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Tea Bags on Eyes and Other Useful Uses for Used Teabags

Updated on December 15, 2013
Used tea bags for eye treatment
Used tea bags for eye treatment | Source

We drink tea and the tendency is to throw away the tea bag or tea leaves. Apparently, there are other uses for these used tea bags and tea leaves and I decided to test them out.

Here are the outcome of my findings as well as my verdict on its usefulness and effectiveness.

Tea Bags on Eyes

Tea bags for your beauty regime; this sounds interesting especially for puffy eyes and I occasionally have them. I tried and it worked but only for a short while. If you use it once a week on a regular basis AND have a good night sleep you will notice better results.

So, if you feel tired, have dark circle or puffy eyes, and want to try the used tea bag treatment, follow these steps:

Green and Black Teas are the Best Tea for Eye Treatment

You obviously need two tea bags for both eyes so the next time you drink tea with a friend; put aside those two tea bags for your eye treatment. The best tea bags to use are those with lots of caffeine and tannins and it will be either the green or the black teas. As tea is also rich in antioxidants, it will also soothe the skin.

Once the tea bags are cool but still damp; place the tea bag over each puffy skin under your eye. Warm tea bags will make your puffiness worse therefore make sure the tea bags are cool. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes. You will soon see some noticeable improvement to that puffy eye look.

If you intent to use the tea bags later then place it a container and put it in the fridge until you need it.

Tannins will Shrink the Skin Tissues

How does it work? Teas contain tannins, which have the ability to shrink living tissues including human skin. Therefore, when you put the used tea bag over the puffy eye, the tannin will shrink and tighten the skin.

Good for Sunburn

For this same reason, used tea bags are also useful for the treatments of burns, sunburn, bee stings and rashes.

This is a cheap and simple remedy and you get to recycle your tea bags!

Unlike other tannins in other fruits such as pomegranate, there is no tannic acid in tea tannins. Therefore, tea tannins are beneficial for your skin.


Marinate meat with tea brew or used tea bags will add flavor to your cooking
Marinate meat with tea brew or used tea bags will add flavor to your cooking | Source

As Flavoring Agent

To add flavor to your cooking especially to meat dishes, try marinating meat with your used tea bags. The tannins will help tenderize the meat and the tea flavor will add the sweetness and savory taste to your meat dishes especially on barbecued meat.

We tried and we all agreed that the beef taste better, but it does not seem to work on chicken and mutton. Have you tried them? Give us your feedback on what works and what does not.


Get Rid of Odors

I use charcoal to remove odor from the fridge and it seems tea bag will also do the trick. The instruction says to place a small-uncovered bowl of used green tea bags in the fridge and leave it for three days. This will absorb unwanted smell from fish, stale food or other strong flavored food such as curry. We tried and it worked. The only problem is it takes up space in our already crowded fridge!

Shoe Odor

Similarly, to eliminate offensive odor from shoes, you can stuff a handful of dried used tea bags into old socks and tie up the openings to form sealed bundles. Place them deep within the shoes and leave for a few days. I tried on my son's running shoes and there are no more offensive odors. Now we place used tealeaves in the shoe cabinet as well.

Foot Odor

Likewise, if you soak your feet in a solution of strong tea, your foot odor problem will be gone!

Carpet Odor

By sprinkling used dried tea over carpet and leaving it for at least 15 minutes before you vacuum it, will help reduce the smells in your carpet.

Eliminate Odors from Hand

After preparing and washing fishes or other things that leave strong odor, then rinsing your hand with tea, will remove these odors.


Clean Glass and Mirrors

We usually use old newspaper to clean glass and mirrors and it is an effective way to have them sparkling clean. Tea solutions can also give you a clean and sparkling mirror and glass.

The instruction says to use two black tea bags and 1 cup (1/4 liter) of boiling water to prepare the tea. Once it has cooled down, soak a soft cloth into the tea solution, wring out the excess tea and use it to clean mirrors and glass. Once you are done, buff the glass or mirror with a dry cloth.

