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Guest Contribution by Meredith Davis
If you drink tea almost every day, you probably wonder how to make use of the many used tea bags you generate. Luckily, there are plenty of benefits for a used teabag. Here are eight surprising ways you can maximize a used tea bag for a zero-waste lifestyle.
1 – For Garbage Odor
One of the great things about used tea bags is that you can use them to neutralize foul odors. Hence, we recommend it to our clients at Maid Sailors Home Cleaning Services NYC to neutralize the garbage bin. Even though you will expect that garbage bins around the house will have an awful odor, there’s no need to tolerate it. You can leave used tea bags in your garbage can, and they’ll take away the foul smell.
(Make sure that you dry the tea bags first before you throw them in the garbage can!)
2 – For Greasy Messes
Grease is hard to remove once it sets in, both in your clothes and in your kitchenware. So if you’re dealing with greasy dishes, pans, or cookware, you don’t need to worry about them too much if you have some tea bags lying around. With the help of tea bags, you can get rid of the grease build-up the next day.
If you have many dishes or cookware, you can fill up the sink with hot water. However, if it’s one pan you can fill the pan itself with hot water instead of the sink. When trying to get rid of grease on your cookware, soak them in the sink with a dozen or so tea bags. Leave it overnight so the tannins in the tea can work on loosening the grease. The next day, you can scrub away the grease with ease.
3 – For Your Mirrors
The thing about mirrors, windows, and eyeglasses is that it’s so easy to get prints and all sorts of stains clinging to them. Plus, since it’s transparent, it’s obvious when there are marks on them. With tea bags you can clean and remove stains like fingerprints and even more stubborn ones like grease on these surfaces.
What you need to do is rub a wet tea bag on the surface and then use a microfiber cloth all over so as not to get cloth fibers stuck on your mirrors. That should help make your windows and mirrors look brand-spanking new.
4 – For Carpets and Rugs
Since rugs and carpets are often subject to dirt and dust, you should make sure that you keep them clean. Carpets are especially notorious in terms of getting dirty. If you leave them be for a long time, they’re going to smell if you’re not careful. If you feel that your carpets and rugs are headed that way, you can use used tea bags for that as well!
Since you’re going to need many used tea bags, you should store some of them in a cup of water and place them in the fridge. Bring them out once you will need a couple of used teabags. After you collect enough and it’s time to use them, cut open the tea bags and remove the leaves. Dry the leaves until they’re only slightly damp and not wet. Sprinkle these damp tea leaves all over your rugs and carpets. Leave them there until they’re completely dry. Once they’re dry, you can then vacuum or sweep the tea leaves away. Your carpets and rugs should now have no smells clinging to them.
5 – For Polishing Wood Surfaces
Another surprising use for used tea bags would be as a polisher for wood surfaces around the house. To do this, you need to weaken the tea by steeping two used tea bags in half a liter of warm water first. After that, you can then use this solution to buff the wood surfaces using a microfiber cloth.
6 – For Your Fridge and Freezer
We’ve mentioned before that your used tea bags will be great for neutralizing the foul odors, which is why it’s excellent for garbage bins. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be used for foul odors. They can also help neutralize simply strong odors. That’s why you can bring them to things like your fridge and freezer, where foods mingle around a lot and permeate with smells. You should store the used tea bags in an open container and place them at the back of a shelf in your fridge. That should help keep your fridge from soaking in food odors from the different food items that you’re storing in them.
7 – For Removing Rust
Most of the purposes listed in this article show that tea bags have the power to deodorize foul odors around the house. You might not know this about used tea bags, but they can also remove and even prevent rust build-up. What’s even more remarkable about using tea bags to help prevent or remove rust in your cookware is the fact that you know that it’s food safe.
Unlike when you use rust-removing chemicals where you have no safety guarantees, tea is most definitely safe to consume. At the same time, it’s an effective rust prevention and remover.
8 – For Purifying Indoor Air
Another thing that you could do with used tea bags is to use them as an air freshener. If you add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to a dry, used tea bag, you have yourself an air freshener that you can use everywhere. Since there’s a string already attached to it, you can hang it up. However, you might want to find a way to cover the tea bag, so it looks decorative.
(That way, you don’t look like you just hung some tea bags around the house.)
Your teabag’s usability is not limited to enjoying a warm and comforting beverage. And the list on this post is proof of how you can maximize your used teabags. Hence, you should not throw them out after drinking!
Photo “White and red ceramic mug filled with tea” is under an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to the photographer Drew Taylor and is being posted unaltered (source)