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21 Uses for Tea in Your Household

Is your pantry stocked with tea bags, without enough time in the day to drink it all? Use tea in your home as an all-natural substitution for many household products. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Tea

Whether it's using the bags as natural deodorizers or letting them seep for their cleaning and calming abilities, there's a lot more to be done with tea than just sipping it. Read how to get a fresher home and healthier body by repurposing this household hero.

Household Helper

1. Polish Wood Furniture
Steep two tea bags in 1 cup hot water for at least 10 minutes. Dip a soft cloth in the cooled tea and wipe your way to new shine.

2. Shine Glass
Spray weak tea onto windows and mirrors, then wipe with a clean cloth and watch all kinds of smudges and gunk disappear.

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3. Freshen Carpets
Sprinkle dry, used green tea leaves on your carpet; let them sit for 10 minutes. Then vacuum away with any dirt and mustiness.  

4. Clear the Air
Transform a dry, used tea bag into an air freshener by sprinkling on a few drops of a favorite essential oil. You can even hang this DIY freshener by the string attached to most tea bags—perfect for your vehicles! To refresh the scent as needed, simply add a few more drops of oil.

5. Chase Away Mice
Pesky rodents don’t like the smell of tea. So give them a tea party by scattering tea bags in cupboards, pantries, and other problem areas. Many insect pests don’t like the smell of peppermint, so get double the benefits by choosing peppermint tea.

6. Remove Toilet Stains
The tannins in tea can help lift any stubborn stains. Tannins also have antimicrobial properties. To take advantage, just leave some brewed tea in the toilet bowl for several minutes to several hours (depending on the severity of the stains). Then brush the bowl, and flush the stains away.

7. Refresh Your Hands
Prepping food can be a stinky job—from onions to fish. But you can clear away lingering odors on your hands by scrubbing them with pre-brewed tea bags. Enjoy a cup of tea before prepping your meal, then stash the tea bag for when you need it.

8. Perk Up Plain Paper
Make weak tea with used tea bags, then use it to transform any kind of white paper into antiqued parchment.

9. Feed Those Plants
Place a lining of tea bags along the bottom of a plant container, then pot and water as usual. This simple step will nurture your plants with nutrients and help keep them moist.

10. Boost Compost
Pour strong tea into your compost bin to help encourage more friendly bacteria and speed the process.

11. Deodorize The Cat Box
Mix dry, green tea leaves with your normal litter in your cat’s box to help absorb odors.

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12. Great Flavor for Grains
Add tea bags to a pot of water while it comes to a boil, then remove the bags before adding your grain. Some flavors to try: jasmine tea with rice, green tea with pasta or quinoa, orange pekoe with couscous, and chai or cinnamon spice tea with oatmeal.

13. Something Special for the Smoker
Add tea to a smoker to make tea-infused cheeses and meats. Your guests will wonder where the delicious flavor came from!

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