Most of us like to get a little extra use out of things these days. If there is a household item that can prove handy more than once, then we tend to jump at the chance. The same rules apply to used Tea Bags, which, with the right advice, can serve other purposes in a vast multitude of ways. 

If you are you interested in learning more about, “What can I use used Tea Bags for?” Please keep reading. The following article will first discuss why it’s an excellent idea to keep hold of them once used. It will then provide several examples of how they can be utilised.

Perhaps best of all, once you know the facts, you can buy the finest quality Tea Bags from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Brew them, enjoy them, recycle them - what’s not to like from your favourite infusion?

Why Find Uses

Why Find Uses for Used Tea Bags?

It’s all too easy to buy things only to use them once and then bin them. But the world can’t manage such practices forever. Statistics suggest that the total generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018 was 292.4 million tons.

That amounts to 4.9 pounds (approx 2 kilos) per person per day. There is no straightforward “fix-all” solution. However, recycling items, including used Tea Bags, helps dramatically.

Doing so is, ultimately, a conscientious decision. It plays a small yet significant role in supporting our planet’s welfare, which we can all benefit from.

What’s more, it can be more convenient than people might think. There are, indeed, many ways in which holding onto them can make life simpler around the house. The question begs: What can you use used Tea Bags for?

What Can I Use them for?

What Can I Use Used Tea Bags for?

The chances are that if you’re reading our article, you or someone in your household drinks a lot of Tea. Studies indicate that your morning cuppa, regardless of the type of Tea you choose, offers many health benefits - all the while tasting great.

The trouble is that, in most cases, Tea Bags are brewed once and subsequently discarded. But there’s another option - in fact, numerous options.

Most noteworthy, some would argue, is their ability to hydrate dry skin - as well as improve skin health overall. Should you be wondering, “Can Tea Bags be used in the garden?” or, in particular, “Can you use Tea Bags as fertiliser?”, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Stranger still is the possibility of them getting rid of odours in your shoes. And there’s still more, all of which we’re about to explore below.

What to do with Tea Bags in the Garden

What to do with Used Tea Bags in the Garden

Are used Tea Bags good for the garden? Absolutely. These pockets of goodness are as beneficial to your flowers, lawns and compost heaps as they are to your own health and wellbeing.

They can, for example, repel pests and fungal diseases while providing nutrition. They also increase nitrogen levels, thereby improving soil structure and, in turn, giving earthworms something wholesome to eat.

Some people even consider used Tea Bags excellent firelighters. Indeed, once you’ve squeezed out the excess water and allowed them to dry thoroughly, you can dip them in melted wax.

The next step is to arrange the wax-covered bags on a piece of tin foil or parchment paper so they can harden. You will then find that, upon lighting, they burn quickly, brightly, and will help you get your bonfire started in no time.

Used Tea Bags for Plants and Flowers

Used Tea Bags for Plants and Flowers

We have good news for those who’re asking, “Are used Tea Bags good for roses?” It turns out that growing seeds using Tea Bags, including your beloved rose plants, is a worthwhile endeavour.

This is because they encourage nitrogen in the soil. When it comes to how to use Tea Bags as fertiliser, simply split open them and sprinkle them in your garden to provide a boost.

Inside, meanwhile, you can apply the same techniques to your houseplants. Ferns tend to prefer acidic soil - much like other plants you keep dotted around your home.

Used Tea Bags can slightly lower the pH level in pots and provide the plants themselves with vital nutrients and minerals. Just open up the Tea Bags, sprinkle in the leaves and allow your green friends to flourish.

Can be put in your Compost

Used Tea Bags in Compost

We’ve answered the question, “Can Tea Bags be used in the garden?” and explored their effectiveness in plants. The time has come to see what used Tea Bags in compost can do.

The nitrogen-boosting effects of them are, once again, the reason they’re so handy. They also attract good bacterias, which ultimately supports the breakdown of materials in your heap. Yet there is one potential catch: Plastic in Tea Bags.

You should try to be aware of which companies use Plastic Tea Bags as they can do more harm than good. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, however, you have nothing to worry about.

We have recently introduced Plastic Free Tea Bags made from wood pulp and vegetable starch. These are compostable to EN-13432 standard (EU standard for industrially compostable materials).

