5 Easy Ways to Reuse Tea

All you need are 15 minutes and some used tea leaves to freshen carpets, tenderize meat, or clean mirrors


You’ve probably heard that a hot cup of Earl Grey is good for your body and soothes your soul, but did you know that it can also help you make a greener home? Reusing tea for these common household tasks is a great way to avoid using chemical-based cleaning products (and save some money while you’re at it).

Remove toilet stains: To remove ugly stains from the bottom of your toilet bowl, throw a few used tea bags into the toilet and let them sit for several minutes. (If your stains are really bad, give it some extra time.) When the bags are flushed down the toilet, the stains will go with them!

Freshen carpets: Between pets, diapered children, and nasty weather, your carpets are probably seeing a lot of action these days. Even if you don’t have small ones rolling around on your carpet, you still want it to smell good! To freshen a stinky or musty carpet, simply sprinkle a handful of dried tea leaves onto it. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, and then vacuum them up.

Tenderize meat: Want to impress your dinner party guests with a perfectly tenderized rib-eye steak? Tea is a great meat tenderizer because it contains naturally occurring tannins, and can be substituted for more expensive alternatives like red wine. Steep the tea in boiling water for about five minutes. Mix ½ cup of brown sugar into the water until it dissolves. Then pour the mix over your meat and cook it like you normally would. Bon appetit!

Clean mirrors: Forget store-bought cleaners — tea can remove grease and grime on mirrors! Simply brew a second pot of tea with one to two used tea bags, and then use your watered-down tea as a cleaning solution. Pair your tea with coffee filters to create the perfect mirror-cleaning duo.

Fertilize plants: To make your plants lush and your flowers beautiful, transfer tea’s nitrogen-rich nutrients to your soil by adding a few tea bags to the mix. Don’t like the look of tea bags in your soil? Empty the contents of the bags into your fertilizer, or use loose tea leaves instead. If you want to start working some seriously brag-worthy plant game, read: Much Ado About Mulch.

— BrightNest, HellaWella

 


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