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Guest Contribution by Meredith Davis

The smell of pet urine, spoiled food, and damp air can settle in your house like an unwanted guest. Unfortunately, air fresheners can only do so much.

Luckily, there is a more effective and affordable alternative to ensure that your house smells fresh: Tea!

1. Place Unused Tea Bag in Stinky Areas

Got plenty of leftover tea? Don’t throw it out yet!

Instead, place it in problematic areas in your home like your smelly fridge.

Tea leaves are known to absorb foul odor, much like what charcoal and deodorizer can do.

Tray with tea and teapot, then the leaves can be used to remove smells

Tea leaves can be used to remove unpleasant smells before or after drinking the tea

2. Add it to Your Mop Bucket

When you imagine a mug stained brown with tea, it isn’t easy to believe it would make a good household cleaner. But its astringent properties can help you get rid of grease and dust. It can also make hardwood floors shine.

Hence, you can dip and steep a couple of bags of black tea in a bucket of water that you can use to mop the floor. After ten minutes, set your mop into the tea water and wring it out thoroughly.

Start mopping a small area first, to ensure that the tea will not damage your floor. When all is well, mop the floor as you would usually do. Then leave the floor to dry.

However, remember that you can only use this cleaning solution on hardwood floors and wooden furniture pieces.

3. Put it in Your Refrigerator

It’s disconcerting to open your fridge only to get a whiff of a nasty smell. One thing you can do is remove everything out of the refrigerator and clean the entire thing.

But you might not always have the time or feel like doing that. Plus, a smelly fridge isn’t necessarily messy. Perhaps you just have a few leftovers that smell like garlic or onion.

To mask such an offensive scent, you can put an unused tea bag in one corner of your fridge. Nonetheless, nothing beats cleaning your fridge and discarding expired foods regularly.

4. Sprinkle it on Your Carpet

Other than getting rid of foul odor in your fridge, you can also use tea to eliminate the stench of your rug.

You should first identify where the nasty smell is coming from. Then sprinkle dried or previously-steeped tea leaves over a smelly carpet and let them rest for 20 to 60 minutes before vacuuming.

To apply steeped tea leaves, dry them out first: They will stain the carpet if they are still wet. Try using a flavored tea like lemon or mint to leave behind a pleasant scent.

At Cleaning Exec House Cleaning NYC, we recommend that you do this on top of other home cleaning remedies that you do on your carpet. This includes applying baking soda and letting it sit overnight. Doing so ensures that your carpet is clean, germ-free, and smells nice.

5. Deodorize Pet Beds and Litter Boxes

Your pet may be the cutest and most adorable thing in your life, but poop animal waste is a different story.

No matter how clean your cats and dogs are, they will leave a distinct smell and furry mess in their most-frequented resting areas. Plus, they tend to bring in dirt and mud that their paws and fur have picked up outside.

That said, you should clean your pets’ beds and toys regularly. If you own a cat, you can put some dry green tea leaves into the cat litter box. Doing so can help subdue unwanted odors.

6. Repurpose as an Air Freshener

Did you know that you can reuse tea as potpourri?

For one, you can make a liquid diffuser out of it. All you need to do is let the used tea bags steep in a pot of boiling water, add other fragrant herbs and spices, and lower it to a simmer.

As it simmers, let the steam spread and give your home a refreshing scent.


It is proven that tea is rich in antioxidants, helping you reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Other than being a warm and refreshing drink, you can also use tea to make your home smell nice.

Thus, you should not throw out your tea or tea bags after use. Instead, reuse them for the following:

  1. Deodorize problematic areas in your home
  2. Add to the water you’ll use to mop the floor
  3. Put it in the fridge to remove the stench
  4. Sprinkle on your carpet
  5. Deodorize pet beds and litter box
  6. Repurpose as an air freshener

Mind you, tea has benefits other than deodorizing the nooks and crannies of your house.

You can use it to moisturize your skin, reduce under-eye circles, soothe a sunburn, and more. Plus, drinking tea has many health benefits and provides you the caffeine boost that you need.

Keep your tea and make the most out of it after drinking.

Photo “Clear glass cup of tea near brown clay teapot” is under an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to the photographer Manki Kim and is being posted unaltered (source)