What to do with leftover tea leaves - 9 ways to use leftover tea leaves and powder
While tea leaves or tea powders are essentially steeped and consumed as a drink with health benefits, this is not the only way they could be used. In fact, even the boiled tea leaves for consumption as a healthy drink are not to be put to waste and still have lots of benefits for everyday use. Here are just some of the countless uses of used tea leaves or tea powders after being steeped and consumed as a healthy drink:
1. You can use it as an exfoliant on your face or body.
Tea leaves are a natural antioxidant for the body. The antioxidants and caffeine will help rejuvenate your skin and clear up redness. Thus, crush those used, after-boiled tea leaves into small, fine grains and mix them with your favorite facial wash to scrub all over your face as a home-made scrub. For the body, you may leave your tea leaves as is and mix them with your handy body wash for a more vigorous scrubbing to remove dead skin and to revitalize all over your body to leave you with fresh and smooth skin thereafter. Containing properties that help with inflammation, people afflicted with sunburns just need to soak some cooled tea leaves and apply them to the burnt area. Some would also do the same to their fresh wound to manage the damage. The tannins found in tea leaves help stop bleeding by coagulating the blood.
2. Use as Eye cream. Say goodbye to those dark circles.
With the active ingredients of caffeine and antioxidants in your favorite tea leaves, these may be mixed with your favorite undereye cream by grinding them into fine particles and letting them sit on those eye bags overnight. By morning, you will be surprised to see your eyebags smaller and your eye area refreshed and revitalized.
3. Make Green Tea mouthwash.
While tea, just like coffee, may stain our teeth, it can actually help your dental health as long as you drink it unsweetened. Because of the catechins, drinking steeped tea leaves can even lower your chances of losing your teeth. If anything, tea can help wean you off soda! Did you just eat something that is unpleasantly smelly or munch something with garlic? A lightly flavored tea can come to the rescue when you suddenly need to say hello to someone and do not have mouthwash on hand. Just swish some tea, and you can drink this mouthwash as well. The used tea leaves could also be ground and mixed with baking soda to make an instant herbal toothpaste.
4. For baking
Who told anyone that tea leaves are just meant to be steeped and drunk? There are already lots of cake and dessert recipes out there using tea leaves as the main ingredient. While some would grind the tea leaves and put them in the batter, usually the tea leaves are being steeped and the water that was boiled with the tea leaves is being mixed with other baking ingredients to make those mouth-watering tea-infused cakes, cookies, cupcakes, or other desserts. The tea leaves could also naturally color your frosting for your desserts.
5. As a freshener or deodorizer.
Tea leaves naturally absorb nasty smells. Those used-up tea leaves can be dried and put inside your stinky shoes or moldy leather bags to absorb the moisture and smell inside your belongings. You could also use tea leaves as a deodorizer for your refrigerator, cupboards, or drawers by simply leaving the tea leaves inside, and they will naturally absorb the rotten smell inside, just like baking soda.
6. As a floor shiner or cleaning agent.
Tea leaves could add shine and a slight tint of color to your hardwood floors when rubbed by a rag dipped in steeped tea leaves; just be sure to test it on a small area before you rub down the whole floor! You can even put it in a spray bottle to clean glass.
7. As an art attack
Have you ever noticed the stains your tea leaves leave behind when they dry up after being steeped and consumed? Have you ever heard of the concept of coffee stain art, where coffee is used as a paint brush on canvas? Tea stains could be used for the same concept as well! There are various tea stain art works that are already out on the market, so if you love art, you may want to try doing this as well! You want to create a unique, vintage look for your boring, ordinary white shirts. Soak your white tops or whatever fabric you may have, such as curtains, in brewed tea, and voila! You already have a safe and cheap alternative to conventional dyes!
8. As compost and fertilizer
To help your compost heap, simply throw your old tea leaves into the compost, as tea leaves help speed up the process of composting. Loose tea leaves would naturally compost without worrying about the bags not being biodegradable. Since too much of something is bad, there is such a thing as plants getting too much water. Tea leaves can also help to absorb water if placed at the bottom of your soil, so that plants will be saved from too much moisture and instead the overall moisture will be more efficiently redistributed over time.
9. To shoo away those nasty rodents.
No one would ever want rodents lurking around their houses, causing damage to their food stashes and sometimes to their favorite stuff, such as bags and clothes. Rodents are actually disgusted with the smell of tea leaves, so you may want to dry up your used tea leaves and simply leave them where rodents usually go to stay away from your house.
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