tea bags

12 Ways to Use Tea Bags in Cleaning

A cup (or two) of English Breakfast tea sets you up for the day. The only trouble is, you end up with a mountain of used tea bags at the end of the week! If only you could re-use or do something interesting with them…

Well, as it happens, there are loads of different things you can do with used tea bags. So, stop dumping all your used tea bags in your food waste bin. Gather them up and spruce up your home with them instead!

What can you do with tea bags? Here are 12 tea-lightful things you can do with old tea bags.


1. Remove Odours from Your Rubbish Bin and Fridge

rubbish bin and fridge

Rubbish bins and fridges are known for being quite smelly places, and the stench that wafts out of them is usually really off-putting!

But you can put an end to all of this by trying out this neat tea bag trick…

Simply pop a few used tea bags at the bottom of a bin, or put a few in a bowl and stick them at the bottom-back of a fridge, and allow the old tea bags to collect the stench for you over several days.

You can swap the tea bags out for new ones when you need to, and the process will start all over again.

You can also sprinkle the dried contents of a couple of old tea bags at the bottom of a bin instead. This also works, but remember to clean the dried leaves out of the bin after a few days.


2. Degrease Cooking Utensils, Plates and Pans

washing pans

Got some stubborn grease that just won’t budge off your cookware?

No problem. Just fill a sink up with warm water, add a few greasy items to the water, drop in multiple used tea bags and wait a couple of hours/overnight.

In the meantime, the grime will start to break down, and you’ll be able to clean your utensils, plates and pans a lot easier.


3. Clean Mirrors, Windows and Glass Shower Doors

cleaning mirror

Fill an empty spray bottle up with one to two tea bags and water, give the bottle a shake and start spraying the solution onto your mirrors, shower door, and windows.

Give the panes a wipe down, and watch how the grime goes away and the surfaces start to shine!

You can also rub a tea bag straight onto a mirrored surface to clean and remove fingerprints from it. And you can rub tea bags onto glass shower doors to get rid of water marks.


4: Polish Wooden Surfaces

polish wood with tea bag

Got some old tea bags lying around? Use the tea’s tannins to re-shine your wooden surfaces.

Simply rub a damp (not soaking wet) tea bag(s) over a wooden surface, and watch how the tannins get to work bringing out the shine and replenishing the natural colour of the wood.

Just remember to buff the surface with a soft cloth when you’re done!


5. Remove Aromas from Carpets

remove aromas from carpet with tea bag

If your carpet is a little whiffy, sprinkle the contents of a dried-out tea bag or two over the entire surface, wait about ten minutes, and then hoover the dried tea up. You’ll notice that the tea leaves will have absorbed the stench from your carpet.

If you want your carpet to have a specific smell, think about what type of tea you use. If you want to have a fruity aroma, use a flavoured tea that smells calming, for example. But don’t pick something that’s over-powering!

(You should do a small patch test before trying this hack out, just in case the leaves stain your carpet).


6. Keep Your Cookware Rust-Free

rust free cast iron pan with tea bag

If you rub an old, damp tea bag over your cast iron cookware, you can stop rust from forming on it.

Just make sure you haven’t soaked your tea bag in milk beforehand because this trick won’t have the same impact.


7. Deodourising Your Shoes

tea bag in shoes

Got some smelly shoes? Pop a dried-out tea bag in each shoe overnight, and by the morning, your footwear will be stink-free!

Make sure the tea bags are completely dry before you try this, otherwise, you’ll have wet shoes the next day.


8. Steam Clean Your Microwave

bowl and tea bag in microwave

Microwaves can be tricky to clean, but with this tried and tested hack, you’ll have a clean microwave in no time!

Just fill a bowl up with some water, add a few old tea bags to it, and fire up the microwave. Set it to go for a couple of minutes, wait a minute or two once the timer rings, and then you can wipe the entire surface down with a cloth.

The microwave will be much easier to clean because the tea will have worn down the grease and neutralised the odours for you.


9. Remove Soap Scum from Your Bathtub and Shower Tray

soap scum in soap tray

Soap scum is rather unsightly at the best of times. But one way you can eradicate it is by rubbing the entire area down with an old tea bag.

The tannins will get to work breaking down the scum, and you’ll be able to wash the surface with ease afterwards.


10. Make Your Drawers Extra Aromatic

tea bags inside clothes drawer

Drawers can start to smell a little stale from time to time. So, spruce them up with a couple of dried-out fruity tea bags.

Just pop your old tea bags at the back of the drawer and let them do all the work. Just make sure the tea bags are dry before you do this! You really don’t want the tannins to stain your clothes.


11. Eliminate the Bad Smells from Your Car

inside of car and tea bag

A cheap alternative to using traditional car air fresheners is to hang dried-out, flavoured tea bags in your vehicle!

It’s super easy to do, just hang the tea bags up, just like you would do with an air freshener, and allow them to scent your car!

After a few days, or when there’s no smell coming from the tea bags, you can swap the ‘very old tea bags’ for ‘new-old tea bags’, and so the process starts again.

You can also change the tea bags you use, so you can have a new aroma in your car each week!


12. Clean Pungent Odours Off Your Hands

hands holding tea bags

Some foods you handle during a cooking session, and some stains you have to clean off a floor can be super smelly, and can leave a bad odour on your hands!

Of course, washing your hands removes a lot of this stink. But if your soap isn’t quite cutting the mustard, try using an old tea bag or two.

Just wipe the tea bag(s) all over your hands, making sure to rub it in between your fingers, wait a few minutes and then rinse your hands.

Your fingers and palms will have taken on the satisfying scent of the tea bag during this time, and the terrible stench will have disappeared.

If you drink a flavoured tea, then the aroma you’ll have on your hands will be more pleasing. But regular tea bags work just as well at eliminating smells from your hands.