How can I reuse or recycle herbal tea bags like chamomile?

herbal teaI know we’ve kinda covered this topic before – in the form of “real” tea bags – but I was thinking about chamomile ones the other day and wondered if there aren’t some special reuses for different herbal ones, instead of just winging them into the compost.

According to lore/half memories in my head this Monday morning, chamomile tea is good for bringing out blonde bits in hair: after you’ve enjoyed the tea, stew the bag/bags to get a couple of strong cups full of it, then lash it over your head. Wisdom (and by “wisdom”, I mean some internet forums I once read) differs on though whether it just cleans residues off blonde bits or (with the application of a bit of heat/sun) it actually lightens/re-colours the hair. Anyone know?

Any other less spurious re-uses for second/third/fourth soakings of chamomile?

And what about other herbal teas? I’ve always thought herbal teas smell better than they taste – anything to take advantage of that?

(Photo by Egahen)

Related Categories

food, items

Search for other related items

13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle herbal tea bags like chamomile?”

  1. louisa says:

    Oh, I guess it’s also worth repeating what Alice said about composting teabags – most of the bags aren’t actually compostable so if you fling them into your compost as they are, they won’t rot. Bah.

  2. Lynsey says:

    Once you have had your cup of tea you can then put the teabags back in water and use the resulting coloured water to make home made playdough or salt dough – it will give the dough a nice colour and save having to buy food colouring!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Okay-tea or coffee is nice for tinting paper. Lovely for making old pirate maps-you can wrinkle the paper up first for a very aged look.
    And herbal tea that smells nice, but isn’t quite strong enough? Put one herbal tea bag with one black tea bag, brew together-strong, flavored black tea.
    Last but not least-use the tea bags sewn up in bits of cloth for scented sachets to put in your dresser drawers. I suppose you could thoroughly dry out a used one in a warm oven and use that as well as just using up new ones, never tried it myself.

  4. Clémentine says:

    You can hang the tea bag in your toilet, and everytime you will flush, it will smell in the whole bathroom. You might have to put a couple of bags at the same time (depends of the tea).

  5. Alice says:

    Some brands do still use compostable bags – Clipper teabags are fine, and the rep who replied to my query said they compost their own teabags in the office there, so I do actually believe them.

    Lots of my herbal teas are Twinings ones and I can’t remember asking them – I’ll send them an e-mail now and put the reply here when I get it.

    What other brands of herbal teabags do people here use?

    Chamomile is a mild antiseptic, BTW, which might give ideas for reuse?

    • louisa says:


      Thanks for chasing up all the different brands :)

      Our herbal teas (mostly just peppermint) are Hampstead Tea & Coffee Company ones as supplied by Just Coffee People in Leeds. I’ll check with Hampstead what they say about composting their bags.

      -louisa :)

  6. Robyn says:

    A good way to reuse chamomile teabags is in a cold compress when you’re experiencing rashes or hayfever.

    I’ve used chamomile as a hair lightener for my brunette hair, and I like it. I also have a nice hair ointment with chamomile in it, and it’s used for lightening hair.

  7. Alice says:


    Just got a reply from Twinings stating that all their teabags are fully biodegradable.

  8. Leigh says:

    Tea from chamomile, even weak, is very good for watering flats of garden seedlings. It must be cooled down, of course, before application. The chamomile helps to control damping off fungus, which can kill the young plants.

  9. Agata says:

    Spray them with eucaliptus oil and put in the places in the garden where cats are unwanted-they hate the smell!

  10. Wendy says:

    If the tea bags are organic, camomile tea bags can be placed on eyes after infusion (and cooling of course). It should help red and irritated eyes.

  11. Sara says:

    Put cool ones on youre eyelids for some minutes to refresh tired eyes.

  12. Julia says:

    One use I’ve found very helpful using chamomile tea bags. Ever had an eye stye? They’re pretty painful and swell up your eyelid. Sometimes, you can tell one coming on before it becomes very visible if you notice slight pain/discomfort in the eyelid when you blink or if there is slight redness. Anyway, one way of stopping it in its tracks or helping it go away faster is using camomile. You can make another cupful, dip in a cotton wool pad and use as a cool compress for the first few days of the infection, and a warm one for when the stye is no longer painful. Use as a compress for a few minutes a couple times a day. It’s really helped me out a few times.
    Also, if you ever get swollen tonsils coming on, a way of soothing them and helping it go away faster is gargling with some camomile tea or just drinking it. So you can reuse a bag for that. It goes without saying that tonsillitis can be serious so you should consult a doctor for some antibiotics to treat the cause, but camomile is very good for treatment of the symptoms :)

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)