14 Great Uses for Used Teabags

14 Great Uses for Used Teabags
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Tea of all varieties is delicious, and as most of us already know it’s also filled with health benefits (read my article about 6 tea types for great health). But did you know that there are benefits to utilizing your tea bag beyond the first cup? Even after you’ve enjoyed your drinking tea, there are plenty of additional uses to be steeped from the tea bag you would normally throw in the trash. After reading this article you will never want to throw out a used tea bag again.

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Medicinal Compounds in Tea

There are different uses for different types of tea, for instance black tea is often useful because it contains high levels of tannins. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds which are responsible for the astringent, antioxidant, dark color and bitter aspects of tea. Particularly rich in black tea, tannins have been found by researchers to have antimicrobial activity, enhance ability for the blood to clot and help to reduce blood pressure.

Many herbal teas have additional uses for old tea bags also. Chamomile has soothing qualities, useful for relieving inflammation. Blondes can also use multiple old chamomile tea bags infused for a few hours in hot water, as a hair rinse to bring out highlights. Peppermint tea is great for reusing as a mild mouthwash to replace commercial alternatives. Nettle tea can be steeped for many hours and reused multiple times before all the amazing minerals are fully extracted.

You can bet there’s a use for just about every type of tea you could think of. Some of these uses may surprise you but it can’t hurt to give them a try!

Health Uses

1. Soothe a Sunburn

Ease the pain of a sunburn with re-used black tea bags. You can re-infuse a few tea bags and use the tea in a spray bottle to soothe irritated areas. Another option is to add the tea bags to your bath and soak up the tannins in the black tea which will mitigate the irritation caused by too much fun in the sun.

2. Acne

Ever get a pesky pimple at the exact wrong time? Soak a used black or green tea bag in warm water and apply to the affected area for 10 minutes. The tannins help to reduce swelling and decrease redness. Tea also have anti-microbial activity and one study found green tea extract to be particularly good for treating skin problems.

Further reading: Read my article about 8 amazing health benefits of green tea. For more natural acne treatments click here.

3. Canker Sores and Cold Sores

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Both canker sores and cold sores are painful and seem to take forever to heal. Speed up the healing process by soaking a black tea bag in warm water and letting it’s medicinal tannins absorb into the sore for half an hour a few times a day. This should bring relief and speed up healing.

Further reading: Read my article about the best home remedies for cold sores.

4. Puffy and Sore Eyes

The oldest trick in the book for soothing puffy tired eyes. Simply place cool tea bags over your eyelids for a few minutes to reap the refreshing benefits.

Further reading: You may also wish to try this soothing gel for tired eyes or these 7 natural ways to get rid of puffy eyes.

5. Mouthwash

Peppermint tea makes for a delightful mouthwash, simply reuse your peppermint tea bags, about 6 per qt of hot water, to make a strong peppermint brew for your bathroom. This all natural breath freshener is free and a lot better for you than fluoridated varieties (read my article about fluoride here).

6. Remove Warts

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Black tea can help to draw warts out from the root due to the acidity in the tannins. It’s best to tape the wet tea bag to the affected area and allow it to sit for a few hours a day. Replace daily until the wart is gone. You should see results within a few days. If this treatment doesn’t yield good results, try to use apple cider vinegar instead – see instructions here, or hydrogen peroxide.

7. Heal Insect Bites

Once again, tea comes to the rescue in soothing inflammation and pain this time associated with insect bites. You can use black or green tea bags, soaked in warm water and apply the water to the bites, or tape the tea bag directly on the bite for instant relief. If you suffer from mosquito bites, find here more natural ways to relieve it.

8. Heal a Bruise

You can use a black tea bag as a natural home remedy for bruises, and for a black eye. The tannins in the tea can help to constrict the blood vessels and speed up the healing process. Press a warm wet black tea bag to the bruise a few times per day to help shrink swollen tissue and fade the bruise more quickly.

9. Removes Odors

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Ever cut an onion and notice the smell lingering on your hands for hours after? Use a black tea bag to rub the scent out of your fingers. You can also use the same tea bag to remove residual onion or garlic odors from your wooden cutting board.

10. Enhance Highlights

Chamomile tea bags can be reused to make a strong hair rinse which will bring out blonde highlights. Use 6 tea bags per liter of hot water to make an infusion and rinse your hair with it before you are finished in the bath or shower. Click here to find how to make other natural hair dyes.

11. Mineral Supplement

Nettle tea is incredibly high in minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron and there’s plenty of action left after your first cup of tea. Save nettle tea bags to make a strong mineral rich infusion. Use as many tea bags as you want and boil a gallon of water. Let the tea bags steep for several hours to overnight. Store in the fridge and drink as a daily mineral tonic, great for healthy hormones and immune function.

Home Uses

12. Nutrient Rich Compost

Even after you’ve reused your tea bags, they are still valuable organic material which will add life to your garden or potted indoor plants. Tea bags themselves are biodegradable so simply add them to your compost or bury them in your potted plants to preserve moisture in the soil.

13. Rust Proof Cast Iron

The tannins in black tea protect against rust and are a great way to keep your cast iron cookware in tip top shape. After every use, rub a wet black tea bag all over the surface of your cast iron. The invisible barrier of tannins from the tea will help your cookware to last for a very long time.

 14. Easy Steak Marinade

Because of the acidic nature of black tea it’s great to tenderizing tough cuts of meat. Make a strong infusion from your leftover tea bags to use in marinades, combine with herbs, spices, garlic and you will have flavorful, melt in your mouth steaks. Allow the marinade to absorb into the meat for at least a few hours or overnight. The tea also imparts a lovely rich flavor to the meat.

If you love recycling, you may also want to use your empty egg cartons – find here 15 surprising uses for them, or use your citrus or banana peels:

15 Amazing Uses For Citrus and Banana Peels

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