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Nutritionists have long touted the health benefits of green tea. It’s power-packed with antioxidants, making it a disease fighter and generally healthy brew to enjoy.
But the benefits of green tea do not need to end at tea time. Green tea leaves can be recycled for many other purposes around the home and garden. The “green” in green tea can take on a new connotation when this environmentally friendly product is used in new ways.
The same antioxidant ingredients in green tea are also known for their odor-absorbing abilities. Tea is loaded with catechins — the antioxidant substances. The catechins have antibacterial properties that make tea leaves great for fighting odor. Usually the tea leaves need to be dried before use as a deodorizer. To do so, simply put the wet tea leaves into a strainer and spread out. Press the leaves to remove as much moisture as possible. Then allow to air dry, turning the leaves over several times in the process.
Pet Beds/Litter Boxes: Sprinkle dried tea leaves onto a pet bed, blanket or pillow. The leaves will help dissipate any foul pet odors. The same technique can be applied with litter boxes. The tea leaves help remove odor and can repel fleas from dogs and cats.
Carpeting: Skip the chemical carpet deodorizer and use dried tea leaves instead. Sprinkle over the carpet, let sit 10 to 15 minutes and then vacuum.
Refrigerator/Kitchen: Put used wet tea leaves or bags in a bowl in the refrigerator to help absorb odors from strong-smelling foods. Wet tea leaves can also be used to rid hands of the smell of garlic or onions after preparation.
Garden: Sprinkle the tea leaves into the garden as a form of mulch and nutrition to plants.
Cleaning: In some Eastern cultures, a solution of tea is used to disinfect and cleanse things like yoga and sleeping mats. Use tea for deodorizing and cleaning where applicable. Just note that wet tea leaves can stain, so test in an inconspicuous area before using on a large area.