Well Gal

Tea: A Great Antimicrobial For Household Cleaning

Cup of Black Tea with Peppermint Sprig

Black tea is great for cleaning dark hardwood floors.

Did you know that you can use tea for cleaning? As strange as it may sound, the polyphenolic compounds in tea from the Camelia sinensis plant — specifically green, black, and white tea — have antimicrobial actions, which make them perfect for green cleaning! Plus, you don’t get any of the harsh chemicals or fumes used in conventional cleaners, so it’s super safe to use around children, pets, and those with sensitivities to chemicals. Furthermore, because it’s non-toxic, you can enlist the help of your kids!

Black tea is great for cleaning dark hardwood floors and maintaining their deep, rich color, because the tea imparts a natural stain to wood, just as it does to your teeth. In fact, back in the “olden days,” tea was a common way of cleaning.  If you have blonde wood floors, such as natural maple or pine, simply switch out the black tea for a white tea. Also, always test the tea cleaner in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it gives you the results you want. Check out “Make Your Own Wood Floor Tea Cleaner” for more information.

Green or white teas are also convenient for naturally cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your kitchen, such as the sink and fixtures. So, if you’ve got some left-over tea, you can make an antimicrobial tea cleaning spray with it or simply dip a sponge in the tea and wipe it on surfaces where germs may be lurking. Afterwards, be sure to thoroughly rinse surfaces with plenty of water to prevent any stains. If you do get stains for some reason, simply use vinegar and/or a baking soda cleanser to safely remove them.

By the way, after brewing your tea, add the tea bags to your compost bin or mix them into potting soil to add in essential nutrients. Another option is to refrigerate a few and use them on your eyes to take away puffiness and relax stressed eyes.

So why not brew a batch for cleaning and maybe a little to enjoy as well?  You can hardly choose a more eco-friendly, greener cleaner than tea.  How do you use tea to clean?

Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2013.

One thought on “Tea: A Great Antimicrobial For Household Cleaning

  1. April Ford

    This is really interesting information! I had no idea that you can use tea bags for cleaning! I am a fan of green cleaning products and methods so now I am incredibly curious to try cleaning with tea! Thanks so much for sharing!

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