak your tea bags in warm water and place them over your eyes to reduce swelling, puffiness and dark circles. Keep them on for about 20 minutes to look and feel more refreshed.
Soaking your stinky feet in a tea bath made of recycled bags for 20 minutes each day will help combat the smelliness by killing off the bacteria causing the foul odors and shrinking the pores over time. You can also reuse your mint tea bags to make a homemade mouthwash to combat bad breath.
Polish wood furniture
Use the water from rebrewed tea bags to wipe down your wood furniture and give it a fresher look. The tea will clean and condition it to look brighter and more vibrant.
Think twice before tossing your tea bags from your morning brew. This list only scratches the surface of the many uses of old tea bags. Enjoy!
Barber, T. (2018). 22 Ways to Use Tea to Benefit Your Beauty, Home and Garden. Retrieved March 2018, from Reader’s Digest: https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/tea-benefits/
C., S. (2016, October 20). 15 ways to recycle used tea bags that will make you love tea more than ever. Retrieved March 2018, from Expert Home Tips: https://experthometips.com/15-ways-to-recycle-used-tea-bags-that-will-make-you-love-tea-more-than-ever
Santillano, V. (2018). 16 Unique Uses for Used Tea Bags. Retrieved March 2018, from More Lifestyle: https://www.more.com/lifestyle/food-drink/16-unique-uses-used-tea-bags
Taylor, J. (2014, October 15). 18 Genius Things To Do With Your Used Tea Bags. Retrieved March 2018, from Natural Living Ideas: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/used-tea-bags/
TeaUSA. (2018). Tea Fact Sheet – 2017-18. Retrieved March 2018, from Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.: http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet