Who knew there were so many good uses for used tea bags? So make sure you don’t throw them in the rubbish once you’ve made your cup of tea, make them do some over time with these top tips for used tea bags!
Soothe Tired Eyes
Green tea or chamomile tea works best for this but ordinary used tea bags also work well too – make sure that they are chilled in the fridge first and then relax with them on your closed eyes for 15 mins to reduce puffiness and redness.
Deter Household Pests
Dry out old tea bags and then add a few drops of essential oils to keep pests away. Mice hate peppermint and moths and spiders dislike lavender, rosemary, mint, cloves or eucalyptus. You can attach the ones on strings to clothes hangers, or just place them at the back of drawers and cupboards like any other scented sachet.
Feed The Garden
Used tea bags can of course be added to the compost whole, but for a fast track way to improve your soil, snip them open and scatter the loose tea leaves direct. Or you can re-brew used bags in a bucket of water and then use this weak tea solution to water your plants and protect them from fungal infections.
Add Flavour To Food
Use them to marinade meat or fish for a subtle flavour, this works well with Lapsang Souchong. You can also add them to the cooking water with rice or grains to add fragrance, or to the water when you re-hydrate dried fruit like apricots, prunes or pears. This is lovely with smoky, scented teas like Earl Grey or Jasmine.
Keep The House Smelling Fresh
Freshen the fridge, by placing a couple of used tea bags in a small bowl and leave them to absorb any strong smells. You can also deodorise trainers in the same way by popping in a couple of tea bags with a little added essential oil like lavender or lemon.
Protect Pots And Pans
Rub used tea bags over cast iron pots and pans to help prevent rust forming. Over time, the tannins from black tea leaves will build a protective layer that prevents oxidation.
Clean & Polish Wood
Tea bags also make a great polish for hardwood floors and wood furniture, because the tannins bring out the natural shine of wood and help cover marks and scratches. Rub over wooden surfaces, and then buff up with a soft cloth for a rich shine. But make sure the tea bags are only damp and not soaking wet to avoid water damage.
Speed Up The washing Up
Add used tea bags to greasy washing up and allow to soak for a while. They have powerful degreasing properties and help to lift the grease in no time at all.
Make The Windows Sparkle
Used tea bags are great for cleaning windows! Brew a weak solution and put in a spray bottle and use like normal window cleaner spray.
Keep Carpets Smelling Sweetly
This is a really old fashioned idea that I remember from my Granny, but the old remedies are often the best! Dry the tea bags out completely and then open them up and scatter the contents over your rugs or carpets with a little added baking soda. Leave to stand for half an hour while they absorb and deodorise any smells – peppermint tea is perfect for this. This is particularly handy for pet owners.