Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water.
It’s very easy and convenient to make a cup of tea, due to the invention of disposable tea bags. Just drop a tea bag in a cup of hot water, let it steep for a few minutes and you are ready to enjoy the goodness of tea.
Tea bags are available for different types of tea, such as green tea, black tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea or any other herbal tea that your taste buds may desire.
Many people consider tea bags to be single-use items. One tea bag makes a perfect cup of tea and then the used tea bag is thrown in the garbage.
Even though you cannot use the same bag to brew another cup of strong tea, people often use them to treat dark circles under the eyes, reduce eye puffiness, heal minor burns, fight bad breath and so on.
There are many beauty uses for used tea bags. However, apart from beauty, there are many awesome and unique uses that you won’t believe until you try them yourself.
Here are the 10 awesome uses of non-beauty uses of used tea bags.
1. Tenderizes Tough Meat
Tea contains tannins that act as a natural meat tenderizer to soften tough cuts of meat. In fact, marinating your meat in black tea can turn a cheap cut of meat into a juicy and tender meal.
Plus, it adds a unique, delicious flavor.
- Put 4 tablespoons of the contents of used black tea bags in a cup.
- Pour hot water over the tea contents.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain out the solution.
- Marinate your meat in this solution for 3 to 4 hours.
- Now, cook your meat the way you want it and enjoy the tender bites.
2. Deodorizes the Refrigerator
Whether the reason behind your stinky refrigerator is spoiled leftovers tucked away in the back or there was a power outage while you were away, you can get rid of the nasty smell with used tea bags.
This is a safe and effective way to deodorize a stinky refrigerator. Used tea bags will not only mask the bad odor but also keep it smelling fresh like a new one.
- Stash 3 or 4 used teabags in the refrigerator to zap unwanted odors.
- You can also keep a weak brewed tea in an open container in the refrigerator.
3. Enhances Your Compost Pile
The contents of used tea bags can be used to speed up the decomposition process and enrich your natural compost. The tea contents are brimming with nutrients and tannic acid that will improve the soil quality, increase oxygenation and help create stronger root systems when you cultivate plants in the soil.
The tea also encourages friendly bacteria to grow, which in turn prevents fungal and pest problems.
This type of compost is recommended for gardeners who aim for higher quality vegetables, flowers and foliage.
- Brew some weak tea with the used tea bags. Allow the tea to cool, then pour the liquid into the compost pile.
- You can also cut open a used tea bag and sprinkle the contents directly on the soil.
4. Adds Flavor to Oats or Grains
Not just cleaning, used tea bags can also be used in cooking. The subtle flavor will enhance the taste of your dishes and the nutritional benefits of tea will improve your health.
- Steep a couple of used bags of jasmine, green or chamomile tea in a pan of water for 10 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags from the water and add your pasta, oats or rice.
- Now, cook your dish as you want.
You can even swap weak brewed tea for stock in recipes.
5. Degreases Dishes
The tea bag that you use to make your favorite beverage can be utilized later on to degrease dirty dishes. The tannins in the tea will cut through the grease, making dishwashing a breeze.
Plus, tea is an excellent deodorizer and can help freshen up your dishwasher or sink. Also, tea bags are perfect for those who are allergic to detergents or soaps.
- Soak your greasy dishes in warm water.
- Put some used tea bags in the water to break up the grease.
- Wait 1 to 2 hours. For dishes with heavy grease, let them soak overnight.
- Finally, wash your dishes as usual – minus the dreadful scrubbing.
6. Freshens Up the Air
Tea has antibacterial properties and can be used to neutralize household odors and add a nice aromatic fragrance to your rooms.
- Put a used teabag in the sun to dry out completely. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and your homemade air freshener is ready. You can hang the tea bag in your car, kitchen, bathroom or anywhere else that needs freshening up. Preferably, use an herbal or flavored teabag like peach/cherry flavored tea bags from your local supermarket.
- Another option is to pour 2 cups of light tea brewed from used tea bags in a spray bottle. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Give the bottle a shake to thoroughly mix the contents, then simply spray it where needed.
- You can also keep used lavender-flavored tea bags in the seat covers of your car as a natural air freshener.
7. Deters Household and Garden Pests
Used tea bags, especially mint-flavored, work as a natural repellent of mosquitoes, rodents, ants and flies. This is because pests and insects simply hate the smell and taste of tea.
They can also help keep your plants free of pests and fungal infections.
- Dry the used tea bags in the sun and place them in cupboards, shelves or wherever you have a pest problem.
- Brew a mild tea with used tea bags. Allow it to cool and transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the leaves of your indoor or garden plants.
8. Cleans Leather Shoes
Leather shoes are expensive and look classic, but keeping the shoes clean and odor-free is a big task. You can simplify the task by using used tea bags.
- Clean your leather shoes by wiping a damp, brewed tea bag in circular motions around the outer portion. Then, give them a nice rub using a soft muslin cloth to add shine to the shoes.
- To reduce odor in your leather shoes, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the contents of used tea bags inside a smelly pair of shoes overnight. It helps absorb the odor and draws out moisture that makes it easier to get rid of the odor-causing bacteria that thrive in moist environments.
9. Cleans Wood and Glass
Whether you wish to remove grease from mirrors or add shine to your wooden furniture, used tea bags can come to your rescue. The tannins in tea cut through the grease and add a shine to your mirrors and wooden items.
- To make mirrors sparkle and shine, brew a pot of tea using used tea bags. Allow it to cool, then dampen a soft cloth in the solution and wipe it gently all over the surface of the mirrors. Finally, buff with a soft, lint-free cloth or a crumpled up newspaper for a stain-free shine.
- For cleaning wooden items, rebrew used tea bags and allow the tea to cool. Transfer the liquid to a spray bottle. Spray a little on the wooden surfaces to loosen up dirt, grime, fingerprints and other gunk. Wait 5 minutes, then wipe it away with a clean, lint-free cloth.
10. Keeps Pans Rust-Free
Whether there is rust in your cast iron kitchenware or on your garden tools, used tea bags can solve this problem easily.
The weak tannic acid content of used tea bags can attack the rust. It even prevents oxidation and further rusting.
- Make a very strong black tea using several used tea bags. The tea should be enough to cover the rusted pan or piece of equipment.
- Allow the tea to cool down.
- Place the rusted item in the solution and allow it to soak for a few hours.
- Remove the item from the tea and use a soft brush to rub over the rust. The rust will easily come off on the brush without much effort.
- Finally, give the item a nice rinse and dry it thoroughly before use.