New Uses For Old Tea Bags

New Uses For Old Tea Bags

Apr 01, 2020Hayden

Tea has been around for thousands of years. It can be prepared in a number of ways, but the most common way to make it is with a kettle of boiling water and some teabags. There's always been one problem with making tea though: What do you do with the leftover tea bags? They're kind of a sloppy mess, so most people just throw them away. We're here to tell you why that isn't a good idea. Why? What use could anyone have for old teabags? Read on and we'll tell you!

Remove Makeup

Teabags are slightly acidic, so they are good for removing different types of makeup. One Redditor found them particularly good for removing eyeliner. Even commercial makeup removal cloths generally have some green tea oil in them, so why not just go to the source?

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Fix A Broken Nail

This is a tricky one, but if you have a broken nail, it can be helpful. You can look at the tutorial, but we'll also describe it in case it isn't clear. First, cut a little piece of the teabag off - it's actually better if it's wet. Use super glue to adhere the piece of a teabag to the nail. Wait for it to dry, file it, and coat with nail polish. No one will even know!

Prevent Mice From Infesting Your Home

Mice hate the smell of peppermint. If you need to prevent mice from coming into your house(and who doesn't), peppermint tea bags are a great way to do it. Boil up a pot of strong peppermint tea and place the teabags at all the entry points of the house. You can drink the tea and relax, knowing that no rodents will be coming in.

Sprouting Seeds

Teabags should never be discarded because they are perfect for your garden. One of their best uses is to germinate seeds. Just place the used bags on a plate and put seeds on the wet part. You just have to make sure that they are kept moist until the seeds start sprouting. Afterward, you can plant it the whole thing in the dirt. The teabag will continue to help this plant grow!

Puffy Eyes, Red Eyes, Dark Circles, Styes!

This one should not be a surprise, but we're going to talk about it for a reason. Wet tea bags are great for reducing any cosmetic problem around eyes, including puffiness, dark circles, and more. Everyone knows this, but we're listing this as a warning. Make sure to ONLY use green tea or black tea for this. Some herbal teas contain cinnamon or even pepper, which can actually burn your eyes.

Stop Bleeding

Nurses have used this one for years, so it's good to know it. Teabags are great for minor wounds. If you cut yourself, just apply the tea bag directly to the wound. This will absorb some of the blood. It also acts as a mild antiseptic so the wound won't get infected any further. Teabags also contain a chemical called epigallocatechin-3-gallate or just ECGC, which is an anti-inflammatory substance.

Sunburn Relief

A tea bag's natural antiseptic properties combined with its EDCD anti-inflammatory properties make it the perfect remedy for sunburn. So if you stay out in the sun for too long, make some tea and hold it on your burn. This should help cool off even the reddest burn. It might help prevent peeling as well.

Hair Rinse

Due to their acidity, tea bags can be used to make a nutrient-rich hair rinse. Used tea bags are ideal because you don't want the tea to be too strong. This acts a lot like an apple cider vinegar rinse and will make your hair nice and shiny. It's less smelly and messy than apple cider vinegar too. Green tea works best.

Hair Dye

Old reused tea bags can also be used to make a hair lightener. This will turn dark black hair to a lighter shade of brown. You can use other colors too. Hibiscus tea will turn hair red temporarily, and brown tea can make gray hair a bit darker. The picture above is from a woman who used honey lemon tea on her hair, and this was the third application.


Take a few old teabags and stick them in the water while you cook your rice. This will give the rice a nice, slightly sweeter flavor. It works especially well with Asian flavors such as jasmine rice. Chai tea is good if you're cooking Indian food.

Overnight Mojitos

This one is kind of specific, but it works really well. If you have old mint tea bags, you can steep them in light rum overnight. The next day, you'll have mojitos! Just add some sugar and some lime. The base is covered by the mint tea, and you won't have to crush it up.

Litterbox Liner

If you have a cat, we'd guess that one of your least favorite jobs is cleaning the litterbox. Well, if you sprinkle some used, dried green tea leaves into the litter, it will smell better. Don't use mint though because cats hate the smell of mint. A company in China has actually commercialized this idea and now makes green tea cat litter!

Stain Paper

Some of you have probably done this one before. If you have kids or if you are crafty, the best way to make a piece of paper look old is to dip it in black tea made from old teabags. It's a bit weaker than using new ones, but the paper holds up better. The tannins in black tea can stain a lot of things though so be careful.

