10 Useful Ways to Reuse Tea Bags

10 Useful Ways to Reuse Tea Bags on gracefullittlehoneybee.com

Did you know that tea bags are compostable and you can actually grow plants in them?? Check out these 10 Useful Ways to Reuse Tea Bags for more awesome ideas!


Our family drinks over a gallon of tea per week so as you can imagine we go through lots of tea bags. I use the family size bags to reduce cost and waste, but I decided to look into the different ways that I could get more life from them instead of just throwing them away. So here are 10 useful ways that I found to reuse tea bags.


Reduce Puffy Eyes – The tannins in tea help to reduce swelling and discoloration. Simply place cooled tea bags onto eyes for 10-15 minutes.


Soothe Skin – Cool, moist tea bags are great for reducing inflammation and soothing minor burns, bites, scrapes, etc. Simply massage tea bag onto affected area for relief.


Relaxing Antioxidant Bath – Tea leaves are high in antioxidants so adding them to your bath water is a great boost for your skin. You could also use relaxing herbal teas such as lavender and chamomile for a soothing bath.


Facial Steam – Chamomile and green tea help to soothe the skin so it only makes sense to reuse these tea bags for a healthy steam facial. Simply place tea bags in bowl full of hot water and cover head with towel over the bowl for a few minutes.


Natural Hair Dye – Did you know that tea can be used as a natural way to enhance and alter hair color? Black tea can be used to darken and chamomile to lighten.


Dye Fabric – Black tea is great for giving white fabric an antique look and was once a common method used to hide stains. Go here for a complete tutorial on how to stain fabric using tea.


Add Flavor to Foods – Reusing tea bags when cooking is a great way to add depth of flavor to your food. Simply place tea bag in pot while water is coming to a boil and remove once you add in foods such as rice, pasta, etc. Also, think about the different flavor combinations you could create using herbal teas such as lavender, chamomile, chai, etc.


Feed Soil – Tea is full of nutrients and is a great natural product to use in the garden. You can either rebrew tea bags and use the resulting cooled liquid to water plants or cut open tea bags and sprinkle directly onto soil for a boost in nutrients.


Compost – Did you know that tea bags can be composted? No need to cut them open just throw the whole bag into the compost bin. Just be sure to remove any staples they might have first.


Seed starter – Can you believe that you can actually start seedlings using tea bags? Once boiled, they’re sterile and the tea leaves are full of nutrients for the seedlings. Simply place a damp paper towel onto a seed starting tray and line with warm, damp tea bags. Cut open bags and place 1-2 seeds inside each bag. Keep warm, dampened and in a well-lit place until seedlings are big enough to transplant into larger containers or directly into the garden. (Has anyone had success using this method? I haven’t tried it, but it sounds interesting and fun for kids!)


Who knew there were so many amazing ways to reuse tea bags. Have you tried any of these methods? If so I’d love to hear your experiences!


Other posts you might enjoy:

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

How to Use Eggshells in the Garden

10 Forgotten Money Saving Skills 


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  1. The girls at the office always have coffee grounds and tea bags that they send home with me for my compost pile. I have never heard of using them for seed starters, but I'm definitely up for the challenge. I'm always looking for a more natural method of starting my seeds. Thanks for all of the great ideas!!!!
  2. I love these ideas. We go through a lot of tea too and have always composted our tea bags into our garden. I didn't realize you can use them for seed starting. Great idea! Thanks! I would love for you to share this post over on our Simply Inspired Wednesday's Link up - SimplifiedLife.net - I hope to see you there too! ~Victoria
  3. These are some great ideas. We drink a lot of lose leaf tea, resteep it 3 times and then - sadly throw away. From now on I will look at used tea differently.
  4. This is unreal! I threw my tea bag away this morning and as I don't actually let mine steep for three minutes I feel guilty throwing it away. I came in to my home office to do some work and checked an e mail that had pins I might like and this was one of the pins! God works in mysterious way! Thank you for the post and the great ideas! :)
  5. Very useful. My husband is a huge sweet tea drinker, and we go through bags quickly. Also my daughter loves hot herbal teas. I have dyed fabric before, but never tried the gardening ideas. I always start plants from seeds, now I have a new way. I fertilize with coffee grounds and egg shells. I will try using a tea bag in my noodles tonight. I'm very curious about that one.
  6. I love your ideas for tea bags, but I found out recently (from the Going Zero Waste blog) that tea bags are made with plastic. My doctor warned me about drinking anything in plastic that has been exposed to heat, which includes tea bags and any bottled water in plastic containers. The bottled water is transported in metal rrucks that get hot inside as they are not refrigerated. Chemicals are then released from plastic into the water. I use loose tea now instead and avoid the use of plastic in my life whenever possible. Thanks for a great article.

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