8 clever ideas to re-use old teabags and tea leaves

We’re always keen to find new ways to reuse and recycle to help save money and the environment, but even we were amazed when we discovered some of these innovative uses for used tea bags.


From gardening, to chasing off mosquitoes and refreshing at-home beauty treatments, tea leaves are packed full of nutrients and can be used as a remedy for many a household and beauty problem.

How to re-use teabags

  1. In Your Garden

Nutrient-rich tea makes for the perfect compost and a natural fertiliser. There’s no need for any preparation, after enjoying a quick brew throw the bags straight onto your soil and work in a little if required.

  1. House Plants

Just like your garden, you can scatter green tea leaves on soil as a nutrient boost for your plants.

  1. Bath Tea

Herbs and aromatics have long been used in baths and spas. Simply dry your tea leaves out and add them to a muslin bag then pop it in a warm bath. They are ideal for foot soaks too.

To dry out your leaves, Chiara Bedini from tea-makers Babingtons Blends advises: ‘With a tea towel, gently pat dry, then spread the leaves on a baking tray and bake in the oven on a gentle heat for around an hour. Alternatively you can cover them with a paper towel and heat in a microwave for at least one minute, until they are dried.’

  1. Rejuvenate, Tired Puffy Eyes

Need a quick beauty fix? Just apply cooled tea bags straight onto your eyes. Lie back and relax while your eyes are instantly refreshed.

Chiara says: ‘My favourite use of all for tea bags is placing green tea bags over my eyes after a long day at work. They’re so soothing and regenerating, you want to keep them over your eyes for ever. Whatever you do, don’t just throw these magical leaves away.’

  1. Mosquito Repellent

Tea leaves are a natural means of keeping mosquitoes away. All you need do is use slightly damp leaves to add the scent of tea to the areas you want to keep insect-free.

  1. Quell Smelly Cat Boxes

Sprinkle used dried tea leaves in litter boxes to help reduce the smell. Chaira says strong aromatic teas are ideal.

She adds: ‘For me, tea is always special. I use my left-over green tea leaves to feed my plants and they seem to love it. I use my Imperial Earl Grey tea leaves in my rabbit’s hatch and you can use them for cat litters too. The fresh tea leaves release a pleasant smell and makes family life with pets a little easier.’

  1. Save The Fridge from Nasty Odours

If you’re out of baking soda, place dried, used green tea bags in a small open bowl in your fridge to help absorb nasty food odours.

  1. Rid Your Hands of Strong Food Smells

If you’ve been preparing food with strong odours like garlic or onions, simply rub your hands together with wet green tea leaves, an instant deodoriser packed rich with anti-inflammatory nutrients.