Top 20 Tips and Tricks
Have some old tea in your cupboard that’s no longer worthy of sipping? If you’re like me you can’t bring yourself to just to throw it out. You can give it new life with these alternative and natural health and beauty tricks. Plus, your plants won’t care that it’s past the used by date.
Use Those Tea Bags and Brewed Tea Leaves To…
1. Dry poison ivy rash
Dry a weepy poison ivy rash with strongly brewed tea. Simply dip a cotton ball into the tea, dab it on the affected area, and let it air-dry. Repeat as needed.
2. Air freshener
Freshen up your drawers or your car’s interior using tea bags or a muslin bag filled with scented tea leaves. Place in drawers, under your seat, or in the center console.
3. Condition dry hair
To give a natural shine to dry hair, use a quart of warm, unsweetened tea (freshly brewed or instant) as a final rinse after your regular shampoo.
4. Hide the gray
Make your own natural dye using brewed tea and herbs: Steep 3 tea bags in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before straining. Shampoo your hair as usual, and then pour or spray the mixture on your hair, making sure to saturate it thoroughly. Take care not to stain clothes. Blot with a towel. Do NOT rinse. It may take several treatments to achieve desired results.
5. Cool sunburned skin
When you forget to use sunscreen and have to pay the price with a painful burn, put a few tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub.
6. Relieve pain from a shot
Arm sore from a recent injection or inoculation shot? Wet a tea bag and place it over the site. Hold it gently in place until the pain stops. The tannic acid in the tea will soothe the soreness.
7. Stop foot odor
Put an end to smelly feet by soaking your tootsies in strongly brewed tea for 20 minutes each day – no more offensive odors.
8. Get rid of litter box odor
Sprinkle dried tea leaves into your cat’s litter box each time you change out the litter. Mixing dried tea leaves into the litter box won’t just help combat the smell, it may also work as an anti-bacterial agent in the litter.
9. Give roses a boost
Sprinkle new or used tea leaves (loose or in tea bags) around your rose bushes and cover with mulch to give them a mid-summer boost. When you water the plants, the nutrients from the tannic acid in the tea will be released into the soil, spurring growth.
10. Feed your ferns
Occasional substitute brewed tea when watering your ferns and other acid-loving houseplants. You can also work wet tea leaves into the soil around the plants to give them a lush, luxuriant look.
11. Create “antique” fashions
Soak white lace or garments in a tea bath to create an antique beige, ecru, or ivory look. Use 3 tea bags for every 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes before soaking the material for 10 minutes or more. The longer you let it soak, the darker the shade you will get.
12. Soothe pinkeye
You can use warm, wet tea bags as a compress to soothe the pain of pinkeye. Green tea has been found to be very effective against pinkeye due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while black tea is a great home remedy for pinkeye because it contains tannins that help reduce itching and inflammation.
13. Drain boils
Dip a tea bag in HOT water, apply to the boil. Leave on overnight and by morning, it WILL have drained painlessly.
14. Clean glass and mirrors
To clean mirrors and windows, place cold brewed tea in a spray bottle and use it to make mirrors and glass sparkle.
15. Deodorize carpets
Sprinkle dried tea leaves across a smelly carpet and let them sit for 20 minutes to an hour. Then vacuum them up. If you used steeped tea leaves, make sure they’ve dried out so you don’t stain the carpet. A flavored tea, like lemon, peppermint, or cinnamon will leave a nice scent behind.
16. Make Tea Butter
Let unsalted butter sit at room temperature until very soft and pliable. Mix together the butter with tea leaves (whole or ground). Shape the mixed butter into a log and wrap well in plastic wrap. Store in a covered dish in the refrigerator or on the counter for easy spreading on freshly baked goodies.
Even the toughest cuts of meat can melt in your mouth when you marinate them in regular black tea. Place 4 tablespoons black tea leaves in a teapot with warm (not boiling) water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain to remove the leaves and stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar until it dissolves. Set aside. Season meat (up to 3 pounds) with your favorite seasonings and place in roasting pan or dutch oven. Pour the liquid over the seasoned meat and cook in 325°F oven until the meat is fork tender. Tea contains tannins which are a natural tenderizer.
From cocktails to dessert, steep tea in milk, broth, and other cooking liquids to infuse your favorite tea flavor into any dish. Try steeping tea in broth for soups; poaching fish in a strong brewed tea; add brewed tea to vinaigrettes and sauces; steep tea in milk or cream to flavor the base of ice cream (don’t forget to strain it), to add a savory note to a cream sauce for pasta and rice; or add matcha powder or loose leaf tea leaves that have been ground into a powder to your favorite baked desserts.
19. Green Tea Salt
Incorporate the flavor of tea into your cooking by simply blending loose leaf tea with your favorite salt and start sprinkling. This tea-infused seasoning that can be dusted on everything from snacks to salads to seafood.
20. Flavor a Stir-Fry
Nutty-tasting genmaicha (a mixture of green tea and puffed rice and corn) is great used as a seasoning. When the leaves hit the hot pan, they unfurl and become toasted. Meanwhile, the corn and rice pick up a golden, roasted flavor that’s an excellent addition to quickly seared greens, root vegetables, and meats.
Don’t forget to recycle the tea from single serve cups, too!!!!