Shine Your Wood

Old tea bags can be used on wood surfaces to make them shiny again. With this one, you have to be careful too. Make sure it's a REAL wood surface and not a veneer or laminate. This works because the tannins will destroy oils and dirt that makes the surfaces dull.

Glass Cleaner

Take your old tea bags and steep them in cold or slightly warm water. Then pour a bit of white vinegar in and pour the mix into a spray bottle. This makes an excellent glass cleaner. The teabags make it smell nice, the vinegar keeps it from streaking, and the tannins will help get rid of hard water stains.

Fix Shaving Nicks

For most men, shaving is no fun. You lather up your face with gel or shaving cream, use a lubricated razor, and you still get nicks and cuts. If this happens to you, take the teabag from your morning tea and put it directly on the shaving injury. This will lessen the swelling and help stop the bleeding. It's better than little pieces of toilet paper!

Remove Shoe Odor

Smelly shoes are a problem in just about every household. You could use baking soda to clean them or any number of commercial products, but teabags work even better. Not only will they absorb the smells, but they also can actually make the shoes smell BETTER by using a strong smelling tea.

Darken Up Faded Black Clothing

You may want to use a stronger mixture for this one. Obviously, black tea works the best. Take your faded black shirt and soak it for ten minutes in a mixture of one part of strong black tea to 4 parts water. Hang it up and let it dry. If it isn't dark enough, you can repeat it as many times as you'd like. The tannins will restain the clothes, so it won't come off in the wash, either.

Sleep On It

Admittedly, you'll need A LOT of tea for this one, so it might not be 100% practical. If you can do it though, it's awesome! Stuff a pillowcase with old tea leaves. MAKE SURE to seal it shut. After that, just try sleeping on it. It helps cure insomnia and sinus problems because of the scent and the general "squishyness" of the leaves.

Clean Your Sink

We've talked about how old teabags are a good degreaser and how they are good at cleaning some hard water stains. Which part of your house has both of these things? The sink, of course! You can use tea bags to clean and scrub down your sink, and it will get rid of everything.

Shrink Warts

There are a ton of home remedies for wart removal or shrinkage. Using green tea bags is a good one. Take a used tea bag and apply it to warts 3-4 times per day. Green tea works best for this since it has the most antioxidants. Make sure the bags are nice and wet before you use them so the tea can really sink in.

Numb A Toothache

One way to reduce tooth pain after a wisdom tooth extraction is to place a wet tea bag on the extraction spot and just leave it there. Once again, just let the tea bag do its magic, and in this case, it will also act as a cushion between your top and bottom teeth. You'll get the antiseptic effect we've mentioned before, so it will stay clean too. You might even have fresher breath afterward!

Make More Tea

Did you know that you can reuse teabags? As long as they are still wet, you should be able to use the same tea bags on multiple pots of tea. You can also store them wet and reuse them later. This hack could save you a bit of money or help you out in a pinch. If you don't want to do this, we understand. That's none of our business...

Easter Eggs

If commercial dye kits are too garish for you, used tea bags can also be used to make more subtly colored Easter eggs. You'll have to dip the eggs in tea for a little while and then let them sit for at least an hour afterward. Hibiscus tea will make them a pastel pink color, so it's one of the best for this project.

Paint Substitute

Italian artist Guilia Bernardelli has created these cool little paintings using paper and tea. She lets it spill on to the paper and then shapes it to whatever she sees. You can do stuff like this too. Splatter tea on to paper or spray it on. They may not be this elaborate, but still cool.

Analyze Someone's Personality

According to H2G2, how you dispose of your used tea bags says something about your personality. For example, if you tear yours apart for composting, it's a sign that you are pursuing a healthy lifestyle. If you leave them in a sink at work, you're probably thoughtless and a bit of a jerk. If you leave a trail of drips, you are probably lazy, and so on. It's a surprisingly accurate test!

Prevent Pests

People who grow fruit and veggies may use tea packs to keep pests and fungi from damaging their plants. It's very easy! Use your old tea leaves to create a weaker infusion of tea in your yard. Afterward, you could also scatter the dried leaves within your herb jar. This is a great way to remove insects.

