12 Awesome Things You Can Do With Used Tea Bags

Are you sitting down with a lovely cup of black tea, or a mug of chamomile? Well, don’t throw that teabag away just yet — because besides being a great drink, tea has quite a few household uses.

#1. Make canker sores disappear

Canker sores are the little white open sores in your mouth you used to get as a child, and may still be getting today. The result of a number of things — mostly allergies or nutritional deficiency — canker sores can be treated by tea bags. This is because tea contains tannic acid, which is an astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties, thus speeding up healing.

#2. Stop bruising and bleeding

The tannic acid (and caffeine) in tea bags can also seep through minor cuts and shrink open capillaries and wounds, reducing swelling and bruising, closing paper cuts and treating razor burns.

#3. Soothe your eyes

Suffering from a severe week-long bout of late-night studying followed by fierce dark circles? Use tea bags for your eye bags. Those dark circles under your eyes are blood vessels, visible either because the rest of your skin has paled, or your under-eye circulation has increased. Drain your tea bags, lie back and put them on your lower eyelids for a few minutes.

#4. Heal sunburn

When used as a cold compress, tea bags make an excellent soothing remedy for sunburns. Squeeze excess tea from your tea bag, then gently and slowly go over your burns — if you’re covering a greater area, consider brewing fresh tea and making a tea bath.

#5. Toughen broken skin

If you’re getting things done with your hands, or are a fan of punching things without gloves for sport, you’ll know that busting your knuckles or getting a few dexterous blisters is all in a day’s work. Used tea bags can help drain excess liquid from boils and blisters, as well as soothe pain and promote the healing of broken skin to make it tougher next time around.

#6. Deodorize your fridge

Tea bags absorb unpleasant odors, from generally everywhere — but if you’ve got a smelly fridge, then a couple used tea bags will be your new best friend. For shoes, closets and window sills, use unused tea bags to maximize moisture absorption.

#7. Help nurse your plants

Tea bags have numerous benefits for plants. Tannic acids and other natural polyphenols in tea promote better and stronger plant growth.

#8. Make homemade cleaning solutions

Soaking dirty dishes in a tea solution breaks apart grease, and the same principle means you can safely apply tea bags to mirrors, tables, furniture, and even your face. Yeah, they cut through facial grease, too, so tea bags make for decent homemade toner.

#9. Protect your pots and pans from rust

The tannins in tea, when rubbed all over a cast-iron pot, or a classical paella pan, prevents rust by delaying oxidation — similar to how ascorbic acid blocks oxidation in cut fruit, only for much longer.

#10. Make scratches on wood furniture disappear

Tea is a natural dye, and a tea bag is a quick fix for covering up light scratches on wood. You can also utilize used tea bags to make an after-shampoo solution that’ll let you enrich your hair’s color, moisturize it and use tea’s dying properties to combat graying.

#11. Enrich your compost

Tea’s polyphenols and phytochemicals are great in compost — tea nourishes seedlings, encourages growth, and speeds up decomposition within compost.

#12. Tenderize tough cuts of meat

Marinating meat in broth infused with tea will help tenderize it effectively, as the tannins in the tea break down muscle fibers in tougher cuts of meat, meaning you can enjoy your stroganoff that much more.