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2X4: Four Ways to Reuse Tea

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Jessica
05.31.13

You’ve probably heard that a hot cup of Chai or Earl Gray is good for your body and soothes your soul, but did you know that it’s helpful around the house, too? Instead of tossing your tea bags, use them to tenderize meat or fertilize flowers! Here are four ways to reuse tea:

Photo1 : Old New House | Etsy

Freshen Carpets. Between pets, diapered children and wintery weather, your carpets are probably seeing a lot of action these days. Even if you don’t have small ones rolling around on your carpet, you want it to smell good! To freshen a stinky, musty carpet, simply sprinkle dried tea leaves onto it. Let the leaves sit for about 10 minutes, and then vacuum them up. If your carpets have been hit pretty hard with stinkbugs lately, you might have to do this a few times.

Tenderize Meat. Impress your dinner party guests with a perfectly tenderized ribeye steak! Tea makes for a great meat tenderizer and can be substituted for more expensive alternatives like red wine. Its naturally occurring tannins soften meats and make them more palatable. To tenderize your meat, steep the tea in boiling water for about five minutes. Mix ½ a cup of brown sugar into the water until it dissolves. Then, pour the mix over your meat. Cook it however you please – your meat will be tender enough to slice with a fork!

Photo 3: The Foodess

Make Cake. If you want to take your cakes to the next level, some tea leaves may be just what the doctor ordered. Not sure where to start? A few leftover Chai tea leaves work extremely well in this apple cake. All you need are a few items from your spice rack, some butter and apples. That’s it! For a full list of ingredients (there might be two or three we didn’t mention) and step-by-step instructions, visit The Foodess. Bon Appétit!

Fertilize Plants. To make your plants lush and your flowers beautiful, transfer tea’s nutrients to your soil by adding a few tea bags to the mix. This one is simple – just stick a few tea bags in your fertilizer. Done! If you don’t like the look of tea bags in your soil, simply empty the contents of the bags into your fertilizer or use loose tea leaves, instead. If you want to start working some seriously brag-worthy plant game, read Much Ado About Mulch.

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