We’ve already shared with you some of the amazing health benefits of drinking green tea. But did you know it has other uses? Not only is green tea helpful in maintaining good health, it can also make your home environment clean and more comfortable, too.
Once you have finished enjoying your cup or pot of green tea you can reuse the leaves. Simply press out as much of the water from the used tea bags or loose leaves as possible. You can place them on drying screens or in a colander or strainer or even a plain brown paper bag. If you wish, you can even put the leaves on a baking sheet or in a food dehydrator on low heat. Be sure to move them around a bit to ensure that they are dry throughout. Once they are dried, you are ready to use them in other areas of your home.
Here are some great ways to use green tea around your home that you may not have thought of.
Home Deodorizer – In countries such as Thailand, Burma, Vietnam and throughout Asia people sleep on straw mats. In Japan, these mats are called tatami. During the warmer, more humid months, these mats are cool and comfortable to sit and sleep on. To remove perspiration and bodily odors, the mats are washed in a tub with water and a solution of green or black tea. This helps to deodorize the mats. When dried, they smell fresh and clean again. Over time, the green tea will add a light brown or sage colored tint to the tatami mats.
Green Tea as a Cooking Helper - If you have the scent of onions, garlic, or other odiferous ingredients in your kitchen, green tea can help remove these smells from a cutting board or countertop, pots and pans, or even your hands. After cleansing these items and surfaces properly, simply go over them with a green tea bag or green tea leaves to get rid of those unpleasant odors.
Refrigerator Deodorizer - In the refrigerator, you can also recycle your used green tea leaves from the bag or loose leaf by letting them dry then put them in a small container in your refrigerator. Those leaves can absorb refrigerator odors for 3 -7 days. After you’re done, just add them to your compost.
Carpet Cleaning and Deodorizing – Slightly damp green tea leaves added to a bit of baking soda and sprinkled over the carpet and left for 20 -30 minutes then vacuumed up can help to reduce dust and eliminate odors. Persian or antique rugs can be fragile. Green tea provides an excellent yet gentle way to remove odors from them.
If you have pets that may have brought in fleas, you can use this mixture along with a bit of simple table salt to sprinkle on the carpeting. The green tea acts as a mild repellent while the salt will soften the bodies of the fleas and help prevent their eggs from hatching.
Kill off Dust Mites – Many people are allergic to dust mites. You can help reduce dust mite allergy reactions and prevent their growth by spraying with a very weak solution of green tea. Be sure to test the carpet, fabric or area for colorfastness or to prevent staining.
Natural Car Deodorizer – Add dried green tea leaves, lavender, rosemary or other fragrant herbs to a muslin or other fabric bag and place in your car to keep it smelling fresh without any of the harsh chemicals.
Deodorize Pet Beds and Litter Boxes – You can help pet beds smell fresher by sprinkling some dried green tea leaves on the pet bed or inside the bedding cover. Mix dried green tea leaves to cat litter to deodorize your cat’s litter box.
Soothing Bath Companion – Although green tea can be composted easily, you may want to reuse those green tea leaves in the bath, too. You can place loose bulk green tea into a cotton or muslin bag to let the hot water run over them while you are drawing your bath, or let them steep in the water. Take two muslin bags filled with green tea leaves, lay back and relax, letting the tea bags soothe your tired eyes. The tannins in the green tea will ease any swelling or puffiness around your eyes so you feel refreshed.
Green Tea as a Foot Soak –After a hard day at work green tea is a perfect way to relax and unwind. Rather than just brewing a cup of green tea, why not brew a little extra to soak your tired feet in? A strong infusion of green tea is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and can help reduce foot odor – and it feels pretty wonderful, too!
Green Tea for Healthy Plants – If you have a bit of leftover green tea in your cup or teapot simply water your plants with it! The nitrogen and other natural elements are great for your plants. You can also place the wet leaves as a thin layer around your plants at the soil line or mix it in with your potting soil to nourish your houseplants or favorite outdoor potted plants over time.
Green Tea as a Rust Preventer? – Believe it or not, yes! Oxidation is exactly what causes rust to form on iron. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants such as catechin. You can help keep rust from happening by taking green tea leaves in a muslin or cotton bag or other type of cloth and rubbing it over the surface of your cast iron cookware, grilling accessories, and hinges or wherever metal is exposed.
Green Tea as a Dye – You can get some wonderful subtle color for fabrics by using green tea. The shades can range from a medium sage green to a lighter shade of ecru, depending on the strength of the tea and how long you let it soak. Use three parts green tea to one part water. Let the steep without adding fabric for 20 minutes. Once you add the fabric you wish to dye, check after 20 minutes and soak longer if you wish to make it darker or until you reach the desired shade.
These are just a few of the many great ways you can use green tea in your home. Try a few and let us know how they worked out in the comments.