The next time you brew yourself a steaming cup of tea, resist the natural instinct to chuck that soggy bag in the trash. As it turns out, the organic matter within tea bags is chock full of potential for upcycling! Also, the tea bags themselves are no friend of the environment, either, so the more use you can get out of them before they hit the landfill, the better.
Check out these 15 amazing and creative ways to reuse tea bags to their fullest potential.
1. Razor burn
Hold a wet tea bag against a razor burn to relieve the pain. Reader’s Digest says this hack is safe for both nicks and bumps.
2. Bleeding gums
Relieve your child’s pain after losing a tooth, or if you’ve had a tooth pulled, try this. Reader’s Digest suggests holding a tea bag treated with cold water directly to your sore or bleeding gums for relief.
3. Clean Your Hair
Hair products will build up over time, no matter how often you shampoo. To get hair squeaky-clean, simply soak three or four tea bags in a cup of warm water. Shampoo and condition as normal, then finish off by pouring the tea-water over your head. Do not rinse!
4. Foot odor
Remove odor by soaking your feet in a bath made from strongly brewed tea. Let your feet soak for 20 minutes each day for best results, as recommended by Reader’s Digest.
5. Shine mirrors
It may sound strange, but a strongly brewed cup of tea can work wonders for your mirrors. Reader’s Digest suggests letting the tea cool and then dipping a cloth into it to dampen. Wipe down the mirror, then buff with a soft, dry cloth.
6. Pink eye
Soothe your eyes with warm, wet teabags on the eyes to treat pink eye. Mommy Savers says this home remedy can also be used to reduce puffiness.
Rinsing your face with green tea can help alleviate acne, as advised by Mommy Savers.
8. Ease Sunburns
Much like with the eye treatment, soak two tea bags in warm water, then put them in the refrigerator. Once cooled off, place the tea bags directly on the site of the sunburn and hold for a few minutes. You can also soak a cloth in the tea liquid and apply that instead. Bonus: This treatment can reduce the pain of insect bites.
Hold a black tea bag soaked in water over a bruise for 5 minutes. According to Prevention, “the tannins in tea constrict blood vessels, which reduces swelling and inflammation.” This makes bruises heal faster.
10. Chapped lips
Prevention recommends pressing a wet black tea bag against chapped lips to repair damaged skin cells.
11. Insect bites
Place wet tea bags over insect bites to soothe itching and discomfort, says TODAY.
The antioxidants in green tea can do wonders for aging skin. TODAY suggests soaking a paper towel in cooled green tea and relaxing with it draped over your face.
13. Fertilize the Plants
Tea leaves are nothing more than organic matter, so it only makes sense to use them for gardening! There are a couple of ways to use them for this purpose. Either tear open the used bag and mix the leaves in with the soil, or add them to your composting pile. Note: It’s best to add tea to soil around acid-loving plants, like rosebushes or ferns. That’s because the tannic acid in tea tends to make lower the soil’s pH and increases its acidity, which could pose a problem for plants that do well in neutral to alkaline soils.
14. Marinate Meats
Easily marinate pork, chicken or turkey with the help of a couple of tea bags. Simply put a cup of water, two used tea bags and the meat into a zip-close bag. Allow to marinate overnight, then cook and enjoy a flavorful cut of meat
15. Deodorize Stinky Carpets and Rugs
Feet and pets wreak havoc on carpets and rugs. Dry out tea bags after use, then rip ’em open and sprinkle the organic matter within on your carpets and rugs. Follow up with a thorough vacuuming. This is an easy, chemical-free way to deodorize floor coverings that won’t cost you a dime extra.