Although it works, this takes a bit more effort than using old newspaper and I will probably just stick to that regime.


My old faded black Tee Shirt given the used tea leaves treatment: before (left) and after (right) treatment
My old faded black Tee Shirt given the used tea leaves treatment: before (left) and after (right) treatment | Source

Restore Color to Your Black Clothing

My black tee shirt tend to fade after several washes and to restore them I tried the following steps:

Wash and rinse clothe as usual; then soak it in a mixture of 1cup of strong tea to 4 cups of clean water. Leave it for 10 minutes, wring out the excess water and hang it out to dry.

I did not get a fully restored black tee shirt but will probably get it if I do this on a regular basis.

You can only use this method on clothes that are completely black and with no mixed colors otherwise the colored portion may be affected by the tea color. Use it on washable clothing only and not on apparels meant for dry cleaning.

Another advice on how to enhance the longevity of black clothing is to dry them out in the shade and not directly under the sun.


My wooden box before (L) and after (R) given the used tealeaves and tea bags treatment.
My wooden box before (L) and after (R) given the used tealeaves and tea bags treatment. | Source

Use Tea to Clean Wooden Furniture and Flooring

The tannic acid in black tea can serve as a polishing agent that gives new shine to your wooden furniture and flooring.

Boil three black tea bags in 1 liter of water and once it has cooled, soak a soft cloth into this tea solution. Wring out to remove any excess liquid and wipe the hardwood flooring or wooden furniture. Repeat until you removed all dirt.

This seems to work however, if the solution is too strong, you might end up with a sticky floor or furniture. Hence, follow the instruction and do not use a strong solution.


Dye with Tea or Coffee

Giving Old Clothe a New Breath of Life

If you have a favorite white tee shirt that is no longer that fresh pure white any more, then you can recycle it with tea.

Try this on your inexpensive clothes first and if you like the results, then you can try on your other clothing to get the antique fashion look.

Use three black tea bags for every 2 cups (1/2 liter) of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Allow it to cool before soaking your clothes in the mixture. Stir clothe as it is soaking to get an even staining. Leave it for at least 15 minutes before giving it a quick rinse in clean water. Then hang it out to dry.

The results will vary between a light coffee color to off-beige color depending on the material you used, the strength of your tea mixture, and how long you soaked your clothes in the solution. To get a darker shade, you have to soak it longer.

Another variation is to tie the tee shirt when soaking to get the tie-dye look.

When you next wash this 'revamped tee shirt', wash it separately from other clothing as the 'tea dye' color might run.


My Heliconia and Fern tree that received used tealeaves and/or tea brew treatment.
My Heliconia and Fern tree that received used tealeaves and/or tea brew treatment. | Source

Tea Leaves as Fertilizer

My friend has been using tea leaves for his garden for years and he attest to its effectiveness. I tried this only recently.

It is probably because tea leaves are rich in nitrogen, which is required for plant growth and therefore, suitable as fertilizer for your outdoor as well as indoor plants. You can also use the balance of cooled brewed tea to water your plant.

If you mix these waste tea leaves with other organic wastes, you can turn it into compost or as potting mix.

Tea is also mildly acidic hence, it will be useful for plants that need acidic soil or if you need to neutralize basic soil.

Another use for tea leaves or tea brew is on rose plants to produce great and spectacular blooms.


Other Uses for Tea Leaves

I have not tried the following uses but I am sure there are effective and you may want to give it a try.

Tea Bath

Tea leaves contain a good amount of nutrients and by adding the used tea bags or tea leaves to your water, you will enjoy tea bath or spa in the comfort of your home. Use green tea for this therapy.

Facial Care

If you use facial steamer as part of your beauty regime, try adding chamomile tea to your water solution to act as skin booster.

Cure Acne

If you have acne, wash your face with green tea to reduce and cure acne.

Cat Litter

Tea leaves can deodorize and because it is also antimicrobial, you can scatter used dried tea leaves into your cat litter box.

