How to reuse tea bags?

You don't have to automatically throw your tea bags away after you used them! Actually, there are plenty of great ways to make them useful again around the house or in the garden.

Tea bag

Tea bags can be reused in many ways (Photo: / moritz320)

Make another cup of tea!

You can pour a second portion of boiling water onto the tea bag immediately after you drank the first cup of tea, and this way you will get a milder, yet refreshing and interesting brew. It's quite fascinating how the tea has a completely different, but not at all poorer aroma for the second time. If you prefer stronger, more characteristic flavors, you can put the tea bag aside, and use it together with a new one later. You should only wait a few minutes to reuse the first tea bag, and should avoid waiting too much. Another thing to keep in mind is that some teas contain caffeine, of which too much can be bad for your health - and the second bag still contains some of this substance.

Use it as "spice" in your foods

Even the "boring", repeatedly prepared meals can get a twist if you use a bag of tea to make it taste a little different. From oat and rice to various pastas, you may add a little extra flavor to your food by letting the bags sink in the water until it starts boiling. If you then put the ingredients into the pan, they will get some of the aroma that dissolved into the water from the tea bag. Rice goes well with jasmine, lavender and chamomile tea, nettle and green tea can be delicious with some pastas, while cinnamon and chai are a perfect choice if you are making some sweet oat porridge.

Plant fertilizer

You can collect the tea bags and store them in a dry place until you have a considerable amount of them. Then, by pouring hot or boiling water onto the bags, you get a nice plant fertilizer. If you find it to be way too "strong", mix it with some more water. Wait until the liquid cools down, then add it to your plants' soil - it may prevent fungal infections effectively. Another way to get the same effect is to take the tea leaves out of the bag and just spread them on top of the soil.

Keep the mice away with your used tea bags!

Mice usually find the smell of the black and green teas unappealing, thus they tend to avoid it in most situations. If you place some of the dried tea leaves at different parts of your basement or attic, it's less likely for mice to appear there in huge numbers. This does not mean, however, that they won't visit your attic or basement at all if they notice some tasty food in there, or while they search for a safe place, but it's less likely for colonies to start inhibiting the areas that smell like tea. Adding pepper mint to the tea bags can make them work even better as "mouse repellents".

Tea bags can even help in washing the dishes...

Ever had difficulties with oily plates and pans? Well, tea bags might not be the final solution, but they can make your work significantly easier. All you have to do is to pour hot water on the tea bags, and then sink the oily dishes in that water for a few (at least 10) minutes. It'll be somewhat easier to clean the oily stains away that way.

Anita Diós

May 2018