ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What to do with leftover or used tea bags or tea leaves

Updated on June 13, 2018

"Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things". - Saki

What comes in white, black, green, yellow, oolong and pu-erh?  Tea, of course!  According to the Tea Association of the United States, tea is the second most consumed beverage worldwide after water.  In America alone, 2.2 billion gallons of tea are consumed each year.  Tea has dramatically gained popularity in recent years and can be enjoyed in tearooms and coffee shops all across the country as well as in the comfort of one's own home.

If you are a tea drinker, perhaps you have some old boxes of tea stashed away somewhere in the pantry.  Maybe it's past its expiration date or maybe you just have so much of it that you don't know what to do with it.  Maybe you wonder what else you can do with your used tea bags or leaves besides just throwing them away.  If that's the case, or even if you are just looking for other alternative uses for tealeaves, consider using your tea for these:

Tea

Make tea pottage

Ingredients

2 medium sized potatoes

1 onion

1 cube of consommé

2 cups of water

100 cc of milk

A pinch of salt

A little fresh cream

As much powdered green tea as you like

Steps

1. Peel potatoes and onions and chop them up to bite sizes.

2. Add 2 cups of water in a saucepan and put in the consommé cube.

3. Boil potatoes and onion in the broth.

4. When veggies are soft, put them in a blender and blend until smooth.

5. Transfer back to the saucepan. Add milk with powdered tea dissolved in it, salt, and top with fresh cream.

6. Serve

Make furikake

Furikake is a kind of Japanese condiment used to sprinkle on rice (tastes much better on hot, steaming rice).  To make this, first roast tea leaves in a frying pan until crispy (no oil).  If you stop here, you will have made yourself Houji-cha (another kind of Japanese tea).  To make furikake, add a little bit of soy sauce or salt to taste.

Use as antiseptics to treat athlete's foot

Make tea using only a small amount of water for a concentrated liquid and rub on affected area or make enough to soak your whole feet in.  You can also use old tea bags (should be wet and warm) and apply directly.  For better results, use plastic wrap to strap the tea bags onto your feet and leave them on for 10-15 minutes.  Do this everyday for 7-10 days.  The Japanese also use tea leaves in other folk remedies to treat minor cuts and skin infections.

Use to absorb odor

Put old tea leaves in small cotton bags and place them in places that need freshening up such as inside shoes, closets or in drawers.

Use in a cake

Finely chop tea leaves and put them in your cake batter next time you're baking a sponge cake! 

Burn as incense

Place tea leaves on a non-inflammable incense burner and light the candle for calming and relaxing aromatherapy.  This also serves as a natural air freshener and insect repellent.

Make a tea pillow

If you have problems falling asleep at night, consider stuffing dried tealeaves inside your pillow.  Take care to hang your pillow out in the sun at least once a week since tealeaves absorb moisture.  The aroma from the tea leaves can have a tranquilizing effect, which helps give you a restful sleep.

Make tempura

Tempura is fish or seafood and vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried.  This dish originated in the mid-16th century when the Japanese adopted (and adapted) the Portuguese custom of frying game.  To make tea tempura, simply add tea leaves into tempura batter and deep fry or mix the tea leaves with prawns and other veggies such as sliced onions and julienned carrots to make kakiage

Relax in a tea bath

Ahhh..
Ahhh..

Take a tea bath

Put about 20-30 grams of tea leaves in bags and let float in a bathtub.  Tea leaves contain vitamin C and tannin, which helps with circulation.  Tannin also helps keep skin moist and supple and can help combat acne or other skin conditions.  The anti-bacterial properties of catechin found in tea are thought to help protect and soothe the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Gardening

Tea leaves are rich in nitrogen and have soil amending properties, so grind them up and mix them in soil to use as fertilizer. Also, tea leaves are slightly acidic, so they can be used to neutralize soil or add acid to soil. In flower pots, scatter old tealeaves on the bottom to facilitate better drainage. You can also use old tea leaves in a compost pile (like pretty much everything else!).

Hopefully, these ideas will help you to make full use of your old tea leaves or bags next time you have some leftover tea lying around your house!

Poll

Do you like to drink tea?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 

      7 years ago

      great tips, one vote up.

    • yuvraj06 profile image

      yuvraj06 

      8 years ago from PUNE

      Anolide ur hub is superb & i want to know the name of your baby??? boy or girl???

    • Anolinde profile imageAUTHOR

      Jane Simmons 

      8 years ago from Niigata

      Thanks, PhotoTijn :)

    • PhotoTljn7 profile image

      PhotoTljn7 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thank you Anolinde! Who knew... GREAT TIPS!

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 

      8 years ago

      they all are effective,inclusive mud bath,check it out.

    • Anolinde profile imageAUTHOR

      Jane Simmons 

      8 years ago from Niigata

      Thanks, Suny :) They do have all kinds of baths here .. tea baths, wine baths, sake baths, coffee baths, fruit baths, and on and on. I haven't tried them all, but they all sound fun to me!

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 

      8 years ago

      I wont make a comment,Anolinde that may spoil the flavor of such a great hub, the bath with green tea,

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)