Tea Pillow

If you have a chance to visit tea plantation or have access to big quantity of tea leaves, then make a tea pillow. By stuffing tea leaves into a pillowcase and sleeping on it can relieves problems such as insomnia, headache and blood pressure. It can also act as sleep enhancer.


Tips From Readers - Update

The following are tips from readers on other ways to use used teabags or tea-leaves.

  • From reader shami327, who uses teabags to wash and shine sink. It also removes any foul smell
  • From reader Just Ask Susan, who use tea bags to cure eye sty that will disappear after several days of applications. She has been using this technique for years and it works.

You can read them in the comment section, below.

Enjoy and Have Fun

Try all these ideas and have fun. Do not forget to let us know of the outcome.

Other household ideas and tips are using used aluminum foil and sugar to help with your daily chores.

If you want to remove stains from clothes, click on the link.

Thanks for dropping by and watch out for more house hold tips by visiting my profile page regularly.


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    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      @shami327: Thank you for sharing this tip. I will include it in my article.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      @teaches12345 3: I am pleased this hub inspired you do start saving and reuse the teabags. Let us know how it turns out. Thanks for the votes and share. Always enjoyed your visit and encouraging words.

    • shami327 profile image

      shami327 5 years ago from Dubai UAE

      You can use tea bags to wash your sink, it helps to keep it shining and also removes any foul smell :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am going to start saving my used tea bags to use in shoes. Didn't know there was so much usage for tea. Especially like the cures it helps with like acne -- this is great for young kids in puberty to know. Voted way up and shared.

    • dl53acy profile image

      dl53acy 5 years ago from East Texas

      Awesome information greatstuff and I will definitely try tea leaves on my plants, they are growing pretty good now but if the tea-leaves can enhance they're growth even more that would be awesome! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      I had no idea tea could be used to clean wood or to deodorize shoes! This is really interesting and useful, greatstuff! I'm off to grab a few tea bags and try some of these wonderful ideas!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      @dinkan53: I am glad you will find this hub interesting & informative. Hope you will enjoy the barbecue. Thanks for the votes and Share.

      @Movie Master : Thanks for the compliment, the votes and Share.

      @Deepak Chaturvedi : Tea has many benefits and it is such a waste to throw it away! You should try them.

      @LaThing: Tea is truly greatstuff and the puffy eye is a cool way to unwind and remove the puffiness. Glad you will be trying it. Thanks for the votes.

      @Just Ask Susan: This is an interesting info, thanks for sharing. I am sure other readers will find this additional information useful.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great hub! I use tea bags when I get an eye sty. Boil the tea bag and when it has cooled enough that you can stand it on your skin without burning it place the tea bag on the eye that has the sty. You made need to repeat this several times before the sty is totally gone. Have been doing this for years and it works really well.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Hey, greatstuff, this was really great stuff! LOL

      Seriously though, this is very useful, I will be trying the puffy eye patch for sure :)

      Thanks for the info., voting up and useful!

    • Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

      Deepak Chaturvedi 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      No one can think to use teabegs in others way as you suggeted.thanks to share.

    • Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

      Deepak Chaturvedi 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      The teabags could be used in other way wonderful!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      An excellent, well written and interesting article - I didn't realise the tea bag was so versatile!

      Thank you, voted up and shared.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      I really enjoyed reading your article here. It was very interesting and informative. I love barbeques and next time surely going to marinate the meat with tea bags. Voted up and more. Shared.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      @tobusiness : Compost using used tea leaves or tea bags are very useful and I had good results from using them. Thanks for the compliment.

      @Om, good to hear from you again. Pillowcase with tea leaves is a wonderful idea and make a good present as well! Should try it.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Wow, I never knew we could use tea bags for cleaning purposes. I like the idea of stuffing a pillow case with tea leaves, too. Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Well written useful hub, great information. I've tried the used tea leaves for compost before, but thanks for the reminder.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      @jennzie; It is amazing isn't it? That I had thrown away so many tea bags and tea leaves in the past, sounds so wasteful. Now I recycle all my tea bags and even went to the extend of asking restaurants to keep them for me!

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      Very informative hub! I didn't realize that tea bags had so many uses. Voted up!