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You’ve probably heard that a hot cup of tea is good for your body and soothes your soul, but did you know that it can also help you make a greener home? Reusing tea for these common household tasks is a great way to avoid using chemical-based cleaning products (and save some money, while you’re at it).
Remove toilet stains. To remove ugly stains from the bottom of your toilet bowl, throw a few used tea bags into the toilet and let them sit for several minutes (or longer, if your stains are particularly bad). When the bags are flushed down the toilet, the stains will go with them. Whoosh!
Freshen carpets. Between pets, diapered children and nasty weather (read: dirty shoes), 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 still want it to smell nice! To freshen a stinky or musty carpet, simply sprinkle a handful of dried tea leaves onto it. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, and then vacuum.
Clean mirrors. Forget store-bought cleaners! Tea can remove grease and grime on mirrors like a boss. Simply brew a second pot of tea with 1-2 used tea 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.
Fertilize plants. To make your plants lush and your flowers beautiful, transfer tea’s nitrogen-rich nutrients to your soil by adding a few tea bags to the fertilizer-mix. Don’t like the look of tea bags in your soil? 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.
Tenderize meat. Want to impress your dinner party guests with a perfectly tenderized rib-eye steak? Use tea! Tea is a great meat tenderizer because it contains naturally occurring tannins and can be substituted for more expensive alternatives like red wine. Steep the tea in boiling water for about five minutes. Mix a ½ cup of brown sugar into the water until it dissolves. Then, pour the mixture over your meat and cook it like you normally would. Bon appetit!