How to Store Used Tea Bags (Plus Uses for Them)

When you think of tea, the chances are that the first thing to come to mind is the warm, comforting taste of Earl Grey or English Breakfast.

The second might be how much work it can be for your hands when you have to strain all the leaves out after steeping them in hot water.

Using a teabag just once and then throwing it away seems wasteful, but there are ways to reuse old tea bags by re-steeping them in cold water. This way, they won’t lose any flavor and will still give you all their health benefits (just like eating an apple core). 

If you like your morning cup strong with lots of caffeine, this method is perfect because it takes less time than brewing another pot of tea.

Teabags can be helpful even after you have used them once. It can still affect your body, so it is beneficial to reuse and not throw away every time you want a cup of tea.

Reusing old tea bags isn’t just economical; it’s also better for the environment because you’re not adding more waste to landfills.

How to Store Used Tea Bags

People often think that used tea bags should just be thrown away, but this is a colossal waste. There are many ways to reuse and recycle them! Here are some easy ideas:

1. Put the used tea bags in a container

Some people store their teabags either in a ziplock bag or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Other containers that work well for this purpose are the original boxes they arrived in and canning jars.

However, if you want an airtight container only meant for holding tea bags, look for those advertised as such from the manufacturer.

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2. Store it in a Cool, Dark Place

If your goal is to reuse old tea bags, then they must stay away from light. Tea is an agricultural product that is sensitive to sunlight, humidity, and oxygen.

This is why it’s important to store it in a cool, dark place. When tea is exposed to light, it will start to lose its flavor, and when it’s exposed to oxygen, it will begin to lose its color.

The ideal temperature for storing tea is between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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3. Don’t Touch Each Other or Anything Else

If you’re looking to store your tea bags for future use, it’s important to keep them in an airtight container.

Not only will this help the tea stay fresh, but it will also prevent the bags from coming into contact with other things that might affect the flavor of your next cup-like onions or garlic.

It’s also important to keep unused tea bags out of reach from children who might mistake them for candy.

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Using Old Tea Bags

You may not know it, but your old tea bags can be a valuable resource for some of the most creative projects around. Here are some easy ideas:

1. Use Tea Bags in the Kitchen

Eating tea is a prevalent activity in the morning; however, you might be surprised to know that tea bags can also be used in the kitchen.

One way of using tea bags is to boil eggs with them. Adding tea bags to eggs will allow for an exciting flavor. Aside from eggs, you can use old teabags when boiling pasta or rice. Any food boiled in water can benefit from it.

You may also flavor meat within your meat smoker with old teabags for the gentle undertones of these old teabags.

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2. Garden Care

To keep a garden healthy, it is important to know the different natural ways to care for your plants, flowers, and vegetables. One of the most effective ways to do this is with used tea bags that have been removed from their staples and plastics.

Tea helps improve the pH in the soil and helps worms thrive by feeding them. It also contains high levels of nitrogen that will help create a suitable environment for bacteria growth, which again promotes worm populations. 

You can bury or compost old tea bags or add them to your garden. Finally, you might use old tea bags as a rose fertilizer since they are so cost-effective.

3. Easy Air Freshener

It is not always convenient to have a bottle of cleaner or spray with you. However, there are times when you want to freshen up the air without needing to do any other type of cleaning.

This is where using an easy air freshener such as old tea bags can come in handy. All you need is an old tea bag, and it will slowly emit a pleasant aroma that will help eliminate any foul smells that may be present in the room.

You can use old tea bags for more than just your oven or bathtub. Here are some other things you can try:

Stuff it in a clothes drawer or inside shoes to leave a pleasant scent while protecting clothes and other items from foul odors. Place them at the bottom of smelly trash cans and garbage bins to help eliminate smells.

Place them inside your refrigerator to neutralize any unpleasant odors. Put a few in your sock drawer for fresher-smelling socks and to keep the musty smell at bay. Old tea bags can also be placed inside your car, along with some baking soda to absorb nasty odors.

4. Clean the Very Bottom of the Toilet Bowl

Toilet bowls are a place where many different kinds of waste and residue accumulate. One way to keep the stains from accumulating or returning is to clean the very bottom of your toilet bowl.

To do this, set two or three used teabags in your toilet and let them sit for several minutes. Flush the bathroom, then scrub the bottom of the bowl to help remove pesky stains at the bottom.

Be careful, though leaving the tea in the toilet for too long can cause more staining due to the tannins, so it might be better to use a lighter-colored tea for this purpose.

5. Shine Your Mirrors

Wipe your mirrors down with wet used teabags, and then buff them dry with a soft cloth. The natural, active compounds in the tea help break down scum and making sure to dry the mirror in circular motions will help you achieve a streak-free shine.

Meanwhile, all the streaks and lint on your windows can be removed by wiping them with old teabags. Dip a bag of tea in water for about 20 minutes, wring out the excess liquid and use it to wipe down your windows—buff off any residue after it dries with a clean towel.

6. Clean Your Carpet or Rug

Cleaning your carpet or rug can be a daunting task. Not only does it require a lot of elbow grease, but it can also be expensive to hire a professional cleaner. However, there are a few ways to clean your carpet or rug without spending any money.

One way to clean your carpets or rugs is to use old teabags. Split open your used teabags and wait for the tea leaves to become mostly dry.

Then, sprinkle them all over your carpet or rug and wait until they are completely dry. Vacuum up the tea leaves, and not only will you have a cleaner carpet, but your vacuum cleaner will smell better, too.

7. Soothe Tired Eyes

Soothe tired eyes with a cold compress. Place two used, damp tea bags in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Take them out and apply them to your eyes for about 15-20 minutes.

The cold will help reduce swelling, while the caffeine and tannins will help shrink the blood vessels around your eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles.

8. Degrease Stubborn Dishes

Try using old teabags to help degrease stubborn dishes. The active compound in tea is a natural alternative to harsh chemicals found in store-bought dish soaps.

Put old tea bags in a sink of warm water and let them soak for a while before scrubbing the dishes again.


One of the best ways to save money on tea is by using old tea bags! All you have to do is empty an old suitcase and place your favorite loose leaf tea inside. You can use these same bags repeatedly; rinse them off after each time they are used.

If you find yourself with a full cup of hot water before finishing up all the leaves in your mug, pour what’s left into another container, so it doesn’t go to waste – this will help keep any bacteria from growing or prevent mold from forming.

You can even freeze leftover teabags for later use if needed. So next time you brew some fresh tea, mix up a batch of iced tea at the same time and save yourself some extra money!

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