Top 20 Useful Ways to Recycle and Reuse those Old Tea Bags

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First off, let’s get one thing out of the way: this article is not about Republicans and you don’t have to be British to be a tea lover. Almost everyone knows that health benefits of drinking tea: it reduces stroke risk, fights cancer, and revitalizes the cells in your body, but did you know that those old tea bags are terrific for a multitude of other purposes? Many people dump them in their compost pile, and that’s a good idea, but there is so much more!

So don’t throw out those old tea bags! Keep reading for the top 20 ways you can get more bang for your tea buck. Its tea time everyone!


1. Get Rid of Grey Hair

You don’t have to make an expensive trip to the salon or use those smelly, messy DIY at home kits; all you need is a little tea. Make your own natural hair dye by using tea and some herbs from Mother Nature. In one cup of boiling water, place 3 teabags, along with one tablespoon of fresh or dried sage and rosemary. Let this mixture sit overnight. Squeeze the teabags to get all the tea out, and then strain this mixture. Simply shampoo your hair as usual, and then pour this mixture over your hair. Be sure that you saturate your hair and that you have covered all the grey areas. Don’t get this mixture on your clothes or towels as it will stain. Don’t rinse it out either. Use a dark colored towel to dry your hair. You might need to do this two or three more times, depending on your level of gray hair and your original hair color.


2.  Rust Proof Cast Iron Pans

If you love your cast iron pots and pans but not the rust they sometimes collect, we have the solution. Take your slightly damp used tea bag and rub that pot or pan with it. Be sure you cover the entire area very well. The tannins in tea coat the pan and prevent oxidation, which prevents rust.


3. Great Floor Cleaner

Tea as a floor cleaner? You bet! Especially if you have wood floors. Make a weak tea by using previously used tea bags. Allow to cool, and then mop your floors with it. You can also use it for unpainted wood furniture too. Test this on a small area first to be sure it won’t stain.


4. Heal and Soothe Sunburns

If you overdid the fun in the sun and got painful sunburn, simply apply some of those cool, wet, used tea bags to the affected area. This will take out the sting and help it to heal faster. If you sunburned a large area, then put those used tea bags in a warm bath and soak in the tub.


5. Drain a Boil

If you have one of those painful boils, don’t lance it and risk infection; simply cover the boil with a wet, used tea bag overnight. The boil should drain naturally without the pain of lancing.

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6. Dry Up Poison Ivy/Poison Oak Rash

As if getting poison ivy or poison oak was not bad enough, sometimes it gets those weepy, oozing blisters. Don’t fret; you can dry that rash by dabbing it with a cotton ball saturated in tea. Allow to air dry.


7.  No Fuss Sachet

If you love the smell of sachets but are a little low on flowers or herbs, simply use tea! Open up used tea bags and spread the wet leaves on newspaper or paper towels and allow to dry. Use the dried tea leaves to fill sachet bags. Instant sweet herbal smell!


8. Stop Stinky Shoes and Toes

If you have smelly feet at the end of the day, you don’t have to live with it. Make a pot of strong tea, and when it cools, soak your feet for 20 minutes. Then, take those tea bags (be sure you have squeezed them out so they are barely damp) and put one bag inside each shoe, to help absorb odors.


9. Mouth Watering Meat Tenderizer

This recipe will not only tenderize the toughest meat, but it makes your meat taste fantastic. Put 4 tablespoons of black tea in a pot of hot (not boiling) water. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, then strain. Mix in ½ cup of brown sugar. Be sure all the sugar dissolves. Add some garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this mixture over your meat and cook at 325 degrees in a covered pot, for about 90 minutes. This recipe works with about 3 pounds of meat.


10. Seriously Sparkling Mirrors

If you want mirrors that are sparkling clean, simply brew a pot of tea, and then use a soft cloth to apply the tea to your mirror. Then take a dry, clean cloth and buff. Your mirror will be beautifully clean and streak free.

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11.  Make Your Roses Bloom

You don’t need to buy expensive rose fertilizer to have tons of beautiful roses; all you need is some tea. Open your used tea bags and sprinkle the tea around your rosebushes, then cover with mulch or hoe into the ground. When you water your roses, the nutrients from the tea will be soaked up by your roses, which will spur their growth and result in beautiful flowers. Roses simply love the tannic acid that tea leaves contain.


12. Refresh Tired Eyes

Did you wake up with puffy eyes and you don’t have a cucumber handy? Tea bags can come to your rescue! Soak two tea bags in hot (not boiling) water and place them over your closed eyes. Relax for about 20 minutes. The tannins that are in tea leaves reduce eye puffiness and help to relieve tired, overworked eyes.


13. Relieve Razor Burn

When you forget to replace your razor, you sometimes end up with some nasty razor burn. Relieve those irritating cuts and burns by applying a used, wet tea bag to affected area. Allow to dry naturally, and then replace that razor blade!


14.  Prepare a Pot for Planting

When you are preparing a new pot for a plant, put a few used tea bags at the very bottom of the pot. This not only helps with drainage, they keep dirt from falling out the hole in the bottom, and they also leech nutrients back into the soil.


15. Conditioning Treatment for Dry Hair

If you have dry, brittle hair and want some of your natural shine back, try tea. Mix a quart (1 liter) of warm tea (no sugar or lemon, please) and use as a rinse after you shampoo.  Find out other natural healthy packs for beautiful hair.

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16.  Soothe Irritated or Bleeding Gums

Although kids look forward to a visit from the tooth fairy, bleeding gums or mouth irritations, such as braces, aren’t too much fun. Stop the bleeding and ease the pain of a lost tooth or irritated gums by placing a wet tea bag directly on the affected area. Leave it there until the bleeding stops or the pain lessens.Read more how to heal your gum disease.


17.  More Pain Relief

Is your baby or young child still whimpering from their recent vaccination? Take a used tea bag and place it over the injection site. Hold it there gently and say some magic words (perhaps “twiddle dee twiddle dum make this boo boo go bye bye bebop ho hum!”) The tannic acid in the tea helps to soothe soreness and pain. The magic words from mom help a bit also.


18.  Super Soothing Mouthwash

If you have a toothache or other type of mouth pain, make a cup of peppermint tea with a pinch of salt. Peppermint is a natural antiseptic. It also contains menthol, which helps stop pain on contact.


19. Fantastic Food for Ferns

Give your ferns, azaleas, and any acid loving plant a monthly treat by giving them a drink of tea instead of water. You can also cut open used tea bags and work them into the soil for lush, beautiful house plants.


SEE ALSO: 10 Top Tips for Using Lemons instead of Beauty Products

20. Wart Remover

Those ugly, disgusting warts! You can burn them or you can cut them, but why do that when you can simply use old tea bags to get rid of warts painlessly?  Put a hot, used tea bag on the wart and leave it there for about 20 minutes. Be sure you throw the tea bag away, as warts are contagious and you don’t want them to spread. It might not work as fast as other methods, but you must admit, it’s easy, cheap, and painless!