featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


photo by Shizuha 
The English love a good “cuppa.” Many Americans also prefer tea over coffee. I generally only drink tea when I have a cold, at a Chinese restaurant, or on a hot summer day when I drink it iced. However, years ago I learned that tea made an excellent dye when I wanted to “age” a needlework project.

Recently I came across some other uses for tea. I had no idea tea could be so versatile. Here are some examples:

1. Because tea contains a small amount of nitrogen, it’s an excellent houseplant fertilizer. Bury a few leaves from used tea bags just below the surface of your plants. The nutrients in the tea will be transferred to your plants as you water them.

2. Tea also contains antioxidants. For dry or irritated skin, spritz cooled black or green tea on your freshly washed face. Allow your face to air dry. The tea will soothe your skin.

3. If you’re like me, you can’t tolerate the overpowering scent of air-fresheners. So what do you do when you need to deal with odors? Try placing several lemon, cinnamon, or peppermint tea bags in areas that need freshening, such as your car or closets. The tea leaves will absorb the odors instead of just masking them.

4. Ever have a problem cleaning dirty cookware? Tea contains tannic acids that will help lift grease. Simply fill the cookware with hot water, add a few used teabags, and soak overnight. The next morning the cookware will clean up much easier.

5. Do you have a fireplace? Do you dread the task of sweeping up the ashes because they fly everywhere? Sprinkle a few cups of recently steeped loose tea leaves over the area before you sweep. The wet tea leaves cling to the ashes, making sweeping cinders a much easier task.


Angela Adams said...

I remember my grandmother opening tea bags and mixing in the contents with her plant soil. Thanks for the post.


Thanks for stopping by, Angela!

Kath Marsh said...

Fabulous tips!!! My houseplants thank you!!


Always happy to please those houseplants, Kath!