Remove Strong Food Smell

Teabags are very absorbent, so they can also make good scrubs. If you need to wash your greasy hands, they are a good way to get them clean without any smell. They are also effective in removing onion and garlic smell. So, don't even think about using a lot of soap, start with the teabag first! ⠀

Cure Irritations

Used tea bags can actually be employed as topical remedies thanks to their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Heat the packets again and add them to places that are irritated or slightly sore, and the influence of the tea should wipe out your problems. In addition to that, the positive effect of the tea will also reduce the pain and boost the healing process.

Chase Away Mosquitoes

Incense lovers should know that tea or infusion leaves can also be used in an incense burner to clean the environment and chase away mosquitoes; especially if the content is black tea, lemon, lavender, rosemary or eucalyptus.

Clean Windows

To clean glass surfaces, such as windows, mirrors or even glass and crystal objects, soak used tea bags in warm water and then pour the contents into a clean spray bottle. Spray the surfaces with this liquid and wipe them using a clean, lint-free cloth.

Get Rid Of Fungi

If you want to prevent fungi from appearing on your plants, immerse the used tea bags in warm water and wait for the contents to be colored by the remains of the tea. Then, spray the liquid on your plants or use it to water them. You will see that the number of fungi will decrease!

Add Flavor To Your Oats

You can get oatmeal with different and incredible flavors for your breakfast. You only have to make a tea infusion in the water that you mix with it. You can use an old tea bag since you don't want the flavor to be too strong. Mix it with your favorite nuts and dried fruits, such as raisins, almonds, peanuts, or any other fresh fruit.

Dye Some Fabric Or Clothing

Dyeing fabric with black tea is a natural way to change the color of the fabric - but it only works with natural fiber fabrics, such as cotton. The final shade resembles sepia, giving the piece a refined look. All you need to do is make a tea infusion, and soak your entire fabric in it.

Cook A Juicy Turkey

Are you tired of making a dry Christmas turkey? You can make use of the used tea bags you have at home by placing them in the turkey's cooking water. This will result in the juiciest turkey you have ever tasted. Certainly, the delicious flavor and tenderness of the meat will also impress you!

 Remove Rust

Tea has the power to clean dirty metal. So if you want to polish those old pots that are already ugly, put aside aggressive chemicals and start using the tea bags for that. Just fill a container with hot water and put in some used tea bags. With this water, you will be able to scrub and clean your rusted metals easily.

Dye Gray Hair

A good natural hair dye made out of black tea can be applied to brown, black or gray hair. To make this natural dye with black tea, just use your used tea bags. Put the water in a pot and bring it to a boil. After boiling, let the mixture stand for half an hour. Then you can wash your hair with the tea and let it sit for 20 minutes. Lastly, just rinse it off with cold water.

Create Vintage Looking Items

Just like clothes, you can create vintage-looking accessories, even dolls, and hair ribbons. To do this, find a container that will fit your material with enough water to cover it. Then boil the water in a separate container. After that, put in a used tea bag and cover the object with boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. The time you choose will influence the color intensity.

Kill Dust Mites

Mix the tea with a little eucalyptus to get rid of dust mites. Why? Both tea and eucalyptus are natural repellents for dust mites because they obstruct the airways. This treatment can be performed once a month and putting it into practice is very easy, just rub your mattress and rugs with the mix.

Remove Bruises 

You can make your bruises disappear by placing a very moist and warm tea bag on top of them for a few minutes. So, don't even think about covering them with makeup or just let them heal for several days! Just use this technique, they will disappear on the same day.

Neutralize Garbage Can Odor

Place used tea bags at the bottom of your trash bin and leave it inside daily, changing as often as possible. They are useful for absorbing possible odors from garbage and even spoiled food. Use several sachets if you find it necessary. This little trick ensures a smell-free trash can. 

Freshen Up Your Drawers

If you want to keep the drawers scented, but you're not sure how to make a drawer sachet, a simple hack is to use dry tea bags. You can choose the scent that suits you best, such as vanilla or berries. Mint and lemon are also good options for making sachets, as they release their scent for a long time.

Those are all of the teabag hacks we have for you today. Were you surprised by any of them? We were! Who knew that such a seemingly useless item could ever be so useful? So after you make a pot of tea, don't throw them away! The next time you share a pot of tea with a friend, make sure to share this article with them! Thanks for reading!