You’ve probably heard that a hot cup of Chamomile or Earl Gray is good for your body and soothing to your soul, but did you know that it’s helpful around the house, too? Reusing tea isn’t a new phenomenon – in ancient Chinese culture, tea was burned on summer evenings to keep unwanted pests away. So take a cue from the Chinese and stop tossing your tea bags after you’ve brewed a pot. Instead, use it to tenderize meat, clean mirrors or even fertilize flowers!
Here are 7 of our favorite ways to reuse tea bags:
Tenderize meat. Marinate your meat with leftover tea or old teabags to prevent it from becoming tough. The sweetness of the tea will add flavor and keep your meat moist.
Clean mirrors. Tea can remove grease and grime on mirrors! Simply brew a second pot of tea with 1-2 old bags, and then use your watered-down tea as a cleaning solution. Pair your tea with coffee filters to create the perfect mirror-cleaning duo.
Deodorize closets. To remove stale odors from your closet, place a few dried tea bags on a small plate inside of your closet. The tea will absorb the nasty odors. Tip: If your shoes are the smelly culprits, place the tea bags directly inside of them.
De-must carpets. To freshen a musty carpet, simply sprinkle dried tea leaves onto it. Let the leaves sit for about 10 minutes, and then vacuum them up.
Fertilize plants. Transfer tea’s nutrients to your soil by adding a few tea bags to your fertilizer. 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.
Remove toilet stains. To remove nasty stains from the bottom of your toilet bowl, throw a few tea bags into the toilet and let them sit for several minutes (if your stains are really nasty, give it some extra time). When the bags are flushed down the toilet, the stains will go with them!
Brew a second pot. Tea bags are not a one-use item. You can use the same bag to brew more than one pot of tea, which will save you money in the long run. Just be sure to steep your tea a little longer the second time around so your drink still has plenty of flavor!