Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't throw out your used tea bags!!!

I woke up this morning thinking I should use my used tea as soil for my new in house gardening project. I have and will be taking on many projects this year and hope to blog about my experiences in all of them to save you time and hassle and to just keep track of what's going on.

I thought, okay, this must be a grand revelation, but as with all my great ideas, when I look them up on line, I wasn't the first one to come up with it or some variation of it, so I'll share some other great ideas I cam across and share some of my other uses.

I haven't read about anyone else using tea as the soil itself, but I have read about people using it as fertilizer either with or without the bag. Makes sense. I still wonder if I can use it as soil alone. I did buy some Jiffy Organic Seed Starting Mix ($2 for 4 qt bag at Walmart in Michigan) and Jiffy Pots 3 ($1.50 for 14 at Walmart) that can go right into the ground at the right time but have yet to put that together. Maybe today, or tomorrow. You're supposed to wait for the right timing of year, but I'm going to try to keep some of them indoors year round, and I don't always follow the rules anyway, things usually work out! :) I will let you know how this works! Note: I wouldn't use coffee grounds as coffee is generally regarded as poison by those who study herbs and many nutritionists.

You may like to try some of my other tea bag uses such as using for a sponge either before or after the dishes go into or come out of the dishwasher to get some of the gunk out of the dishes. My dishwasher sometimes will leave deposits on the glasses. It actually works really well! Just make sure you squeeze your tea bag out really well and be sure it has an opportunity to dry well so it doesn't house any bacteria! You may want to rinse with hot water before you put your dishes into the cupboard. :)

I have also made tea body scrub for use in the shower, and at the sinks. I add some sugar or salt and some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) until it gets to the right consistency. I buy it in bulk because I use it so much for homemade beauty products. Just make sure it's 100% Olive Oil, no chemicals or additives.

I have also made this scrub with coffee grounds. It's great for sloughing off dead skin, especially at this time of year! Leaves my hands and feet, and the rest of my skin as needed, very smooth and soft.

I also used the old teabags (about 20 of them) to make my second batch of homemade shampoo! I am very much into eliminating as many chemicals as possible from my life and going "no poo" has been one of the greatest things I've done! My hair is cleaner, softer, thicker, more manageable with less product, it's great! I'm about 3 weeks into it... The best part, the cost is very negligible! I'd say it maybe cost me a quarter at most to fill up 3 shampoo bottles and a 40oz ketchup bottle. That's over 4 months worth of shampoo!!! I used the following teas:
Chamomile (softens, smooths and stimulates growth)
Peppermint (stimulates scalp, removes excess oils, may also aid as a build up remover),
Green Tea, (gets rid of dandruff, psoriasis, prevents hair loss, stimulates growth, conditions, strengthens, adds Vit C, E, and panthenol. It is also a good anti-oxident, probably helps having it on your hands...)

I also used:
1/4 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar (Cloudy, organic brand), (Conditions, cleanses - no soap needed!, kills germs, relieves dandruff, gets rid of build up itchy scalp, helps prevent hair loss, aids in PH Balance, makes hair shinier, smoother and softer, kills lice) BUY IN BULK - I USE IT ALL THE TIME!!

1 tblsp minced ginger (increases scalp circulation)
20 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract  (aids in dandruff, dermatitis, eczema and lice)
40 drops Peppermint EO (Essential Oil) (Scent, See oither peppermint benefits above - tea)
2 Cinnamon Sticks, broken up (aids in growth, prevents hair loss)
1 tblsp honey (shine, luster, moisturizes and aids in managability)
1 tamarind pod - (scalp, skin benefits, antioxidants)

(benefits found doing research, you may want to do your own! :) )

I brewed the used tea bags, as well as 2 each of new ones, and let them steep overnight creating an infusion, (they steeped about 16 -18 hours - the longer the better) An infusion is steeping herbs for at least a half hour. I took the tea bags out, saving them for my soil project :) and then began to mix the rest of the ingredients together. I poured into old shampoo bottles and added some pieces of ginger, tamarind and cinnamon to each bottle. The extras I put in the fridge, I'll probably give them away. If you want one let me know! :)

A few things about homemade shampoo, it doesn't lather as the store bought chemical laden 'poos do, and it is much more watery, not as thick. It takes a bit of getting used too. :) Some people use baking soda in their homemade shampoos, just be sure to open the bottle away from you as the contents will be under pressure and you don't want to take an eye out! (my first recipe I used baking soda) :)

My first recipe I made with 2 day old leftover coffee and a bunch more other stuff then you see above. Less is more! I still think it would be wise to reduce the list of ingredients. Next time! :) I do things backwards. I should have started with only a couple ingredients then added to it. Oh well, this is me! :)

Note: Honey, tamarind and chamomile are also used to colour hair (which makes me wonder about "GREEN" tea...) So, just be aware of that. Honey, tamarind and chamomile won't change my colour much. I have strawberry blonde colour hair which ranges in colour from reds, to blondes to browns, so I'm not concerned about these ingredients. A little curious about the greens tho! I didn't find any warnings about it in a specific search tho...

As promised, some of the other tea bag uses from a quick search:
removing stain from wood! do a search, I found it! This one excites me! :)
Cleaning countertops
prevents puffiness by placing over the eyes, after soaking in freezing cold water
make iced tea by freezing them and dropping them in your water like ice cubes!
apply to razor burns
place in cold water, use to stop bleeding and pain from a lost tooth
aids with sunburn pain

Any other uses you can think of, let me know! :)

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