Most of us have made “sun tea,” but did you know that if you’ve forgotten to use sunscreen and end up having to pay the price with a painful burn, you can take a few wet tea bags and apply them to the affected skin, which will take out the sting? This works well for other types of minor burns, too. If the sunburn is too widespread to treat this way, put some tea bags in your bathwater and soak your whole body in the tub.

Tea is not only “in fashion,” but you can also create “antique” fashions by soaking white lace or garments in a tea bath to create an antique beige, ecru, or ivory look. Use 3 tea bags for every 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes before soaking the material for 10 minutes or more. The longer you let it soak, the darker the shade you will get.

Have your afternoon tea in the garden, and then give your roses a boost by sprinkling new or used tea leaves (loose or in tea bags) around your rosebushes. Cover with mulch to give them a midsummer boost. When you water the plants, the nutrients from the tea will be released into the soil, spurring growth. Roses love the tannic acid that occurs naturally in tea. And, schedule an occasional teatime for your ferns and other acid-loving houseplants by substituting brewed tea for water, when watering the plants. Or, work wet tea leaves into the soil around the plants to give them a lush, luxuriant look.

Don’t we take pride in those mirrors that sparkle and shine? Well, just brew a pot of strong tea, let it cool, and then use it to clean the mirrors. Dampen a soft cloth in the tea and wipe it all over the surface of the mirrors. Then buff with a soft, dry cloth for a sparkly, streak-free shine.

More tea tips next tea-time.