Use Your Used Tea
Got brewed tea leaves?
Put them to good use!
Before you reach for the trash can, consider making your plants happy, your mirrors streak-free or your eyes more alluring. Here are some great ways to use used tea leaves, and to make your life just a little happier and healthier through tea in the process:
- Fertilize your plants. If you compost, add your used tea (white, green, oolong or black tea) to the pile. If not, sprinkle a few leaves at the roots of potted or outdoor plants. Tea will give the plants nutrients and any remaining caffeine will actually boost the plant’s growth. Cool!
- Scent your home. Dry the tea or herbs on a tray on a sunny windowsill or above a warm oven. Pack the dried pieces into a tea bag and place it in a dresser drawer or wardrobe for scented clothing, or into an odor-prone area for a deodorizing effect. Replace the tea bag every month, or as needed. The more aromatic the tea, the better!
- Beautify your eyes naturally. Next time you brew a green tea or white tea, place the warm, wet leaves into two tea bags and put them over your eyes. It’s said to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, plus the antioxidants and other nutrients will soak into your skin.
- Get crafty. Used, dried tea leaves can be used as stuffing in pillows, dolls and other handmade items. I love them in pillows. It feels a lot like a buckwheat hull pillow (which you’ll often find in traditional households in Japan).
- Green your cleaning. You can also use used tea leaves to clean mirrors and wooden cutting boards. For streak-free mirrors, wrap the wet leaves in a cloth, wipe down mirrors and then buff the mirror with a dry cloth. For clean and odor-free cutting boards, put wet leaves (from a straight, pure tea) onto your cutting board, rub them over the surface a bit, let them sit for a few minutes and then rinse them off. Easy, breezy!