Tea Bags – Recycling Tips for Home and Garden use.

Gardening tip of the week.  Recycle used tea bags.

Tea bags are not just for tea! You may not be English and have a cup of tea at various times throughout the day but many people do drink tea quite often. My daughter Jess spent a semester studying in the UK and she drinks tea all the time now.  But don’t throw those used tea bags away!  There are so many different ways to reuse a teabag (other than obviously making another cup). Here is my list of 15 ingenious ways to use tea bags in the home and garden.  (affiliate link)15 ingenious uses for tea bags in the home and garden - thegardeningcook.com/tea-bags

Here are some favorite gardening recycling tips for tea bags that you can incorporate into your tea drinking ritual.

  • Wet, used tea bags are great for cleaning the leaves of household plants. Since the plants absorb the tea through the leaves, they get a real treat as well.use tea bags to clean plant leaves
  • Tea bags do wonders for the garden. They enrich the soil by increasing nitrogen levels, and also give earthworms (fertilizers) something yummy to eat.  Just be sure to remove the tags first. They take a long time to break down and might be plastic coated.
  • Add tea bags to a compost pile.  This reduces garbage in general and adds nutrients to a compost pile.  Remove the tags if they have staples in them.add tea bags to a compost pile
  • If you don’t have a compost pile,  just steep a tea bag in water until the water slightly changes color, and then use the liquid to water your plants.
  • You could even just bury the tea bag outside directly in the garden to add nutrients to the soil.  Don’t worry-the tea bag will decompose.  Note:  Just be sure to remove the staple and tag it if has one.  We don’t want that in the compost or soil next year!

Don’t have a garden?  There are still lots of great uses for used tea bags:

  • Soothe your tired eyes with a tea bag compress.  Soak them in cold water first.  The tea will rejuvenate your face, removing the redness and puffiness after a while.use tea bags to soothe eyes
  • Flavor tough meat!   use tea bags (or even leftover tea) to marinade your meat. The sweetness of the drink will add a savory taste to your dish and tenderize it too.
  • Help with a canker sore.  The tea’s healing properties will soothe the pain and make the sore go away faster. This method also helps when you have a pulled tooth by limiting the bleeding.

What other uses have you found for your tea bags?
Dozens of uses for tea bags in the home and garden

For more gardening tips, please visit my Facebook page.

More Tips from readers of the blog:  (thanks for your submissions!)

  • Patti says:  Strong tea is wonderful for sunburn. I burn very easily and have used tea all of my life.
  • Edna Dabbs says:  When you have cut use a wet tea bag to stop the bleeding.
  • Martha says:  I keep an empty ice cream bucket in my freezer and empty the used coffee grounds every morning. Once it is full, I put it outside to thaw and then fill with water and pour the grounds over my roses and vegetables. Been doing this for 35 yrs. No mold. Tea bags will do the same.
  • Jacki Tigg Mathis says:  When I was just beginning to breast feed my babies, I was very sore and the skin was broken on the nipples, I used warm tea bags and placed them over them for a while, I healed up in no time at all.
  • Lynda says:  Rubbing a wet teabag over legs and arm will give you an instant light suntan (you might need more than one) or pouring strong tea into your bath water will do the same.
  • Dawn says:  If you have a stinky foot odor problem ,soaking your feet in tea water helps ,Thank You Dr. Oz !dirty feet
  • Socialgal52 says:  Lay wet tea bags on a sunburn to draw out the burn.

Thanks for the tips readers!

15 ingenious uses for tea bags in the home and gardenMost of the images used in this post are public domain images from Pixabay and MorgueFile.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  26 comments for “Tea Bags – Recycling Tips for Home and Garden use.

  1. Patti
    06/23/2013 at 1:47 pm

    Strong tea is wonderful for sunburn. I burn very easily and have used tea all of my life.

    • Edna Dabbs
      06/23/2013 at 2:13 pm

      when you have cut use a wet tea bag to stop the bleeding..

    • 06/23/2013 at 5:44 pm

      I remember my dear old mum-in-law bathing my sunburn in tea when I was 16 (before I was married to her son) :-) At the time I thought she was mad!! That was back in 1957!!

