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How to Reuse Teabags

Updated on May 5, 2016
a cup of tea, a staple of the British diet
a cup of tea, a staple of the British diet | Source
pyramid tea bag before adding to water
pyramid tea bag before adding to water | Source

The Brits are famous for their steaming cups of tea. The 'go to' drink when guests arrive, the morning cuppa to wake up to and comfort in times of crisis. Tea is always on the menu. So what to do with all those teabags once the tea is made?

There are a multitude of things you can do with the used teabag. First aid for a cut, soothing tired eyes and pain relief for a pulled tooth are just a few of the ways.

Household Cleaning

Dishes with baked on food are a challenge for most dishwashers and need a lot of elbow grease to clean by hand. Fill the dish with water and a few brewed teabags and leave overnight. By morning the tannin in the tea will have broken down the food, which will then wipe off easily.

Tea is a great deodorizer. The dried out contents of a used tea bag can be sprinkled in a cat litter tray to help with the odor. Alternatively add the leaves to a lemon juice solution to create an air freshener. Sprinkled on pet bedding, carpets and rugs and vacuumed up to help with unwanted odors.

Clean/prevent rust - cold tea can be used as a rust preventer on cast iron or as a rust remover.

Cleaning widows and mirrors - use cold, twice brewed tea to clean and shine.

Reuse teabags in many ways
Reuse teabags in many ways | Source

Health and Beauty

Many teas contain caffeine and antioxidants which help to tighten and soothe skin and may help to promote healthy blood circulation.

Pain relief - a cold damp tea bag will provide some relief for bruises, sunburn and itching.

Reducing puffy eyes - a cold wet teabag placed on a closed eye will help with puffiness and felling cooling.

Bath soak - make a bath soak with used green teabags to soften skin.

Tea facials - make facials using a variety of tea to have soothed soft skin.

Stop bleeding - a wet cold teabag placed on a cut will help stop the bleeding and ease pain.

Tea footbath - will help soften and soothe skin and prevent odors.

Mouthwash - mint tea can be used as a mouthwash to neutralize odor for fresh breath.

Green Tea Face Mask

green teabags
Cut open a green teabag. mix
mix leaves with honey to form a paste and apply to whole face.
Wait for 15 minutes the rinse off.

Green Tea Face Mask

Dried Fruit Soak in Cold Tea Overnight to Make Bara Brith

Bara Brith made from cold tea
Bara Brith made from cold tea | Source


Bara Brith - a type of cake, is just one of the recipes that use cold tea as one of their ingredients. Other recipes include green tea soup, tea smoked roast chicken, tea poached salmon, matcha tea mousse and green tea fortune cookies.

Flavor meat/tenderizer - a brewed tea bag and water added to the cooking pan.

In the Garden

Tea is also very useful for the garden. Both tea bags and cold tea can be added to the compost pile to aid decomposition.

Watering plants - used teabags can be placed at the bottom of planting pots. They help to hold water and nutrients to feed the plant.

Other Uses

Some black teas can be used to dye paper and fabrics.

Strong smelling teas such as peppermint can be used to freshen bedding, clothing etc while in storage.

Burning tea leaves can repel insects.

Use as an ingredient in glycerin soap.

Shine wood floors.

Telling the Future

Before the use of teabags became common place, tea was made with tea leaves and a strainer. Many people believed their fortune could be read in the leaves. Once the tea has been drunk and only a small amount of tea is left in the cup, the fortune 'reader' would tip the cup upside down on a saucer, allowing the tea to drain into the saucer and the leaves to remain inside. Tea leaf fortune readers usually have a ritual before they read the leaves, turning the cup three times when it is upside down, the handle needs to be facing the drinker etc. The 'reader' would then use the shapes made by the leaves left in the cup to explain what is going to happen in the drinkers future.

Some Examples of Symbols and their Meaning When Reading Tea Leaves

Shape of Tea leaves
Small worries
Unexpected News
Visit from a friend
Open - good news, closed -need to investigate something
Help from others
Deceit/a false friend
Better health

Tea has many uses, both indoors and out. It can be reused to save money and to recycle what would have become trash.

© 2014 Ruthbro


Submit a Comment
  • Ruthbro profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from USA

    You are welcome. Thank you for the lovely comment

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    4 years ago

    The green tea mask is so simple and I may try it soon. I didn't realize it would stop bleeding, good to know -- just in case. Thanks for the tips.


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