11 Surprisingly Useful Reasons To Keep Your Old Tea Bags

Uses for Tea Bags

If you drink tea regularly, you probably go through a lot of tea bags! Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something useful you could do with all those tea bags, rather than just throwing them out? Well, the good news is that there are actually plenty of ways to put all those tea bags to good use! And today I’ll be sharing 11 of the most surprising and useful things you can do with used tea bags.

I’m don’t even drink tea, but I might just have to start after learning about all these brilliant tips! ;-) Who knew those little tea bags could be so darn useful?

11 Practical Ways To Reuse Old Tea Bags

Uses for Tea Bags

1. Refresh Your Carpets

You can use the leaves from a tea bag to freshen up your carpets! Just allow a tea bag to dry out, then remove the leaves. Stir the leaves into a big handful of baking soda, then sprinkle the mixture over dingy or smelly spots on your carpet. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then vacuum the area thoroughly. The tea and baking soda will work together to trap dirt and absorb odors. Your carpets will look and feel much fresher!

2. Hydrate Dry Skin

Re-brew used tea bags to refresh parched skin. Allow the tea to cool, then pour it into a spray or squeeze bottle. Then just spritz it onto your skin or apply with a cotton pad. Any tea will do, but the antioxidants in green tea are particularly effective for rehydrating dry skin!

Uses for Tea Bags

3. Reduce Under-Eye Circles

Your used tea bags can help reduce puffiness or dark circles around your eyes. Place them in your fridge to cool, then hold the bags against your eyes for a few minutes. It feels lovely, and the caffiene content will works its magic to shrink the blood vessels around your eyes. You’ll look more refreshed and awake!

Uses for Tea Bags

4. Dissolve Greasy Messes

Have a greasy, stuck-on mess stuck in the bottom of a pan? Place a tea bag in the pan and fill it with hot water. Allow it to soak overnight, and the tannins in the tea will help loosen the mess overnight. It’ll be easy to scrub clean in the morning!

5. Polish Wood Surfaces

Weak tea can be used to restore a nice shine to your wood floors and furniture. Steep a couple of used tea bags in warm water to make the weak tea. Then apply it to your wood surfaces with a soft rag or microfiber cloth. Give it a good buff, and your wood will be shining in no time!

Uses for Tea Bags

6. Take A Relaxing Bath

Place one or two bags to tea in your bath water next time you take a soak. The antioxidants in the tea leaves will leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. The scent of the tea can also help you relax, especially if you use calming teas like jasmine or chamomile!

7. Start A Fire

You can use your old tea bags to make firestarters for your campfires! Squeeze the water out of your tea bags and allow them to dry thoroughly. Next, dip the dried tea bags in melted wax (like soy candle wax). Arrange the wax-dipped bags on a piece of tin foil or parchment paper. Once the wax has hardened, they’re ready to use! They light quickly, burn brightly, and will help you get a campfire going in no time.

Uses for Tea Bags

8. Absorb Unpleasant Odors

Tea leaves can help absorb odors without leaving behind any overpowering scents. Place a dry, used tea bag in a drawer, closet, fridge, or even your shoes to leave them smelling fresher.

9. Restore Shine To Your Hair

You can use tea to make your hair shiny and smooth! Use a couple of used tea bags to brew a strong tea, then allow the tea to cool completely. Before a shower, pour the tea into your hair until it’s completely saturated. Allow the tea to sit for about 10 minutes, then hop in the shower. Shampoo and condition your hair as normal. Your hair will thank you the tea treatment!

Uses for Tea Bags

10. Steam Your Pores

You can use a couple of old tea bags to do an at-home facial steam treatment! Place the tea bags into a bowl of hot, steamy water. Lean over the bowl for 5-10 minutes and let the steam work its magic. The steam will open your pores, allowing the antioxidants from the tea to tone and hydrate your skin.

11. Feed Your Compost Pile

Brewed tea and tea bags can both help with the decomposition of your compost pile. So if you compost at home, make sure any leftover tea and tea bags are going into your compost and not the garbage!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Thank you Jillee, I’ve saved this here and pinned it too. I especially like the carpet cleaning suggestion and even more so adding tea bags to a nice bath. I don’t take baths but it is one of my dreams to take luxurious scented, relaxing baths.

    Another use for tea bags is for acidic loving plants such as tomatoes and roses.

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Hello just getting into using essential oils, read article on lavender oil, you mention applying straight onto the skin , it says do not put directly onto skin with oils so im confused , can you help

    • For certain uses, you want the intensity and strength of an undiluted oil, like removing splinters. However it depends on which essential oil you are talking about… but diluting is always the safe choice, and I would dilute whenever you can.

  • Jillee………..Great suggestions for getting another go ’round or two for that tea bag (other than Depression tea).

    I use one of those mesh tea bags filled with rice in my salt cellar — no more sprinkles of rice when I salt things! I’d like to add that not all tea bags are compostable. Paper fiber tea bags are compostable, bag, tea leaves, string, and all (remove the staple though). Mesh tea bags, on the other hand, are not compostable nor recyclable curbside.

    Appreciate all you do for us!!

  • I’m saving this article for sure and will pass on this info to my friends. And I’ll probably be drinking more tea so I can have teabags to do these things with. Thank you!

  • Great article. I already did about half of those things, but the others are awesome!

    also, are those stock photos? who is the woman with tea bags on her eyes?

  • Another good use for tea bags is to use them after a tooth extraction to help stop bleeding & to ease the pain. Just place a dry tea bag inside the space where the tooth was & bite down gently for several minutes.

  • Add tea to your art: deposit some of the dried tea onto your canvas and mist with water – or sprinkle brewed tea directly. The tea fans out and puddles beautifully, providing wonderful color and texture to your pieces. Different teas can provide different colors :)

  • I’m not a tea drinker. However, I ve learned to keep a small stash around for beauty emergencies – like swollen and itchy eyes due to allergies..It’s very soothing on the days when the levels are high.

  • I’m always learning things from your blog! It’s the only blog I subscribe to because it’s so consistently helpful! My dad, a retired marine, shared this tea bag tip with me. If you have a minor burn – like accidentally touching a hot pan in the kitchen – you can press a a wet tea bag (new or used) to the burn to instantly take out the sting. Please be careful how you test this one. ;-)

  • Thank you, this collection is great!
    One thing I might add for black tea: if you want decaffeinated black tea, just use the teabag a second time. No need for fancy store bought decaffeinated black tea anymore.

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