  2. Linda Dashiell
    06/23/2013 at 3:21 pm

    If you don’t have a compost pile, and you don’t garden, but have rose bushes, hydrangea, and azaleas, and want to save tea bags and coffee grounds how long can these be saved to use on the plants? Freeze them? Refrigerate them? How long till they begin to grow mold?

    • Martha
      07/14/2013 at 7:11 am

      I keep an empty ice cream bucket in my freezer and empty the used coffee grounds every morning. Once it is full, I put it outside to thaw and then fill with water and pour the grounds over my roses and vegetables. Been doing this for 35 yrs. No mold. Tea bags will do the same.

  3. Jacki Tigg Mathis
    06/23/2013 at 6:40 pm

    When I was just beginning to breast feed my babies, I was very sore and the skin was broken on the nipples, I used warm tea bags and placed them over them for a while, I healed up in no time at all.

  4. Lynda
    06/23/2013 at 7:51 pm

    Rubbing a wet teabag over legs and arm will give you an instant light suntan (you might need more than one) or pouring strong tea into your bath water will do the same.

  5. Dawn
    06/24/2013 at 2:45 pm

    Also If you have a stinky foot odor problem ,soaking your feet in tea water helps ,Thank You Dr. Oz !

  6. Socalgal52
    07/14/2013 at 6:54 am

    Lay wet tea bags on a sunburn to draw out the burn

  7. admin
    07/16/2013 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for all the great tips everyone. I have updated the article to add them.

    Carol

  8. 07/24/2013 at 11:24 am

    I never knew there were so many uses for tea bags! I’ll be bookmarking this post! So many wonderful ideas! I will start off trying it as a meat marinade. Thanks a ton!

    • admin
      07/24/2013 at 11:56 am

      My pleasure Suzanne. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Carol

    • darcell
      09/07/2014 at 12:58 pm

      I will save all tea bags, and do wonderful things to save a life.

  9. 08/15/2013 at 1:45 pm

    Our cat recently had her eyes matted up and watering, I looked it up and it said to use a tea bag to wipe her eyes twice a day. Tannic acid heals the eye ducts. Worked first wipe!

    • admin
      08/15/2013 at 4:34 pm

      What a neat tip. Thanks for sharing Kathy!

      Carol

  10. 05/12/2014 at 4:02 pm

    When you visit a dentist and if there is any bleeding, wet a “Lipton tea bag” and put it directly on the spot where it is bleeding and leave it there for a couple of minutes or till it stops bleeding.

    • admin
      05/26/2014 at 1:55 pm

      Great tip Coco!

  11. HANTIE
    06/24/2014 at 5:15 pm

    Take the tea bag and let it dry in sun, then you take tea bag and put in container, take paraffin and trough over and use to lit a fire.
    I use this to lit my fireplace and it work wonderfully.

  12. richard
    07/18/2014 at 6:29 am

    awesome page very usefull

  13. 12/11/2014 at 7:45 am

    Didn’t know you can still make use of these tea bags! This is awesome. Instead of just throwing them out, utilise them for the purposes mentioned.

  14. Leslie
    01/01/2015 at 1:31 pm

    hot tea bags are great when you have a “sty” on your eyelid. use as a warm compress
    through out the day for relief

    • admin
      01/01/2015 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Leslie

      I get those often. Thanks for the tip! Carol

  15. 04/28/2015 at 7:05 am

    First of all I thought how it is related to recycling after reading this entire article I got an idea to recycle.

  16. 06/10/2015 at 1:32 pm

    I love your tea bag post. There are some great ideas. I was disappointed to recently learn about the plastic mesh being used in so many tea bags (see link). I’ve stopped putting them in my compost. I’d like to know which companies are not using plastic. Does anyone know?
    Thank you!

  17. Pat
    09/30/2015 at 11:50 am

    A tea bag may soothe a burn, but it cannot “draw out a burn” which is damage to the skin.

    These are very helpful tips, and I’m noting this page, but that remark is blatantly medically impossible.

    • admin
      09/30/2015 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Pat. I’m sure the reader who submitted the tip had soothing in mind when she took her time to submit her tip. I’d rather not edit someone else’s comments, so I will leave the wording as it is. Carol

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