We Tested It: Black Tea Glass Cleaner

Do-it-yourself cleaning and cosmetics have kind of become my obsession. I think about how I used to slap down my cold hard cash for all those creepy chemicals, those toxins just sitting under my sink, with their smells that seemed to permeate my every pore. I remember the artificial aqua, the glowing neon green, such unnaturally bright colors. And Iíll never forget that cloying, eye-watering suffocation that came from cleaning a too-tiny bathroom with too many kinds of soaps and powders and pastes and bleaches. Oof.

I think back to those days and I canít help but smile. Because now, Iím spending mere pennies and my cleansers and cosmetics are good enough to eat Ė literally! And my house is just as clean as ever and my body is just as beautiful, and gosh, everything is so much more pleasant.

So itís kind of become a game for me, to find and test new ways of turning healthy wholesome food-based items into awesome and powerful multipurpose players in my cleaning and grooming adventures. Vinegar is an old favorite, an actor in everything from my countertop cleanser to†my laundry detergent to my hair conditioner. And baking soda is invaluable. It makes appearances in†my deodorant,†my toothpaste, and itís†all I use these days for shampoo.

But thatís nothing revolutionary. Any kitchen chemist worth their salt has seen these ingredients in action. What about life beyond†vinegar and†baking soda? What about that?

What about . . . tea? Super cheap and slightly acidic, tannin-rich tea just might be the next big untapped oil well in the game of†cleaning my Portland home. Itís all natural. Itís available everywhere. And best of all, itís effective!

Black tea is awesome in about a million and one ways, not the least of which is that it tastes great and keeps me going strong, but it also boasts an†impressive list of DIY prowess. For this particular project, Iíve put it to the test as a†glass and mirror cleaner.

I steeped an extra-strong glass of simple black tea (I used Earl Grey, my favorite) – 3 bags in an 8-oz glass. I let it steep and cool for an hour to really draw out all those tannins. Then I transferred the brew to a spray bottle (ex-chemical cleaner bottles, well washed of course, work well for this), and put it to work on the dirtiest window in my house.

Dog noses and kiddie fingers have pressed at this window for months. Perhaps that says something about my cleaning skills, but letís just say it was for science. On the right hand pane I used plain water and scrubbed with newspaper (newspaper leaves less streaking than rags, and can still be recycled when youíre through). On the left I used tea.

After!

Need I say more? I think the results speak for themselves!

Economical, easy, edible, and efficient; black tea brings it on all four counts. Give it a try, and tell me what you think!

By Sayward Rebhal,†Roofing Networx

Sayward Rebhal of†Bonzai Aphrodite writes for Networx.†Get home & garden ideas†like this on Networx.

Related:
We Tested It: Cleaning the House with Toothpaste
49 Uses for Tea
Homemade Dish Soap Put to the Test

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

169 comments

Jake B.
Past Member 1 months ago

This is my first visit here and I’m fully satisfying to read the whole thing at one place. Sasa

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brown10 months ago

thanks for sharing :)

Christine Jones
Christine Jones10 months ago

Good stuff. I get great pleasure in thinking that my cleaning products are safe enough to eat, and I too recall the days long ago of using ghastly stuff that you just about had to put on a radiation suit to use safely.
Just one thing; newspapers used to be great for cleaning glass but modern inks are not what they used to be so they will leave streaks.

Christine Jones
Christine Jones10 months ago

Good stuff. I get great pleasure in thinking that my cleaning products are safe enough to eat, and I too recall the days long ago of using ghastly stuff that you just about had to put on a radiation suit to use safely.
Just one thing; newspapers used to be great for cleaning glass but modern inks are not what they used to be so they will leave streaks.

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson1 years ago

I love tea. The smell is especially fine. Cleaning with Tea would mean the smell would remain longer. I like that idea.

Robyn Rae
YOLANDA H.1 years ago

cool

Alan Lambert
Alan` Lambert1 years ago

Interesting, will have to remember it, forwarded

Diane Wayne
Diane Wayne1 years ago

INTERESTING. IT'S DEFINITELY NOT GOOD FOR OUR STOMACHS.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)

Yola Stavridou
.1 years ago

Good idea thanks.