Do you have a mountain of mysterious tea bags in your cupboard that you have no idea what to do with? Don’t throw them away! There are so many ways you can use tea around the house, in the garden, for your health and even in cooking/baking. Here are fourteen great ideas:
Health & Body:
1. SOAK YOUR FEET
Add used tea bags to warm water and soak your feet to neutralize foot odors, soften calluses, and nourish your skin. Tip from Natural Living Ideas.
2. ANTIOXIDANT BATH
Because tea leaves contain antioxidants, bathing in warm water steeped with pre-brewed tea bags is great for your skin. Either hang the used bags over the faucet and let the water run through them as you fill your bath, or drop the bags directly into the water to create a nourishing tea bath. Use teas like Jasmine or Chamomile for a fragrant experience. Tip from Natural Living Ideas.
3. COOL SUNBURNED SKIN
What can you do when you forget to use sunscreen and have to pay the price with a painful burn? A few wet tea bags applied to the affected skin will take out the sting. This works well for other types of minor burns too. If the sunburn is too widespread to treat this way, put some tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub. Tip from Reader’s Digest.
4. RELIEVE TIRED EYES
Revitalize tired, achy, or puffy eyes. Soak two tea bags in warm water and place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The tannins in the tea act to reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes. Tip from Reader’s Digest.
5. SOOTHING MOUTHWASH
To ease toothache or other mouth pain, rinse your mouth with a cup of warm peppermint tea mixed with a pinch or two of salt. Peppermint is an antiseptic and contains menthol, which alleviates pain on contact with skin surfaces. Teas that contain cloves and/or star anise would also work well. Tip from Reader’s Digest.
6. ADD FLAVOUR TO PASTA AND GRAINS
Add a new or used tea bag to flavor rice, pasta, quinoa or couscous. Some delicious ideas to get you started: try jasmine or chamomile tea with rice, green tea with pasta, chai or cinnamon spice tea with oatmeal. Tip from Natural Living Ideas.
7. FREEZE IT
Brew a pot of mint, lemon or ginger tea and freeze it in ice cube trays. Add to water, juice or smoothies. Try lemonade with ginger tea or pineapple juice with mint tea. Tip from Real Foods Witch.
8. ADD GROUND TEA TO BAKED GOODS
Muffins, cookies, cakes, breads and scones pair with tea flavors well, especially when the recipe is fairly plain. Try this Chai Muffin Recipe or this Earl Grey Tea Cookie Recipe. Tip from Organic Authority.
9. MERGE YOUR GREENS
Add green tea leaves to leafy greens when cooking. The fresh, earthy flavors of kale, chard and spinach are all enhanced by a sprinkling of green tea. Tip from Organic Authority.
10. FISH + WHITE FRUITY TEAS
Poach salmon and other fish in citrus-flavored white teas for a tender, exotic flavor. Teas are also great for poaching fruit: pears, apples, peaches and plums. Tip from Organic Authority.
11. ADD TO POTTED PLANTS
A few used teabags in the bottom of a planter can help the soil retain water and add valuable nutrients. Tip from Fox News.
12. PLANT SEEDS IN OLD TEA BAGS
Tea bags are the perfect place to put your seedlings. Why? Because they make great plant food. And because they have been dunked in boiling water, they are sterile, so no bugs or diseases can get to your sapling, or young plant. Instructions on how to grow a tea bag garden here. Tip from Kiwi Conservation Club.Hakuturi Toa
13. FEED YOUR GARDEN
Instead of throwing away your old tea bags into the garbage or compost, consider adding them to a jar of water kept in the fridge. Use the resulting weak tea to water your plants and protect them from fungal infections. Alternately, open up used tea bags and sprinkle the damp leaves around the base of your plants to fertilize the soil and deter garden pests like mice. Afterwards be sure to add them to your compost pile for a boost of nutrients. Just remember to remove the metal staple if your tea bags are the kind that have them. Tip from Natural Living Ideas.
14. DEGREASE DIRTY DISHES
Soak your dishes in warm water with a couple of used tea bags to break up grease without the application of harsh chemicals. The tea will also help to loosen any stuck on food and save you from the endless scrubbing. Tip from Natural Living Ideas.
We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below, or post a picture on social media using the #randomactsofgreen hashtag!