15 Practical Uses of Tea in Your Household
Andreea Macoveiciuc | On 08, Jan 2014
I’m sure you’ve heard about the numerous legends surrounding the various uses of Coke in a household, from removing the grease and blood stains from clothing to cleaning oil stains, removing rust or wiping off gum from hair. Apparently Coke is an excellent solution for cleaning car battery terminals and removing paint stains from metal furniture as well.
Sounds like an incredibly powerful beverage, right? Now imagine what it does to your tissues! Instead of poisoning your body with this beverage, opt for a cup of freshly brewed tea!
Tea provides plenty of health benefits, and the leftovers can also be used in your household for practical purposes. So if you’re into recycling and like to discover new uses for everything that is recyclable, take a look at the unexpected ways tea can be used for cleaning, gardening, kitchen tasks or beauty purposes.
Practical uses of tea
1. Clean the carpets and rugs
Apply dry, used green tea leaves directly on your carpet or rug and allow them to release their active compounds for a couple of minutes. Vacuum or sweep away the leaves and your carpets will look fresher and cleaner.
2. Polish the floor or furniture
Your wood floor and furniture may also benefit from freshly brewed or used tea leaves, the high amounts of tannins found in this beverage being known to enhance the color and shine of wood flooring.
To clean the furniture, dip a soft cloth in black tea and wipe it normally. To restore the shine and color of the wood floor, dip a cloth with brewed tea and rub it against the floor, but make sure to remove the excess liquid before applying the cloth on the wood flooring. Clean the surface normally and then let it air dry.
3. Get rid of unpleasant smells
If your fridge stinks lately, due to all the leftovers, you can simply place a used tea bag on a shelf and it will absorb the unpleasant odors.
For removing fishy smells you can use the same trick, as it works wonders after preparing a fish dish – just rinse your hands with warm or cold tea and odors will be removed.
If you’re a cat person, it’s worth knowing that used tea leaves are helpful in deodorizing the litter. Place the used, green tea leaves in the litter and allow them to absorb the unpleasant smell from the cat’s litter.
And last, if you do lots of workouts and get smelly feet after spending hours with your sneakers on, give your feet a hot tea bath. Besides removing the odor, this will also relax your tired feet, soothe the skin and strengthen your toenails.
4. Soothe the tired eyes
It’s well known that applying wet teabags on your eyes helps in reducing the puffiness and soothing the pain. Still, if you don’t have the time to brew the tea and wait for the teabags to cool before applying them on your tired eyes, you can use an even simpler trick.
Place the unused teabags in the freezer for 1 minute, then apply them on your eyes or on the puffy bags under your eyes.
Cooled, used tea bags help with dark circles as well, as the low temperature and the ingredients in tea stimulate circulation and soothe the tired skin. Also, in case you’re dealing with an unpleasant and painful pinkeye, you can use warm teabags as natural compresses for relieving the discomfort.
5. Embellish your hair
As said in this article, tea is an excellent treatment for hair, so if you’re suffering from increased scalp and hair dryness, freshly brewed and cooled tea can be an excellent agent for hydrating and conditioning the skin. Just rinse your hair with this beverage and allow it to dry naturally.
For women and men with darker hair color, brewed tea makes a great hair dye as well. Black tea, mixed with rosemary and applied on the hair before going to bed, can enhance or darken the natural color of hair. So apply the liquid on your hair and let it stand overnight, then rinse with water or green hair.
Rosemary tea is also thought to be helpful in covering gray hairs, and it’s a lot cheaper than commercial hair dye! Prepare the tea, let it stand overnight, then strain it through your hair after shampooing normally. Use the tea as a leave-in conditioner and do not rinse the hair, and pay attention to what you’re wearing, as the liquid might stain the clothes.
6. Fertilize the potted plants
Flower lovers can fertilize their plants with tea, as the tannins in this beverage nourish the potted flowers. Spreading used tea leaves around the plants is also helpful, if the ferns or plants like acidic soil. You can replace the tea leaves with teabags, but keep in mind that these help the soil retain more water, so you might need to water the plants less often.
7. Keep air fresh
Instead of using commercial (and odd smelling) air fresheners in your car, replace them with used teabags or fresh tea leaves, placed in a box under the seat. Lavender tea works great for this, but you can pick any other herbal tea if you prefer milder fragrances.
As for your house, it can also benefit from tea’s air freshening properties. Put some nice looking loose tea leaves in a wood box and place it on the nightstand, countertop or fireplace.
And speaking of fireplaces, dust rising from the ashes can also be reduced by simply sprinkling a few wet tea leaves on the ashes, before cleaning the area.
8. Soothe burns and blisters
Wet teabags or tea baths can replace commercial creams for soothing sunburns. Canker sores and fever blisters heal faster if covered with warm teabags, and razor burns can also be relieved by applying wet tea bags on the damaged skin.
9. Homemade soap
If you’re into homemade beauty products, you can add tea in your soap, as besides enhancing its fragrance, tea will also contribute to a smoother skin.
10. Improve your oral health
Bleeding gums and bad breath are two of the oral health problems that can be solved with tea. For bleeding gums, place a cooled teabag in the mouth, and wait for a couple of minutes. It should stop the bleeding and reduce the discomfort as well.
As for your breath, it can be refreshed with peppermint tea. This contains menthol so besides removing the unpleasant smell, it can also act as a natural antiseptic, relieving mild toothaches.
11. Speed up recovery from injections
Placing a wet, used teabag on the injection site helps in relieving the pain and reducing the swelling after receiving an injection. Also, it speeds up skin’s recovery, so keep this in mind the next time you’re supposed to take your baby to the physician’s office for a painful injection.
12. Tenderize meat before cooking
Marinating the meat in tea before cooking makes it tenderer and easier to digest. Use black tea for an enhanced taste and add the regular seasonings you use for marinating meat cuts.
13. Clean the windows and mirrors
Another practical use of tea in your household is for making the windows and mirrors shine. Brew a pot of tea, cool it down and dip a cloth in the liquid, wiping the mirrors and windows, then use a dry cloth to ensure a perfect shine.
14. Enhance your skin’s beauty
It’s not only your windows and mirrors that will look perfectly clean and shiny after “treating” them with tea – your skin will also look smoother and rejuvenated, as tea is known to calm redness, help in removing acne spots, relieve irritation and inflammation, reduce the swelling and restore the even coloration of skin.
15. Dye your fabrics
Last on our list is the use of tea as fabric dye. This natural and completely inexpensive dye leaves a beige color, so keep this in mind before starting the process. Shades are quite similar whether you opt for green or black tea leaves.
These are surely not all the potential uses of tea in one’s household, so if you have other tips you’d like to share with us, please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section!