Hacks

10 Unbelievably Creative Ways You Can Reuse Tea Bags For You And Your Home

There two types of people in this world - those who drink coffee, and the ones who prefer tea.

While there are many benefits that come with drinking coffee, tea is far more superior.

Many varieties of tea contain antioxidants, help with weight loss, reduce the risk of certain diseases, and even protect your bones, but the benefit of tea doesn't just stop there.

Used tea bags also have a myriad of household and beauty uses, from growing your garden to eliminating odors, and soothing sunburns.

Instead of mindlessly throwing out your tea bags, start saving them for these 10 creative uses:

1. Flavor grains

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Cooking plain grains like rice, quinoa, barley, or even oatmeal, can easily get boring because we often do it using only water.

To bring some excitement to your taste buds, try infusing the water with a used tea bag.

Since the tea has already been brewed once, it won't be too strong, so it'll give the dish some color and deepen the flavor.

If you like to have oatmeal for breakfast, don't be afraid to experiment with different flavors of tea like chai and cinnamon spice.

2. Neutralize odors

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Tea bags are great for getting rid of nasty odors, especially around the kitchen.

Like baking soda, but without the mess, tea bags will absorb the odor, and prevent it from occurring again.

Simply place a couple of used but dry tea bags at the bottom of the trash can, and you'll no longer have to worry about your home smelling like garbage.

You can also eliminate the unpleasant smell your fridge your emitting, and prevent it from happening again by regularly placing a couple of tea bags around your fridge.

3. Keep pests away

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Household pests, like mice, are not only annoying, but they're nasty and pose a threat to your health.

Luckily, many of these pests don't like strong smells, and this is why tea bags are perfect for deterring them away.

Place used tea bags in any areas where you think pests would enter your home, and they'll never make it in.

If you don't have a strong-flavored tea like peppermint on hand, try adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to the bags. Not only will the rodents stay away, you'll be protecting your home from pesky insects like cockroaches, spiders, and ants.

4. Soak your feet

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Tea bags are a great fix for smelly feet.

Black tea in particular contains tannic acid, which effectively kills odor-causing bacteria and closes the pores so your feet will sweat less.

Add a couple of used tea bags to warm water, then let your feet soak for a few minutes.

In addition to getting rid of the smell, you'll also notice that the skin and calluses have softened.

5. Soothe irritated skin

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For those of us with sensitive skin, it doesn't take much for an irritation to happen.

If you're looking for a natural way to soothe inflammation, treat a bruise, or cool a sunburn, tea bags are what you need.

Place a cool, moist tea bag on the affected area to get some relief. You can even put it on bug bites and canker sores to draw out any infection, and ease the pain and swelling.

For puffiness, instead of placing a cold spoon (which can sometimes do more damage than good) over your eyes, use a cold tea bag.

6. Grow your garden

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If you don't have a green thumb, you may find yourself spending extra time in your garden to ensure your plants are growing well.

To make your job a bit easier, try burying used tea bags around your garden.

The tea leaves act like fertilizer by boosting the nitrogen levels and adding more nutrients to the soil, all of which will help your plants grow bigger and stronger.

7. Rust proof cookware

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Good cookware is really pricey, and if you're someone who cooks a lot, then the last you want is for your pots and pants to age fast.

To protect your stainless steel and cast iron cookware from rust, rub a damp, used black tea bag all over the surface.

It's the tannins in the tea that will make pot or pan rustproof by adding a protective layer that prevents oxidation.

8. Clean greasy dishes

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There are plenty of chemical cleaning products you can use to get rid of those tough grease stains in your pots and pans, but they're harsh on your skin and damaging to your overall health.

For a natural alternative that works well, soak your dishes in warm water, then toss a couple of used tea bags in and let it sit for about five minutes.

The tea will loosen up the grease and any food that was stuck so you won't have to worry about scrubbing.

9. Shine wooden furniture

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The tea leaves and the light brown color of the beverage are great for cleaning wood and restoring its shine.

Add warm water to a bowl with previously used tea bags so that the liquid isn't too strong. Once it has cooled, dip a soft cloth into the light tea and use it clean wooden surfaces around your home, paying extra attention to spots that have more grime.

10. Fix bad breath

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While an underlying health condition can be blamed for bath breath, in most cases, it happens because of three reasons: poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, and eating sulfur-rich foods.

For a quick-fix, forget the gum and use tea to get rid of the smell.

Make a mouthwash by brewing some tea with the used bags, and swish it around your mouth two to three times a day, or as needed.

Peppermint and green tea are best for this remedy. The latter contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can kill sulfurous compounds found in foods that cause stinky breath, like garlic and onions.