Saturday, 24 September 2011

Five More Things To Do with Tea

Please don't ask me how I found this, but I was perusing the Canadian version of Reader's Digest, and stumbled upon Five More Things To Do with Tea.

1. Enhance Your Compost Pile

I don't have one of these.  Although this is city living, I guess I could consider doing some composting on the terrace.  But I'd only be willing to compost the leaves.  Pour tea out onto the pile of decaying matter?  I'm not sure I'm willing to do that.  Even when a cup goes cold, I still drink it.

2. Cool Sunburned Skin

This I might be willing to try, but I rarely get sunburned.  It's not as if my skin's immune to sunlight.  I just don't stay out in the sun for too long.  Even when I hike or take the dogs for a long walk, I'm either mostly covered up or protected by sunscreen.

3. Condition Dry Hair

Really?  I've tried washing my hair in beer.  It did give it a nice shine.  But tea?  Although I'm dubious, I'll really give this one a go.  Why not?  I wonder which tea'd be best for this one.  Assuming I haven't already poured it on the compost pile or slathered my reddish hide with it.

4. Dry Poison Ivy Rash

I like the idea of all of these, and I'm sure they all came from trial and error.  Somebody encountered poison ivy, had some tea left over from breakfast.  The teapot was the nearest thing when the person walked in the door with fiery skin.  The most natural response when you think about it.  And although any cool liquid would probably be a relief, I wonder if there's anything in the tea that'd actually heal the skin.

5. Clean Wood Furniture and Floors

Again, this one might've been discovered accidentally.  You have a nice wooden table, spill some tea on it, and as you wipe it up, you realise it hasn't damaged the wood in the least.  Maybe it even looks better.  So you take a rag and wipe tea over the entire surface.  Or the same thing with your floors.

I spent quite a bit of time today on household chores.  I brewed a pot of tea, swept a bit, had a sip of tea, mopped the whole place, took a little bit longer break with tea and a few biscuits, then cleared some clutter I'd let get out of get the idea.  Had I known I could be using my tea for more than just the drinking.


  1. Maybe you should spill tea more often. Next time your elbow catches it, you can declare you are performing research in the name of science.

  2. I definitely can testify to tea making good compost. Compared to most vegetable compost, it decomposes very quickly. Broken-leaf tea decomposes extremely quickly. I usually skip the composting and apply the used tea leaves directly as a mulch to areas that are sunny, dry, and nutrient-poor in the garden. Whole-leaf tea holds moisture a lot, which can cause mold if it's in a damp area, but usually, in areas where there is not enough organic material to hold moisture, used tea leaves are great for direct application to a garden.

  3. I think it's the tannins in the tea that are good for a rash. Also suggested for sore throats IIRC.

    As for cleaning - a friend was surprised when the waiter at their Hong Kong style restaurant poured the tea, remaining from the previous patrons, onto the table and used it to clean it down. I've seen dim sum participants wash their chopsticks and bowls in tea - a Chinese friend told me it's common in Hong Kong as they don't trust they are clean. Yet they eat the food :)