Here are 7 Home Hacks to Stop You Throwing Away Your Tea Bags

February 22, 2019 Updated: February 22, 2019

What do you do with a used tea bag? You throw it away, right?


Wait, we’re sorry, we didn’t mean to shout. But there are so many other uses for tea bags besides the delicious hot beverage we’ve all come to know and love! Take a look at this list: it won’t be long before you’re hollering at your friends to keep the trash bin closed. Reuse, recycle, and reaffirm your love for this versatile leaf.

Illustration – Shutterstock | slawomir.gawryluk

Some of these are tricks from past generations. Post-war, many families would hang their used tea bags out to dry and use them again for a second, or even a third, cup. Nasty? Necessary! Austerity measures hit hard in times past.

Now we’re not advocating you hang your tea bags out to dry, but take your pick from this list of seven reasons to reuse, and see how inspired you are to try a new hack. Maybe you’ll even save a bit of pocket money along the way.

1. You’ll never suffer a stinging sunburn again.

Illustration – Shutterstock | dimid_86

If you’re silly enough to get sunburned (it happens to the best of us), rinse a black tea bag under a cold faucet and apply it to the scalded skin.

Black tea contains tannins that promote healing and alleviate the stinging sensation of a fresh burn.

2. Make that any type of burn, for that matter …

Illustration – The Epoch Time

You can use the same method to an accidental burn of any kind: wet the black tea bag with cold water and apply to the affected area. Commence relief!

3. Witchy warts, be gone!

Illustration – Shutterstock | Goldsithney

Green tea contains healing antioxidants that can prevent warts from growing on your skin.

Make yourself a delicious cup of green tea. Wait for the tea bag to cool down, and then place it on top of the wart on your skin. Hold it there for 15 minutes, then replace with a new bag. It might help to be drinking green tea with a friend or family member, unless you love green tea enough to drink two cups all by yourself.

It has excellent healing properties for the internal body too, you know!

4.  Make puffy under-eyes a thing of the past

Illustration – Shutterstock | puhhha

The tannins in black tea can help reduce puffiness under the eyes.

Place a used black tea bag in a small container and refrigerate for anything between 24 and 48 hours. Whenever puffy eyes threaten to ruin your morning makeup routine, or make you look unprofessional in that all-important department meeting, grab a cooled tea bag from your fridge, place under the eyes, and relax.

5. Not a fan of washing up?

Illustration – The Epoch Time

Fill your sink with water and throw in that mound of dirty dishes you’ve been meaning to clean for a while now. Throw a few tea bags into the water and witness the magic happen: the tannins will loosen any stubborn stains, which will become exponentially easier to remove.

6. May your garden be the envy of the neighborhood

Illustration – Shutterstock | Floki

Who ever knew that a tea bag had the power to kill garden weeds?

You can sprinkle black tea over outdoor weeds and the concoction will help to kill the unwanted garden invaders. Black tea mixed with a small amount of vinegar and orange rind can be used as a very effective spray, says Tip Hero.

You can also brew tea from citrus tea bags (ideally orange or grapefruit), which works equally well.

7. No more manure!

Illustration – Shutterstock | lovelyday12

Composted tea bags make excellent fertilizer, as does loose leaf teas mixed into the earth around your outdoor plants’ roots.

Particular fans of this approach are roses, most houseplants, and garden ferns.

Which of these tips do you love? Where will your used tea bags be headed the next time you brew a cup for yourself? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments.