Usiing Tea Bags – Recycling Tips for Home and Garden use.

There are so many different ways to reuse a teabag (other than obviously making another cup of tea). Here is my list of 15 ingenious ways for using tea bags in the home and garden. 15 ingenious uses for using tea bags in the home and garden - thegardeningcook.com/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!

Gardening tip of the week.  Recycle used tea bags.

Grab a cup of tea (and don’t forget to use my Music Sheet Tea Coasters) and check out these ideas!

Tips for Using Tea bags in the Garden

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

Cleaning Plants

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

Enriching garden soil

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.

Adding to a compost pile

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

Making weed tea

If you don’t have a compost pile,  just steep a tea bag in water with some garden weeds until the water slightly changes color, and then use the liquid to water your plants. See other DIY garden fertilizer ideas here.

Trench Composting

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!

Using tea bags in the home

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

Eye compress

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

Meat Flavoring

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.

Healing canker sores

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 for using teabags from readers of the blog:  (thanks for your submissions!)

Sunburn relief

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

and Socialgal52 says:  Lay wet tea bags on a sunburn to draw out the burn.

Stop bleeding

Edna Dabbs says:  When you have cut use a wet tea bag to stop the bleeding.

For roses and Vegetables

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.

Healing Nipples from breastfeeding

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.

Faux Suntan

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.

Foot odor

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

Relief from Poison Ivy

David W. says that due to a compromised immune system, he is susceptible to rashes of the ‘poison’ variety when he inadvertantly scratches an area on the surface. He has found that a teabag offers some relief.

Thanks to my readers for the great tips for using tea bags in the home and garden! If you have a tip be sure to add it in the comments below so that I can include it (with a shout out to you) in the post.

Would you like a reminder of this post for using tea bags around the home? Just pin this image to one of your household tips boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.Tips for using tea bags in the home and garden-----------------

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."

  47 comments for “Usiing 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..

    • Rhonda
      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.

      • Kay
        04/19/2018 at 4:23 pm

        Vinegar works for sunburn also. So does canned evaporated milk, it will have a sour smell if sunburn is real red, but it does help the burning sensation.

        • Carol
          04/19/2018 at 5:06 pm

          Thanks Kay!

  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

    • william
      01/12/2017 at 8:05 am

      Just googled the subject…you came up…AMAZING!! mine will be just for the garden but I will TRY to remember next time I cut myself. Great site and Thanx.

      • Carol
        01/12/2017 at 10:12 am

        Glad you enjoyed my article William. Welcome to my blog. 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. Kathy Midkiff
    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. Coco
    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. Skips Now
    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. Recycling in UAE
    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

    • Kay
      04/19/2018 at 4:27 pm

      Caffiene is a natural painkiller.

  18. Leeanne
    03/17/2017 at 6:40 pm

    Can i soak a heap of old tea bags then use the tea water to water my plants ?

    • Carol
      03/17/2017 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Leeanne. I’ve never done this so I can’t say for sure. It might be too strong. Perhaps water it down a bit with new fresh water about 1/2 after you soak? Carol

  19. Julia
    05/01/2017 at 9:49 am

    Does putting tea bags in your garden bring in animals?

    • Carol
      05/01/2017 at 10:46 am

      HI Julia. I have never seen this happen in mine. The main things to worry about with any type of composting or soil adding materials is to avoid meat and oils. They do definitely attract pests. Carol

    • Chris Greiner
      09/04/2018 at 11:17 pm

      I decided to try this last week. Something is digging the bags up every day. I’m not sure what kind of critter is doing it, but yes, some sort of animal is very interested in the green tea bags. I suspect chipmunks

      • Carol
        09/05/2018 at 1:32 pm

        Hi Chris. That is really interesting. You could try cutting open the tea bags and just using the tea to see if they keep digging for it. Might be the flavor of tea? Carol

  20. 06/04/2017 at 2:29 pm

    I have been using black tea seeped in a quart of water and 1 T epsom salts in a gallon of water to fertilize pansies and rhubarb. It’s amazing! I used to drink flavored teas and I was going to start using them (like constant comment, etc) up. Is there any reason not to use these as well as the plain black?

    • Carol
      06/05/2017 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Heidi, I can’t see any reason why they would not work in a similar way. Just try it lightly at first to be sure. Carol

  21. Linda
    06/22/2017 at 11:53 am

    I have discovered a tin of tea bags. They would be many years old! I’m not a tea drinker and wouldn’t think of doing anything but throwing them out had I not discovered your site. Could these tea leaves still be used to benefit my garden?… and if so, could the tea be used without actually making the tea? I wondered if I could simply drop a tea bag into my watering cans?

    • Carol
      06/22/2017 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Linda. To be honest, I have not tried them in cold water. The warm water releases the tea flavor. But the purpose of this is to have them break down in the soil to add nutrients, so I can’t see a reason why just tossing them into the cold water in the watering can would not work. Carol

  22. Paula
    05/26/2018 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks so much for a useful article. I love the comment from the reader that saves coffee grounds in the freezer for her roses! I will be trying this and some of the others. Thank you to those that posted clever ideas… Tea Time!!☕🌿🌹😃

    • Carol
      05/26/2018 at 9:15 pm

      My pleasure Paula. Glad you liked the article and reader comments. Carol

  23. David Williams
    10/10/2018 at 3:33 pm

    Due to a compromised immune system, I am susceptible to rashes of the ‘poison’ variety when I inadvertantly scratch an area on the surface. I have found that a teabag offers some relief.

    • Carol
      10/10/2018 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks for the tip David. I have added it to the section for reader tips in the post. Carol

      • David Williams
        10/10/2018 at 8:30 pm

        Thank very much, Carol, there are so many useful ways others can reuse tea bags.

        • Carol
          10/10/2018 at 8:37 pm

          My pleasure David. Glad to add the tip! Carol

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