Renovation & Design

Helpful tea tips fit for a queen

Tea is popular, I should know, I drink about six cups every day, and I’m definitely not alone. Worldwide tea consumption is second only to water, and is drunk as often as coffee, soft drinks and alcohol combined. According to, natural substances, called polyphenols, are found in both caffeinated and herbal teas. These substances are antioxidants, compounds that may help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

That’s great, but what else is tea good for? 

• Tenderizing. Marinate meat in tea before cooking to make it tender and easier to digest. Use black tea for an enhanced taste and add the seasonings you normally use for marinating meat cuts.

• To clean your windows, brew a pot of tea, cool it down and dip a cloth in the liquid, wipe mirrors and windows, then use a dry cloth to ensure a perfect shine.

• Tea, tea bags and tea leaves all effectively soak up odours. Instead of baking soda in the fridge, try used tea bags.

• Rinse your hands with tea after preparing fish or other stinky foods (this also works on cutting boards).

• Pouring strong tea into a compost bin will help speed up the decomposition process, encourage more friendly bacteria to grow and help increase nitrogen levels in soil. You can throw whole, steeped tea bags into the compost if the bag is made of biodegradable materials — just be sure to remove any staples that may be present.

• Teacups become stained because tea contains tannin (or tannic acid) which gives tea its colour. If you have tea stains in your porcelain teapot or teacups, fill the pot or cup with warm water and add a few drops of bleach and let the solution sit for a couple of hours. Once the stains are gone, wash normally with soap and water.

• Another option for removing tea stains is to squirt a little soap into the mug, add enough warm water to cover the stain, and swish the mixture around. Let the mug sit for a few minutes (longer if the stain has set in) and allow the dish soap to penetrate the stain. Wipe with a green non-scratching scrubby pad.

• If your dark leather boots are full of dirt, grime, and salt stains, you can clean and polish them with a few damp tea bags. Rub a tea bag over the leather using a circular motion, changing the bags out frequently to make sure you remove all traces of dirt from the shoes. Finish by buffing your shoes with a clean, soft cloth.

• Create a tea sachet to keep drawers smelling fresh, perfume them with the fragrant aroma of your favorite herbal tea. Open used herbal tea bags and spread the wet tea on old newspaper to dry. Then use the dry tea as stuffing for the sachet.

• To soothe a sore throat, add a teaspoon or two of honey to a cup of warm tea.


Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email at: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:



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