19 Ways To Upcycle Tea Bags

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What do you normally do with your used tea bags? Throw them in the bin? Put them in your compost? Leave them sat on the side of the sink all day which drives your other half nuts? Perhaps, that last one is just me? 

Personally, I’m a huge tea fan, especially fair trade and organic teas. If you’re into conscious consumerism too then check out the new platform called Atlist. A place where ethical bloggers, like myself, provide you with inspiration for choosing a range of ethical products.

Did you know that there are lots of ways that you can upcycle tea bags? Today I thought I’d put together a list of 19 different ways you can reuse yours…

19 Ways to Upcycle Tea bags 

1. Pamper your Feet

Now this one might seem a little weird but it really works and it’s really easy to do. Simply put your used tea bag into a bowl of warm water and let it infuse for a minute. Then put your feet in the bowl and relax for a while.

The tea bag not only neutralizes foot odours but it also softens the skin.

Pamper your feet

2. Freshen your Shoes

You can use tea to remove odours in your shoes. You need to dry the tea leaves a bit first and then place them in your shoes overnight.

3. Freshen your Fridge 

In case you hadn’t guessed already tea bags are great for neutralizing all types of household odours. Stick a few used teabags in a container in your fridge to get rid of any unwanted smells.

4. Soak in the Bath 

You can create a detoxing bath by adding used tea bags to it. You can either just drop the bags into your bath or if you have a little mesh bag hang it below the taps so the water pours through the tea bags into the bath.

5. Soothe Sunburn 

If you’ve been in the sun for too long place wet teabags on your skin to help soothe and cool it down.

Related Post: 10 Uses for Leftover Green Tea Leaves

6. Tenderise Meat

Infuse the used tea bags in some hot water and leave for a few minutes. Let the tea cool down and then marinate your meat in the tea for 30 minutes. The meat should cook faster and be more tender.

7. Clean your Mirrors 

Tea is great for cleaning mirrors. Brew a second pot of tea with a handful of used tea bags. Leave it to cool and use it to clean your mirrors.

clean mirrors with tea bags

8. Feed Plants in your Garden

Tea is full of organic nutrients which are perfect for plants. Soak you leaves in water for several days and strain the liquid. Then pour the liquid at the base of your plants. Make sure there aren’t any actual tea leaves in the liquid as they would rot which would attract harmful bugs.

9. Clean your Carpets

For this one, you need to scatter slightly damp tea leaves onto your carpet. Open up your tea bag to do this. Leave them for 10 minutes, then hoover them up. The leaves attract the dust which then gets sucked up with the leaves.

10. Deter Bugs 

You can burn the tea leaves form a tea bag to deter flies and mosquitoes. They need to be sun-dried first though. Also, you must remove the tea leaves from the bag first!

11. Use as a Mouthwash 

Boil up any used tea bags, leave them to cool and rinse your mouth with the liquid to reduce bad breath.

Use tea as a mouthwash

12. Clean your Toilet Bowl 

Throw some used tea leaves into the bottom of the toilet bowl and leave them in there for 10 minutes. Then simply flush away, the stains in the bowl should go with them. Don’t throw in whole tea bags as you’re likely to block your toilet.

13. Clear up Spots 

Used tea bags work a treat on acne. Rub them onto your face and wash them off for clearer skin.

14. Reducing House Dust Mites & Making Wood Shine

A top tip here from Rae, the founder of Zero Waste Week

“The tannin in tea is fabulous for reducing the house dust mite and making wood shine. So grab your used tea bags, put them in some hot water – like you’re making a stewed cup of tea (!) and use that liquid with a mop or wrung out duster on your wooden surfaces.”

used tea to clean wood

15. Get Rid of Grease 

Soak your greasy dishes with tea bags. The tea helps to break up the grease.

16. For your Eyes 

Place damp used tea bags under your eyes to help reduce dark circles. Hold them there for a few minutes. This is especially great for the morning after a night of overindulgence of alcohol. The tannins in the tea help to keep skin tight and the caffeine makes the dark circles less visible.

17. Conditioner for your Hair 

Place the used tea bags in some boiled water and allow it to steep for a while. Let it cool down until it’s just warm. Then after you shampoo your hair pour the mixture over it to condition it. Leave it on for up to 10 minutes and then rinse. Your hair should be lovely and shiny afterwards.

18. Reduce the Humidity in your Home 

To do this you first need to sun dry the leaves outside, the same as the fridge one. Then simply place the leaves in a damp area of your home. The leaves absorb excess moisture.

19. Flavour Foods 

Similar to the meat one you can use used tea bags to flavour other foods such as pasta and grains. Whilst your water is warming up in the pan add your used tea bags. Remove them just before you put in your pasta or other food product.

Mint tea works especially well with potatoes.

Upcycle tea bags

Would you consider trying any of the above tips to upcycle tea bags? Or do you have another use for used tea bags? If so I’d love to hear it. 

Gina Caro



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2 thoughts on “19 Ways To Upcycle Tea Bags”

  1. If you are planting something in a pot, and you dont have any broken crocks to cover the holes at the bottom of the pot, used teabags are perfect as they stop the compost from being washed out of the pot when you water, but still allow the pot to drain.

  2. As a tea drinker, I love this post – lots of good ideas to re-use teabags instead of just composting or throwing them away!

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