Tea Bag Use for Eyes

Tea Bag can be Use on Eyes

That’s the outside world covered pretty well. What about keeping used Tea Bags to improve your welfare, personally? Let’s start with Tea Bag use for eyes.

This popular home remedy is more than a gimmick; it has the backing of countless experts. Research indicates that they can reduce dark circles, puffiness and redness. Some go as far as to recommend them for irritation, styes and conjunctivitis.

The reason, for the most, is their anti-inflammatory properties, which come about through the Tea’s abundance in vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants.

These chemical compounds combined can likewise boost immunity, aid digestion, enhance cognitive function and even reduce the risks of developing type-2 diabetes. But we’re here to discuss their potential in promoting vision.

Green Tea Bags for Puffy Eyes

Green Tea Bags for Puffy Eyes

Green Tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can consume. And after you’ve drained your cup, your used Tea Bags can be the gifts that keep on giving.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Green Tea are almost unparalleled, which makes it one of the best choices for reducing puffiness around the eyes. The instructions for how to use Green Tea Bags for puffy eyes are as follows:

1, Steep Two Green Tea Bags in Hot Water.

Have yourself a brew (or two!) before getting started.

2, Squeeze the Liquid out of the Tea Bags.

Remove the Tea Bags from your cup and get rid of excess water.

3, Wait a Few Minutes to Cool.

You’re going to use them as a warm - not hot - compress, so allow them to cool.

4, The Alternative is to Use Them as a Cold Compress.

Should it be your preference to have a cold compress, then place them in the refrigerator.

5, Place the Tea Bags on Closed Eyes.

Around 15 minutes should be enough to start seeing reduced puffiness.

6, Repeat the Process if Necessary.

It likely won’t do any harm to try it again or as many times as you’d like.

Used Tea Bags for Skin

Used Tea Bags for Skin

Tea - whether you drink it or apply it topically - can keep your skin looking healthy, vibrant and youthful. The way it works is similar to Tea Bag use for eyes, whereby the anti-inflammatory properties have a considerable role.

Scientific studies suggest that utilising used Tea Bags for skin can, among other qualities, soothe sunburn, treat rashes and bug bites, and reduce wrinkles.

For example, according to a 2000 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Dermatology, Green Tea has anti-ageing properties.

Then there are Rooibos Tea Bags, which, according to researchers at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, can alleviate pimples and blackheads. Perhaps most noteworthy, is Camomile Tea Benefits for acne.

Camomile Tea Bags for Acne

How to Use Camomile Acne

Camomile Tea is a Herbal Tea. The ancient Egyptians included it in cosmetics many millennia ago - a practice that continues today.

The reason is its ability to reduce inflammation and relieve skin issues such as eczema and rosacea. Its influence can likewise extend to those living with acne. The instructions for how to use Camomile Tea Bags for acne are as follows:

1, Infuse Two Camomile Tea Bags in Hot Water.

Consider treating your taste buds beforehand.

2, Squeeze the Liquid out of the Tea Bags.

Take the Tea Bags from your mug and get rid of excess water.

3, Wait Several Minutes Before Application.

This is to avoid scolding yourself when you apply them to the affected area.

4, Gently Dab Camomile Tea Bags on Acne.

Put the Camomile Tea Bags on your skin after cleansing.

Can stop your shoes from being smelly

Can be Uses in Smelly Shoes

We acknowledge the fact that it sounds odd. However, as it turns out, placing them in shoes is one way of eradicating unpleasant odours. Smelliness in your favourite trainers occurs due to a lack of ventilation combined with sweat and warmth.

This creates a breeding ground for bacteria. While Tea Bags can’t do all of the work, they can, at least, make going into the shoe cupboard a tolerable affair. What you’re going to want to do is pop a few unused Tea Bags inside - but don’t forget they’re there otherwise you’re in for an uncomfortable walk!

We recommend Peppermint Tea Bags, in particular, because it has a lovely aroma even without brewing. You can ultimately expect a minty freshness wafting towards you with every step - what could be nicer than that?


There you have it: used Tea Bags can continue being useful long after you’ve enjoyed a cuppa. Your options are to make fertiliser, feed nutrients to your plants, add them to a compost heap, or place them on your eyes or skin.

Should you be prepared to sacrifice a few instead of brewing them at all, then you could even consider “scenting” your shoes. The possibilities are almost endless. 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.