What to Do With Used Tea Leaves

  • Last edited: October 15, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

I’ve always been a huge tea drinker, but I never realized that there is so much more to it than just drinking the tea. I didn’t realize that you could actually use tea leaves for other things. There are many different ways to reuse used tea leaves. Below, I am going to list 9 ways in which you can reuse your used tea leaves.

How long can you keep used tea leaves?

Tea leaves are commonly used in many households but are usually thrown away after being used. If you do want to keep used tea leaves, it’s important that you know how long can you keep them and how long it takes for them to go bad.

Once tea leaves are used, you can keep them forever if you dry them first. Putting them in an airtight container after being used usually results in mold. Mold is (almost) always a bad thing so this will ruin the tea leaves.

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The trick is to dry them and scatter them on a plate or put them somewhere where they are spread out. You could put them in the sun to make sure they dry quickly. Once they are dry, you can keep them for a very long time and use them for one of the various purposes explained below.

9 things to do with used tea leaves

Tea leaves as compost for plants and flowerbeds

Tea leaves can be composted to produce a rich and organic fertilizer. They are a good source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are all essential for plant growth. They also have a high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, which is important for breaking down organic matter in the soil.

You can also collect and dry all of your used tea leaves to create a kind of mulch. You can put this in flowerpots to protect and regulate moisture and temperature better. Putting a layer of mulch in a flowerpot looks clean and it’s good for plants as well.

tea leaves as compost Tea Adventures
Used tea leaves can be reused as compost for all kinds of plants.
tea leaves as mulch Tea Adventures
Protecting plants and flowers with mulch from tea leaves has several benefits.

Tea leaves don’t need to be dry when using them as compost, but you need to dry them first before using them as mulch.

Tea leaves for cleaning kitchen tools

Tea leaves can be an excellent, natural way to deep clean kitchen tools like pots and pans. Fill a pot with water and add tea leaves to it.

Boil the water until the tea leaves are fully immersed in the hot water. Once it starts boiling, let it simmer for a while, and then turn off the stove. Allow it to cool and remove the tea leaves.

cleaning cooking tools with used tea leaves Tea Adventures
Add tea leaves to a pot filled with water and boil it for a while to remove stains.

Used tea leaves as food in various dishes

Tea is the world’s second most consumed beverage, after water. It is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant which is a small evergreen tree that grows mainly in subtropical climates. Tea is a brewed drink, not a powdered or liquid one, and can be served either hot or iced.

In addition to drinking tea, used tea leaves can also be used in various dishes. Just add used tea leaves to noodles, salads, or rice dishes to add some extra flavor! I recommend only using non-oxidized teas as those usually have fresh and bright flavors.

tea leaves as food Tea Adventures
Add used tea leaves to a noodle dish to add some extra flavor.

Used tea leaves as air freshener

Toilet smells can be embarrassing, but there are many ways to combat the issue without expensive store-bought products.

Used tea leaves are a natural way to freshen up your bathroom. Simply put them in a bowl near the toilet. The smell of tea leaves is much more pleasant than most deodorizers, and they’re also cheaper!

Used tea leaves for dying clothes

Used tea leaves are a natural dye that can be used to create beautiful garments. The process is simple and inexpensive, and the result will last longer than any other type of plant dye.

If you want to dye a garment, take about a (or several) tablespoon(s) of tea leaves and put them in a big bowl together with hot water and the garment you want to dye. Let it sit for a while and remove the garments. If you’re not satisfied, you can just repeat until you’re satisfied.

Used tea leaves for skincare

Tea leaves have been in use for centuries as a cleansing agent, with some even claiming that the tea leaf can remove wrinkles and make skin more youthful.

Tea leaves are rich in antioxidants, which defend against free radicals that cause the skin to age. In addition, the tannins found in tea leaves may also help heal acne by shrinking comedones.

Just place moist tea leaves on the areas you want to treat and remove them after 30-60 min.

Tea leaves as an eye mask

I often suffer from really sore and heavy eyes. Thankfully, there are a few natural remedies that can help! These include putting damp tea leaves inside muslin bags and placing the bags on your eyes. A soothing music playlist can also help reduce the feeling of discomfort.

Used tea leaves in a foot bath

Tea leaves are known for their soothing, detoxifying properties. Unlike using milk and herbs, used tea leaves are natural and easy to make. One of the ways to use the detoxifying properties of tea leaves is as a foot bath.

You’ll need to fill a large bowl with hot water and let the tea steep for about five minutes. When the water has cooled down enough, place your feet into the bowl and relax!

foot bath tea leaves Tea Adventures
Using tea leaves in a foot bath is a good idea if you want to give your feet some rest.

Used tea leaves to clean windows

Tea leaves consist of tannins, which break down the proteins that cause dirt to stick. All you have to do is boil water, steep the tea leaves in your pot for about fifteen minutes, and use it as a window cleaner.

Conclusion: How to use your leftover tea leaves

Using tea leaves for brewing and drinking tea is not the only thing they’re good for. There are more things you can do with used tea leaves instead of throwing them away.

This is a very important topic because many people are not aware of how to properly use their leftover tea leaves.

Using leftover tea leaves for composting is better for the environment than just throwing them in the trash. It’s only one of the many ways to repurpose spent tea leaves after a nice cup of tea.

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