and ramblings on everything in between
As a self-proclaimed minimalist, I like to find ways to repurpose items, reuse what I already have, or get the most out of everything. This mentality inspired me to find alternative uses for my leftover tea leaves and teabags. I often tire of a flavor before I get to the bottom of a canister, so if you’re like me, this will give you some ideas on how to use up what is left without throwing it out.
1) Turn your indoor plants into the Incredible Hulk.
Once a month, water your plants with tea instead of water. My mother recently commented that her grand-plant is looking shabby. With a little help from some tea, hopefully this short spider plant will be taking over the kitchen in no time.
2) Suck the life out of pesky dust mites. Apparently you can treat carpet with diluted tea to pulverize unwanted house guests. I don’t know the science behind it, but I’ll be trying it out on my carpet soon. Don’t forget to test an area first to make sure the tea won’t stain.
3) Keep a broken nail from ruining your day. I have a distinct memory of a neighbor coming over to my parent’s house on her wedding day in search of a cure for her broken nail. My mother knew exactly what to do. Cut a small piece off a tea bag and place it around the torn nail. Add some clear nail polish over the area to hold the piece in place.
4) Fragrant car = happy car. If you forget to bring in the leftovers and are greeted with a stinky surprise when you get in your car the next day, stash some tea leaves in a mesh pouch to keep your car smelling good. I’ve also heard that placing used coffee grounds on the floorboards will eliminate smells. And on that note…
5) Keep your fridge from smelling like a garbage can. We’ve all been there. Leftovers from three weeks ago pushed to the back, mystery liquid that has spilled on the bottom shelf but slips our mind before we wipe it off, expired dairy products that suffocate us when we open the fridge door. Just like baking soda, used tea bags will absorb obscene odors.
6) Take the burn out of sunburn. Why did our grandmas only leave us with the aloe gel tidbit? I’ve had tea and sunburns around for years and never knew I could mix the two. Placing wet teabags on the troublesome spots can lessen the pain.
7) Make your windows and mirrors shine and sparkle. Don’t have any Windex on hand? Brew some tea. Rub the wet teabag on greasy spots and smudges to wipe windows and mirrors clean.
8) Minimize razor burn. When I’m on one of my quests to get the most out of everything to save a buck (i.e. every day of my life), I refuse to change the blade until I absolutely, positively can’t avoid it any longer. Razor burn = can’t avoid it any longer. I’m happy to hear that tea can help with that, as well. Place wet tea bags on your legs to take out the sting.
9) Tell poison ivy where it can go. Away, that’s where it can go. Yep, tea does that, too. Soak a cotton ball in strongly brewed tea then dab it on the infected area. Let the spot air dry and repeat as needed.
10) Keep your most hated insect at bay. This one is ideal for the tea lover and the pyro. Burn tea leaves to create a “No Mosquitoes Allowed!” zone around you.
You know I wouldn’t leave you without some inspiration:
“A cup of tea would restore my normality.” Douglas Adams
“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It’s the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” Ann Patchett, Trust and Beauty
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living