test-Beyond the Mug: 17 Ways to Use Tea Bags
Bath & Beauty
Beyond the Mug: 17 Ways to Use Tea Bags
Jenna M. • October 19, 2016

Confession: I’m a tea addict. I’ve written posts about brewing the perfect cup, choosing the best tea for your mood and tea facts worth knowing.

All of these posts got me thinking about what happens after enjoying a delicious cuppa. There has to be life after brew, after all, so I decided to research what I could do with my used tea bags.

I found several tea bag uses for beauty, cooking, cleaning and gardening. Check out the full list below and let me know your favorite uses.

Add Tea Bags to Your Beauty Routine

1Give Hair a Shinier, Conditioned Look
Adding a cup of tea to your hair rinse post-shampoo will create a shinier look and even make it more manageable by nourishing your hair from scalp to tip. This technique is best for those with darker hair.

2Produce Natural Highlights
People with light hair use tea bags when they want a natural looking color change. Subtle highlights will appear as you rinse with tea on a regular basis.

3Combat Gray Hair
If gray is an undesirable look to you, rinsing with tea and herbs can help. Boil one cup of water and steep three tea bags and one tablespoon of both sage and rosemary. Allow the mixture to sit overnight before straining. After shampooing, use a spray bottle to distribute, or pour the mixture on your hair. Towel blot your hair without rinsing. This process may require multiple rinses to fully cover the gray.

4Revitalize Tired Eyes
Under-eye bags due to fatigue and stress are no fun. Tannins found in tea bags can help soothe the eye area and give them a revitalized look. Just soak two tea bags in warm water and put them under your eyes for about 20 minutes.

5Reduce Foot Odor
Got stinky feet? There’s a tea for that! As with tired eyes, tea tannins help reduce foot odor. Simply soak your feet in a tea bath for 20 minutes. For heavier odors, try black tea.

6Take an Antioxidant Bath
Want to relax and get more antioxidants? You’re in luck! Your skin will use the antioxidants from tea. Just add the bags to the bath or let them hang over faucet while filling up your tub. Choose chamomile, jasmine or other fragrant teas to give your bath a touch of aromatherapy. 



Multiple Uses for Tea Bags in the Kitchen

7Add Flavor to Grain and Pasta Dishes

Experiment with your favorite grain and pasta recipes by adding tea. Just steep a used tea bag in a pot of water and remove once the water comes to a boil. Mix it up by trying green, chai, jasmine, chamomile or other teas with a unique flavor.

8Tenderize Meat
Add black tea to your recipe when you want tender meat. Steep 4 tablespoons of black tea leaves in warm water for about 5 minutes. Strain tea and mix into ½ cup of brown sugar until it dissolves. Season meat and place in a Dutch oven, then pour tea mixture over the meat. Bake at 325°F for about 90 minutes or until the meat becomes tender.

9Combat Refrigerator Odors
Add a used tea bag to your refrigerator to help absorb nasty odors. Use multiple tea bags if necessary.

10Prevent Rusty Cookware
Whether you’re using a skillet or traditional cookware, keeping rust away is simple! Rub a damp, used tea bag over your cookware to release tannins, which help prevent rusting and oxidation. Do this after each use to maintain rust free cookware.

11Remove Dish Grease
Tannins come to the rescue once more with greasy dishes. Simply put a couple tea bags in a sink of warm water, add dishes and leave them to sit overnight or for a couple hours. Drain sink and rinse dishes like normal. The tannins will help release the grease and food particles. 


How to Use Tea Bags Around the House

12Clean Wooden Surfaces
The tea benefits just keep on coming! Boil a quart of water with a couple tea bags in it. Allow the mixture to cool before dipping in a cloth. Wring it out and wipe on wooden furniture and floors. The tannins will remove any dirt and grime.

13Clean Glass Surfaces
Brew tea with already used tea bags to create a weaker mixture. Add the tea to a spray bottle and spray on glass surfaces. As with other surfaces, this will help loosen dirt, grime and fingerprints. Wipe away the mixture for a shiny, clean look.

14Deodorize Rugs and Carpets
Open used tea bags and allow leaves to dry until they are a little damp. Sprinkle leaves over rug and/or carpet and let them dry before vacuuming them up.

15Neutralize Litter Box Odor
This one is simple! Sprinkle dried used tea leaves over the litter box and shake in with litter. The combination won’t harm your cat and will help with those pesky odors.

16Create a Fresh Scent
Odors go beyond the litter box. Once again, tea will help. Hang dry used bags around your home. The secret is adding a few drops of essential oil to each bag. You can add more oil once the scent wears off.

17Boost Your Garden
Water your garden with brewed tea! Simply pour a weakened tea mixture over the garden area. You can also sprinkle damp leaves around the plants to fertilize or add used bags to your compost pile.

What are some of your favorite ways to use tea bags?

Looking to try a new flavor of tea? Check out our selection of teas.


Additional Resources for Unique Tea Bag Uses: