Green, masala, herbal or just regular, if you’ve got tea bags coming home – then this one’s for you. The little sachets aka bags containing tea leaves are supremely efficient even outside the teacup. Once done with their initial brewing, use them to replace harmful, toxic chemicals from your life. Here’s how:
- Calm burns: Got exposed to the sun a bit longer than anticipated, stung by a bee or just burnt yourself by touching a hot surface? Just take a cool moist teabag (you can put it in the freezer for a minute) and apply it to the affected area for relief. If the surface area is large, then throw in a few teabags into your bucket bath water and soak the affected area in it (avoid bathtub baths wherever possible to save water).
- Soothe those eyes: The Tannin (a class of compounds in tea, which tend to have a bitter flavor and astringent properties) in teabags helps reduce puffiness and even soothes tired eyes. Reuse the green tea ones since they are caffeine based and also anti-inflammatory.
- Condition those locks: Washing your hair after shampooing with one-fourth litre of tea, conditions and hydrates dry hair and scalp. We’d say you skip the harmful chemical laden conditioner and opt for this instead. It’s way cheaper, AND you don’t add plastic bottles to your trash can month after month.
- Cover those greys: If the salt and pepper look isn’t for you, opt for natural dyeing – with tea. This way you manage to skip the harmful chemicals, a trip to the salon and also save money. Here’s how you can do this – drop 3 tea bags to a cup of boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before straining. Either use this for a wash post shampoo or just spray it to the grey areas. Dab the hair with a towel but do not rinse. Care needs to be taken to avoid staining clothes.
- Relief from bleeding gums: This one’s quite useful for those with kids. If your kid’s just had a broken tooth, just press a cool tea bag to the area to stop bleeding and provide pain relief.
- Keep those carpets clean: Skip calling the cleaners for chemical cleaning of carpets/rugs with stains. Instead throw in some damp tealeaves on the stain and sweep off once dry or vacuum them. To have enough leaves available to cover the stain, you could collect them over time and stock them in the fridge.
- Food for plants: Tea is known to enrich the nitrogen levels of plants, aiding better health and growth. When done consuming, empty out the leaves into the soil of your plants. Roses in particular love tannin, so sprinkle tealeaves around your rosebush if you have one.
- Clean wooden surfaces: Get those wooden floorings and furniture to shine with your quick DIY chemical free cleaning cum polishing agent. Use freshly brewed tea for this one (a couple of tea bags in 1/4th litre water), dip a clean cloth, and use it to clean wooden surfaces. Finish it off with a dry wipe using a clean cloth. This works well on glass too.
- Deodorise your refrigerator: This one’s as efficient as baking soda. Place a couple of tea bags in your refrigerator to absorb and neutralise the smell.
- Degrease your dishes: Skip those chemical based toxic antibacterial dishwashing detergents. Instead soak greasy dishes in water with a couple of tea bags for an easy rinse. Being an odour neutraliser, the smell will vanish too.
In addition to the above, teabags, and even leaves can be added to your regular compost too.
If you’ve been using tea for other purposes beyond just consuming it as your favourite chai, we’d like to hear from you. If not, we’re hoping you can put some of these to use ☺.