Tea is more than just a beverage

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A hot cup of tea is how most of us enjoy the beverage. But there are many other uses for tealeaves. Here are a few you might enjoy trying.

For the home:

  • Clean a musty carpet by sprinkling some used dry green tea on it. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, vacuum them up and the musty smell goes away. 
  • The tannins in black tea leaves can help shine and color hardwood flooring. Follow your cleaning routine and then carefully rub some brewed tea into the floor and let it air dry (remember not to use too much water on hardwood floors). 
  • Used dry green tea leaves can help deodorize litter boxes. 
  • It has been rumored that dried tea leaves can prevent fleas by sprinkling them around your pets bedding.
  • Rinse your hands with tea after preparing or eating fish to eliminate odors.
  • Used tea leaves can remove stubborn stains in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Put them in a paper filter and let them sit in the toilet over night, remove, brush the bowl and flush.
  • Tea can remove stubborn, greasy fingerprints from glass. Rub damp used tea leaves on the glass and fill a spray bottle with brewed tea and wipe clean.
  • You can place used tea leaves in the refrigerator to absorb odors. 
  • If you sprinkle wet tea leaves on fireplace ashes when scooping them out it reduces dust. 
  • Dip a soft cloth in a small amount of tea and use it to wipe down wood tables and chairs.
  • Make your own car freshener by putting herbal, fruit tisanes, jasmine or lavender teas in bag with a few holes (not too big so the leaves don't fall out) under the seat of your car.

For personal care:

  • Cooled steeped tea leaves can soothe sunburns and minor burns. Soak in a tea bath for a full-body sunburn. 
  • Warm steeped tea leaves can reduce puffiness and soothe pain around tired eyes. You can also use them as a warm compress to soothe the pain of pinkeye.
  • Cooled steeped tea leaves can reduce razor burn.
  • Hot tea leaves are rumored to draw out infections if left on fever blisters and canker sores.
  • Steep a strong cup of tea, dip a cotton ball in the tea and dab it on a poison ivy rash. Let it air dry and keep repeating to dry a weepy poison ivy rash. 
  • Steeped tea leaves on an injection site can be soothing for babies and adults.
  • Toothaches and other mouth pain can be soothed by rinsing with steeped peppermint tea mixed with a little salt.
  • Acne suffers believe washing their faces with green tea has reduced their acne. 
  • Stinky feet? Soak your feet in a strong brew of tea for 20 minutes a day to remove odors and bye bye stinky feet. 

In the Kitchen:

  • Marinate tough meat in black tea to make it more tender.
  • Add tea to a smoker for tea-infused meats.
  • Boil eggs with Lapsang Souchong smoky tea. The smokiness of the tea adds great flavor and can bring your egg salad to a whole new level. 

     Even in your garden tea is useful. Sprinkle fresh steeped or used tea leaves around your rosebushes and cover with mulch to give them a midsummer boost. The nutrients from the the tea will be released into the soil during watering and spur growth. 

     The little tea plant is so versatile, in a study recently published by Chinese researchers conducted with 50 participants, it was reported that minutes after drinking a brew, they scored better in creative and cognition tests. Yes! The warm, soothing beverage really gets your creative juices flowing and makes you more creative. 

Next time your steeping your favorite cup of tea remember, you could be polishing your floors with it too! 


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