10 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Tea Leaves – IngenuiTea™ Gourmet Tea & Spice Company, LLC

Don’t toss that tea bag! You may be surprised to know that there are countless uses for leftover tea leaves. In fact, tea can be used both in and outside your home - from health and beauty, to cleaning and gardening, to fashion and home decor.

We’re going beyond the teacup and bringing you 10 creative uses for leftover tea leaves.

Neutralizing odors - Tea is a natural way to absorb nasty odors. Dried tea leaves can be placed inside leather handbags or smelly shoes. They’re also great in the kitchen. Place tea leaves in your drawers, cabinets, refrigerator, or even your cooling oven, to absorb odors, similar to baking soda.

Soothe a sunburn - Had a little too much sun? Tea leaves are a natural way to help reduce inflammation. Try using your leftover tea leaves to soothe your sunburn. Simply cool your used tea leaves then apply the moist leaves directly to your skin. The tea will help to bring some relief, reducing both redness and inflammation.  

Refreshing surfaces - Tea leaves are a great way to refresh wood surfaces like furniture or hardwood floors. Start by re-steeping your used tea bag, then dip a rag into the steeped tea and use it to wipe down surfaces. (Note: Always be sure to test a small area first.) Tea leaves also work great for cleaning glass surfaces. Add some dried tea leaves to water in a spray bottle and use it to clean mirrors or windows.

Help heal a wound - Tea leaves contain tannins. It’s those tannins that can help to stop bleeding and heal small wounds. Take your cooled tea leaves and place them directly on the wound. The tannins in the leaves will help to coagulate the blood and stop the bleeding.

Dye clothing or fabric - Anyone who’s had a cup of tea knows that it can easily stain fabrics.  So why not get creative? Take a white t-shirt, scarf, or even a pair of curtains and soak them in a mixture of tea leaves and warm water. Black tea gives fabrics a more yellowish tint while rooibos gives them an orange or reddish tone. It’s a great alternative to traditional dyes and gives fabrics a unique, vintage feel. Or you can grab a blank canvas and a paintbrush and try some tea stain art!

Exfoliate your skin - Tea leaves contain caffeine and antioxidants, making them great for clearing redness and rejuvenating your skin. After enjoying a cup of tea, take your used tea leaves and let them dry out. Then use a mortar and pestle or food processor to crush them into fine grains. Mix those grains with your favorite face wash and gently scrub your skin. Or you can keep the tea leaves whole and add them to your body wash, removing dead cells and revitalizing the skin’s surface.

Nourish your plants - Bring your garden alive with tea leaves. Our tea sachets are completely biodegradable, so you don’t even need to remove the tea leaves. You can also prevent your plants from absorbing too much moisture at once by placing tea leaves at the bottom of the soil.  Or add loose tea leaves to compost to help speed up the process and stave off weeds. Bonus - any cold tea you forgot to drink can be placed in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on your plants’ leaves.

Have a foot bath - Use loose tea leaves to create a soothing, deodorizing foot bath. Green tea contains catechins that have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. They fight bacteria and help to neutralize odors. Simply let your tea bags steep for about 20-30 minutes in hot water, allow to cool to room temperature, then go ahead and soak your feet.

De-puff your eyes - Say goodbye to puffiness and dark circles. Use your leftover tea leaves to make a de-puffing eye mask. Active ingredients, including antioxidants and caffeine, help to revitalize your eye area. Dry out the leaves and grind them before mixing them with your eye cream. Let the mixture sit on your skin overnight, and you’ll wake up looking more refreshed. Or place slightly warm or cold tea bags directly on your closed eyelids for about 20 minutes.

Freshen your breath - Unsweetened tea is fantastic for overall mouth health, as it contains catechins that can lower the chances of losing your teeth. It’s also a great way to freshen your breath in a pinch. Green tea is the perfect choice for reducing unpleasant smells, so after a meal you can swish with a little tea to feel more confident face to face. And it doesn’t stop there.  Grind your used herbal tea leaves with a little baking soda for an instant natural toothpaste.

The uses for tea leaves are truly endless. Now it’s time to get creative and find your favorite uses for leftover tea. But first, fill your cart with some of your favorite IngenuiTea flavors.