While you might lose a few friends if you reuse your tea bags a few times when they pop round for a cuppa, you won’t be judged if you reuse old coffee grounds and tea bags around the house. Their beverage-making life might be over once they’ve been dunked once but they’re not completely useless just yet. In fact here are 10 things you can do with old tea bags and coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds and tea bags are excellent at getting rid of nasty food smells. If you’ve had a fishy, garlicy, oniony dinner then rub a handful of coffee grounds over your hands and chopping board to get the stink out. Plus it softens up your skin a treat. Old tea bags, especially green tea bags, work just as well when it comes to the smell but without the added exfoliation.
Shoe shine sir?
Forget the old spit and polish, you want to rub a wet tea bag on your best boots. They clean, polish and soften the leather, keeping the supple and crack free.
The nutrients in coffee grounds and tea bags can really help your houseplants bloom. Use the more acidic coffee grounds as fertilizer for tomatoes, carrots, roses, azaleas and rhododendrons. These plants love a bit of acid. For everything else, rip open a used tea bag and tip into your watering can and sprinkle away. Tea is slightly less acidic but just as nourishing for your greens.
If one of your plants is really struggling, make a brew from two old teabags, let it cool and pour it into the soil. It should be back on its...er...roots in no time.
While we’re talking plants, if your garden is infested with insects (and cats) then sprinkle coffee grounds around and your plants will be left alone pretty sharpish.
Lazy washing up
No one likes scrubbing at greasy pots and pans. Leave them to soak overnight with a couple of old tea bags stewing in them. While you sleep, the tannins will do battle with the grease and you’ll wake up to squeaky clean pans. Coffee grounds make an excellent natural scrub for any really burnt on bits.
Look at the shiny shiny
Just like with your shoes, old tea bags make your wooden floors and furniture shine. This is thanks to the tannin. Use your old bags (but not herbal tea as these rarely have tannins in) to make a second (large) cup of tea - about 10 old bags in a gallon of water will be enough to mop the floor with. For furniture, wipe it on and buff it off. But make sure you only do this on dark wood as tea does stain. Which, if you’re my favourite white shirt, you already know.
Tea for toes
Tea bags are full of antibacterial properties, especially green tea. And like we already mentioned, they are fab at eating up gross smells. So for a natural and softening foot soak, add a couple of old tea bags to some hot water, leave for about 10 minutes and then plunge your feet in. They’ll come out clean, soft and smelling...well a bit like tea but that’s a lot better than smelling like old feet.
Freshen the fridge
Again with the deodorising. Lay your coffee grounds out to dry overnight and then stick them in a little pot and pop in the fridge. It will soak up any bad smells and leave a pleasant coffee aroma.
Double espresso for my skin please
Believe it or not but caffeine perks up your skin just like it perks up your body. Old coffee grounds and tea bags make great DIY facials. Add some organic honey or mashed avocado to your coffee grounds and massage onto your face in slow circles. This is a great exfoliator and is completely natural. And don’t forget the old tea bag on your eyes trick. Leave them in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool down and then lie back and relax. Puffy eyes vanish and you’re back looking your best. Once you’ve taken the tea bags off.
We all know coffee stains. So why not use it to your advantage. Coffee dyes are great for craft projects and even for your hair. The change will be subtle but if you keep at it, your hair will turn darker. Steep your used coffee grounds in hot water for about 15 minutes and then filter the liquid. It’s ready for staining your hair, your clothes and your art work.
Of course, if all that sounds like just too much effort once you’ve put your feet up with a nice cuppa, you could just chuck them in the compost bin.
Main Image: martinak15