How To | Life Hacks

20 Genius Uses For Tea Bags (Besides Making Tea)

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Coconut and Quinoa / The Hearty House

They're literally a dime a dozen, but tea bags have a lot of useful properties you probably didn't know about.

They're rich in tannins, nitrogen, and polyphenols. With those ingredients, these pantry staples are suited to a lot of unexpected household chores.

1. Coat a cast-iron skillet

Serious Eats

If you use this handy kitchen tool, you know that between meals it needs to be rinsed, dried, and rubbed down with oil. But you can actually use tea bags instead of vegetable oil.

Soak the bags and rub them over the skillet for a rustproof coating.

2. Take the stink out of your carpet

One Stop Magic

Like baking soda, tea sucks up foul odors and leaves behind pleasant ones. Just sprinkle some on your rug, and vacuum it up 15 minutes later.

Try adding some cinnamon for an even sweeter scent.

3. Get creative in cooking

Food Hacks

Tea isn't just for drinking: flavors like jasmine, chamomile, and green tea can add flair to your meals too. When you boil water for oats or pasta, try steeping a tea bag for added flavor.

4. Freshen up your fridge

Claireabelle Makes

A little loose tea in a jar or bowl will keep your fridge smelling fresh all week. Just don't forget to replace it when the smells return.

5. Soak your feet

Foot Therapy

Soaking your feet in warm water with tea isn't just relaxing, it also leaves your feet looking nicer and smelling fresh. The slightly acidic brew removes dead skin, while reducing inflammation.

6. Pest control

Peppermint oil and tea combine to make a smell that pests can't stand.Naturally Curly

For some reason rodents, spiders, and ants can't stand the smell of tea. Leave bags in your pantry, or other problem areas, and dab them with peppermint oil to keep out the creepy crawlies.

Return every few days to sprinkle more oil on the bags.

7. Homemade air freshener


Just like peppermint oil brings out the smell of tea, sprinkling your favorite essential oil on a tea bag will leave a room smelling fresh. This idea is really cheap and it works like a charm.

8. Treat a sunburn


Tea contains polyphenols and acids, which soothe a burn and reduce inflammation. Rub a bag on your sunburn or drop multiple bags in the tub before you take a soak to ease your pain.

9. Compost them

Ground to Ground

In the winter and fall, your compost pile will stop breaking down, as the bacteria on it dies. Adding nitrogen-rich tea bags will promote bacteria while keeping pests away.

The Hearty House

You can also bury tea bags in your garden to keep your flowers healthy.

10. Cook a moist turkey


Save this tip for next Thanksgiving: add a tea bag and a cup of water to the pan and you'll make a moist, savory turkey that your family will love.

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