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Ok, hands up: who knew that regular tea – the stuff millions of us drink a lot of every day in the UK – had other uses besides helping us relax and have a good old chinwag?
Tea’s an astringent, meaning that the chemical compounds in it cause a physical reaction. To get a bit technical: the polyphenol antioxidants convert and bind to the proteins in your saliva and bodily tissues. When you drink tea, this causes the surfaces of your mouth to constrict. This is the feeling of ‘dryness’ that makes tea seem bitter. It’s also part of the physical reaction to drinking tea that many people find so satisfying – and why some people like it so strong!
Chemical compounds in fresh tea leaves also include amino acids, enzymes, pigments, carbohydrates and minerals. It’s this complexity of composition that makes tea interesting as a drink – and also gives us the wide variety of flavours and finishes.
But beyond drinking it, what else is tea good for?
Green, black and white tea are all good for your skin. The antioxidants are effective in protecting your skin from sun damage (but as a complementary measure, not as a replacement for SPF moisturiser), and can also help to relieve redness and soothe the skin after exposure to UV rays and pollutants.
Black tea’s afore-mentioned astringency can also help to clear bacteria and hydrate your skin. It is also claimed that it reduces the size of pores, and is even effective against acne. The high caffeine content is also reportedly good for firming up skin and reducing wrinkles. I’m starting to sound like an advert for L’Oreal here.
To use: brew some tea as you would normally and allow it to cool, then use cotton wool to apply it as a face cleanser as part of your skin cleansing and moisturising routine. Note: use a small amount on a less-visible area of skin first and observe after a few hours, just to check that your skin doesn’t react badly.
Just to note: please do use a sun lotion or moisturiser with an SPF of 30 or more on a regular basis – especially during summer. You’ll thank yourself in years to come!
I keep banging on about the astringency of tea, but it’s just this quality that makes it useful as well as nice to drink. It’s effective for cutting through grease and dust, especially when it’s nice and strong. Brew 1 litre of tea with 4 or 5 tea bags and leave it to cool. It’d be too strong for most palates, but has lots of the good stuff for cleaning.
Put your tea solution into a spray bottle and squirt some onto the glass of a window or mirror, then use a cloth to clean and a dry towel to polish up. The tea should help remove greasy finger marks, bug detritus and water marks.
Using tea in the water you use to clean your hardwood floors (but NOT laminate floors – it could seep into the joins and stain) can help get rid of marks and grime and bring a shine back. Brew about 8 teabags in half a litre of water for 15 minutes and then dilute to 2 litres to give you a warm tea solution. Then mop (dip and wring the mop well so you’re wiping, not washing) and then dry the floor. Again: it’s crucial to test this first on a small area that’s out of sight. All floors are different and we wouldn’t want you to cause staining or damage to your floor.
Dry used tea leaves are good at absorbing moisture and odours, and can often retain and impart their own fragrance for a pleasant, natural smell. Make sure the tea leaves in your used teabags or from a loose-leaf teapot are completely dry (perhaps leave them in the sun for a few hours), and then sprinkle them over a carpet or rug that’s exhibiting some less-than pleasant odours. Leave for half an hour and then vacuum as normal to suck up the tea and other oomska.
So there you go – a few unusual uses for tea! There are others – apparently it can be useful for watering indoor plants (especially those that like more acidic soil) and for helping garden plants to flower more abundantly; some claim teabags are good for cleaning toilets (but we’re not going to get into that). Why not do a little research of your own?
Or you could just sit back and enjoy a nice brew and maybe a cheeky biscuit …
If you have used tea for other cleaning puposes around the house and you’d like to share, please let us know! You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll check them out and add them to the list here!
And of course, if you’d like to get your domestic chores done for you and reap the benefits like our other clients, it’d be a pleasure. Give us a call and we’ll get the ball rolling!
Cleanhome South Derbyshire – Bespoke Service.
We are not happy until you are! Your cleaner will usually tailor their services to fit exactly with your requirements, including spring cleaning and ironing.
Just to let you know we are open for business as usual and you can continue to have your cleaner clean your house.
The government has made it clear that cleaners are still permitted to work inside peoples' homes as long as Government Guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed (see below). In summary:
You can be outside of your home for work purposes where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home, including if your job involves working in other people's homes.
The full text can be found here New National Restrictions from 5 January (in England; there are similar texts available for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Specifically relating to cleaners, the guidance continues: 'This guidance applies to those working in, visiting or delivering to home environments. These include, but are not limited to, people working in the following areas:
Note this guidance is for people who are fit and well, and is dependent on the following social distancing guidelines being followed:
The good news with regard to cleaning is that the cleaners can social distance from their clients very easily, and we would advise that, if you are at home when they are there, that you remain in a separate room to your cleaner.
If you are happy to adhere to the government guidelines - and if your cleaner has not been in touch already - then please just call the office and we will ensure that your cleaning continues.
The Cleanhome Team