11 Things You Didn't Know Tea Bags Could Be Used For

POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts
POPSUGAR Photography | Anna Monette Roberts

You may already know about the wondrous health benefits of tea, but there's so much more that tea leaves and their pods can do. Check out these useful ways to repurpose the staple.

  1. Natural Shoe Deodorizer: Tea scents hit your nose as soon as you pop open the tin, so why not put that to good use? Put two to three unused tea bags in each shoe and allow the aromatic herbs to work their magic. A couple of days should do the trick.
  2. Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Instead of dumping out your extra brew, try adding it to your mop routine. Black tea can naturally restore your floor's color and sheen and fill in tiny scratches. For lighter wood, green tea may be a better remedy.
  3. Meat Tenderizer: The tannins in tea can soften up meat while adding subtle flavor. Marinate meat with strong black tea and allow it to soak for at least a few hours or overnight before popping it in the oven.
  4. Soil Enricher: Even if you don't have a green thumb, you probably have some tea lying around the house. Instead of throwing away your used tea bag, sprinkle the contents around your acid-loving plant and work them into the soil. The leaves will boost acidity and life.
  5. Pimple Soother: If you're going to disobey the "don't pop pimples" rule, be sure to care responsibly afterward. Gently press a warm, soaked tea bag against the area to reduce redness and size or to bring premature pimples to the surface.
  6. Eye Bag Reliever: Had a hard day at work? Put some warm used tea bags over your closed eyes for 15 minutes to soothe your tired and sore peepers.
  7. Ash Catcher: The hassle of cleaning out the fireplace might even prevent you from burning logs. Make it easier on yourself and let wet tea leaves soak up the ash. It'll prevent the dust from lifting as you sweep away.
  8. Hand Deodorizer: After working with smelly ingredients like onions and garlic or getting primal during a crab feed, scents can linger on your fingers even after washing. Scrubbing brewed tea bags on your hands will get rid of stubborn traces.
  9. Perfect Bathmate: Relieve a long day of stress and your tired muscles with a green tea bath. Throw at least five tea bags into a hot running tub and brew yourself the most relaxing bath. Not only will the calming aromas help you unwind, but green tea's natural properties are great for skin — especially to soothe sunburns.
  10. Furniture Stainer: Dark tea makes an effective ingredient for staining wooden furniture. For that rustic, weathered look, brush on this steel wool and vinegar mix, and finish off by painting the piece with brewed tea.
  11. Glass Surface Cleaner: Tannins in tea also hold natural cleaning agents that are perfect for fighting grease. Allow your dish to sit in hot water with tea bags overnight, or try dipping a rag into brewed tea and wipe away.
  12. Pretty DIY Gifts: Any of the tips above could be done with store-bought tea bags or homemade ones. Personalizing the tags and flavors makes a supereasy and cute gift that's pretty much foolproof.