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16 Unique Uses for Used Tea Bags

Tea is chock-full of antioxidants that repair cellular damage, which leads to wrinkles and disease. That’s why it seems such a shame to throw out a tea bag after it’s served its purpose. As it turns out, the last place we should throw used tea bags is in the trash. There are multiple ways to heal health ailments and spruce up our beauty regimens, homes, and even gardens with the help of a brewed tea bag or two.

Treating Sunburns

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1. Allow the tea bags to cool after steeping, then place them on sunburns and minor burns (including razor burn) for relief. If the majority of your skin needs tending, brew a tea bath and submerge yourself in the cooled-off water.

Sore or Bleeding Gums

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3. Alleviate sore or bleeding gums by putting a cooled, used tea bag over the problem spot. Tannins constrict blood vessels, which will stop the bleeding, and they reduce the swollen tissues that cause soreness.

Heal a Bruise

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4. Put a soaked tea bag on a bruise to heal it faster. Ruptured capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the body, create bruises. Since tannins constrict blood vessels, they stop the leaking that causes discoloration.

Shrink a Wart

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5. It’s said that the tannic acid in tea shrinks warts, possibly because of its bacteria-fighting properties. To try this method, put a warm tea bag on the wart for 10 minutes per day, a few times per day. The wart should shrink after a couple of days.

Reduce Puffiness

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6. To reduce puffiness around your eyes, soak a tea bag in warm water and place on each eye for 20 minutes.

Reduce Undereye Dark Circles

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7. You can use the same method above to reduce undereye dark circles, too. Dark circles are a form of bruising, which means that tannins can alleviate them in the same way.

Make Your Hair Shinier

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8. Rinsing hair with a cup of tea can make it shiny and easier to manage. Do this only if you’ve got darker hair, though; tea can temporarily dye light hairs.

Natural Highlights

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9. If you have light hair and want a natural change of color, rinsing with tea water on a regular basis could add a few fun highlights. It’ll be more subtle than dramatic, unless your hair is very fair.

Stinky Feet

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10. Make your feet smell sweet by soaking them in a steeped-tea bath for 20 minutes every day. Use black tea to conquer particularly bad odors. The astringency in tea closes up the sweat-emitting pores that create the smell in the first place, and the tannins kill stinky bacteria.

Facial Toner

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11. Need a quick substitute for facial toner? The aforementioned astringency makes our faces less greasy, so quickly wipe a tea bag over your trouble zones and then blot with a clean towel.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

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12. Wipe down wood furniture and surfaces with a clean washcloth or rag dipped in cooled tea water. Pat dry with another cloth.

Clean Grease

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13. Clean dirty mirrors and pots and pans with tea. Just as its astringent nature cuts down on facial grease, it decreases grease on other spots, too.

Remove Refrigerator Odors

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14. Take the odors out of refrigerators and ashtrays by placing a used tea bag in them to soak up offensive smells.

Speed Up Decomposition

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16. Throw used tea leaves in the compost heap to speed up decomposition. Don’t throw the whole bag in there unless you know it’s made of compostable materials, like paper. (Many don’t, so compost the leaves and put the bag in the trash if you’re unsure.)

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