13 Surprisingly Useful Reasons to Keep Your Old Tea Bags

Instead of throwing them out, here are some clever and useful ways to get more value for money from used teabags.

By Cookist

In these days of food waste-awareness, it’s a good idea for the environment (and your pocket) to re-use things as much as possible.

If you drink a lot of tea, you probably so through a good amount of tea bags every day, and dispose of them in the dustbin. Instead of throwing them out, here are some clever and useful ways to get more value for money from used teabags.

1. Use as a Carpet Refresher


Let a few old tea bags dry out, then remove the leaves. Add the leaves into a large handful of baking soda, then sprinkle over any dingy or not-very-fresh spots on your carpets.

Leave the mixture on for around 20 minutes, then vacuum the area thoroughly. The tea and baking soda work to absorb odors and trap dirt, so your carpets look like they’ve been given a new lease of life.

2. Use to Rehydrate Dry Skin

To hydrate dry skin, simply re-brew used tea bags. Allow the tea to cool down, then add it to a spray bottle. Spritz the tea on to dry spots on your skin, or add it to a cotton pad and dab on.

Green tea is especially good, due to the antioxidants it contains, but any tea will do the job.

3. Get Rid of Dark Circles Around the Eyes


Used tea bags can help to reduce puffiness or dark circles under your eyes. Put the used tea bags in the fridge to chill, then hold them against your eyes for a few minutes for a soothing, cooling effect. The caffeine in the tea bags will shrink the blood vessels around your eyes, and you’ll look brighter and more refreshed.

4. Sunburn Treatment

Sometimes sunburn is unavoidable, but tea can help soothe your burned skin and reduce inflammation. Click on the link to find out how to get relief from sunburn by using tea.

5. Dissolve Grease and Burnt-On Food in Pans


If you have a greasy, burnt-on mess in the bottom of your pan, place a tea bag inside and fill the pan with hot water.

Leave it to soak overnight, and the tannins in the tea will work to loosen the mess while you sleep. It will then be easy to clean in the morning.

6. Polish Wooden Surfaces

Tea can be used to bring back the shine to your wooden furniture and floors. Soak a couple of tea bags in warm water to make weak tea.

Apply the tea to your wood surfaces with a microfiber cloth or a rag. Buff, and watch the shine come through.

7. Have a Tea Bath 


Bathing in tea may sound strange, but the antioxidants in the leaves helps to leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft. Just add one or two bags to the bath water before getting in.

8. Use as Firelighters

Squeeze the water out of your used tea bags, and let them dry out completely. Dip the dried tea bags in melted wax, and leave to dry on a piece of foil or parchment paper.

Once the wax has hardened, you can use them to start campfires in no time.

9. Odor Absorber


Tea leaves absorb odors in a natural way. Place a dry, used tea bag in your fridge, closet, drawers, or even shoes to leave them smelling better.

10. Shiny, Smooth Hair

Use two used tea bags, and make a strong tea with them. Let it cool completely, then before you go to use the shower, pour the tea into your hair until it is completely wet. Leave the tea on for around 10 minutes, then rinse off under the shower.

Shampoo and condition your hair as normal.

11. Treat Bug Bites and Rashes


To get soothing relief from minor rashes and insect bites, apply a damp, cooled tea bag to the sore area. The tea helps to reduce inflammation and reduces the itching.

12. Help Out Your Compost Pile

Brewed tea and tea bags can help with the decomposition of your compost pile, so if you have any leftover tea and tea bags, add them to your compost pile.

13. Tone Your Skin


Place a couple of old tea bags into a bowl of hot, steamy water, and lean over the bowl for 5-10 minutes and let the steam open your pores. This allows the antioxidants from the tea to tone and hydrate your skin.

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