15 Things You Didn't Know Tea Could Do

Tannins and other key ingredients in tea can power up household cleaning and even become beauty and health remedies.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
4-minute read

Household helper

Make dinner clean-up a breeze

Remove cooked-on food from pots and pans effortlessly by filling them with water, adding a tea bag, and simmering. The tea’s acid will break up food, so no harsh scrubbing is needed.

Protect your stove

Crazy but true: You can use tea to keep gunk from sticking to your stove. Brew a pot of tea that is four times normal strength, then wipe it on your stove. The tannins in the tea will make it hard for grease and food to stick, giving you the gift of quick and easy cleaning.

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Tea takes away odors

We hate to throw anything away, so we love this way to repurpose used tea bags. Place them in a bowl and put them at the back of your refrigerator or drop a few dried ones in the bottom of your trash can. They’ll remove odors just as well as baking soda!

Erase pen marks from skin

Our kids drive us crazy by writing notes and drawing all over their hands (thankfully, not answers to tests, as far as we know). The fastest way to clean them up? Green or black tea bags. Once you’ve brewed a cup of tea, use the wet bag to dab at ink stains.

Fight fungus on your plants

Brew up an extra-strong cup of chamomile tea, and spray the cooled tea all over the leaves. Repeat daily until the fungus is gone.

Who Knew has a lot of plant tips! Check out 6 Things You Didn't Know Could Fertilize Your Houseplants

Treat your grass

Did you know that watering your plants with tea every now and then is good for them, because it supplies them with nutrients that help them grow? In fact, using tea bags when planting new grass can be your secret to success. Wet the bags, then lay them in the dirt to make an inviting “bed” for the grass seeds. Then sprinkle on the seeds and water frequently.

Guard garden tools

Toss a handful of tea leaves in whatever container you keep your garden tools in. The leaves will help keep the metal nice, new, and rust-free.

Health and beauty

Pore-cleansing, stress-relieving facial 

This super-effective pore cleanser couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Place three bags of chamomile tea in a medium-size bowl, and cover with several cups of boiling water.
  2. Cover the bowl with a towel, and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the towel, place it over your head, and hold your face over the bowl.

The steam will open your pores, and the chamomile will help unclog them. (As a bonus, chamomile is also a great stress reliever!) After 5 to 10 minutes, rinse your face with cold water. Alternatively, you can use chilled chamomile tea as a refreshing facial spritzer.

Simply natural toner

For acne-prone skin or dark spots, try this antioxidant-rich toner.

  1. Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea, allowing the bag to steep for 5 minutes or more.
  2. Allow the tea to cool, and mix in an equal amount of witch hazel, a powerful astringent that can be found at most drugstores.
  3. Apply the toner to clean skin with a cotton ball and rinse after 10 minutes.

The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Learn Why Some People Get Acne with the House Call Doctor. 

Herbal help for oily skin

Here’s a great toner for oily skin, and it couldn’t be simpler than just brewing up a really strong cup of peppermint tea! Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the water from the heat, then place three peppermint tea bags in it to steep for 20 minutes. Remove the bags, and transfer the tea to a bottle. You can store it in the refrigerator to make it last longer. Apply to clean, acne-prone skin.Go Green for Younger Eyes

Reduce puffy or swollen eyes with a green tea compress

Dip cotton wool into the green tea, drain off excess moisture, and dab gently around the eye area. This natural treatment will help tighten the skin around the eyes.

Calm puffy eyes with chamomile

The same chamomile tea that calms an upset stomach can also ease puffy, irritated eyes. Soak two chamomile tea bags in cold water for a few minutes until they are plump. Squeeze out a bit of excess water and then place the bags on closed eyes for several minutes.

Refresh and nourish skin

Freshen up your face with an easy green tea mist! Place two green tea bags in a spray bottle filled with water and allow to steep for several hours. Store the bottle in the refrigerator, and mist on your face whenever you need a little refreshment. Not only will the mist feel great, but the green tea will also nourish the skin with essential antioxidants.

Total-Body treat

Here’s an easy way to have a relaxing soak in a bath without having to buy bath salts. Just place one or two green tea bags under the faucet as you fill up your bath. The antioxidants in the tea will leave your skin feeling fresh.

Add moisturizing milk to your tea

Combine the revitalizing qualities of peppermint with the soothing and exfoliating properties of milk. Heat 2 cups milk until warm, then add four peppermint tea bags. Allow to steep for 20 minutes before removing the bags. Add this mixture to your bath.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.