6 Sustainable Cleaning Hacks Using Fairtrade Coffee & Tea

by Pippa Rogers

Who else gets that spring-cleaning itch just about now? If you’re gearing up to start Marie Kondo-ing your life, chances are you’re also looking for some sustainable cleaning hacks. Don’t worry, we got you.

If you’re already cutting the chemicals out of your cleaning routine then you are probably used to cleaning with vinegar and lemon; but did you know that coffee and tea can also be used to get your home sparkling?

We’re here to help you expand your eco-friendly cleaning supplies using – that’s right – Fairtrade coffee and tea! You can find local Fairtrade coffee and tea brands using our Fairtrade Local finder. Who knew our favourite Fairtrade beverages could also masquerade as cleaning products?

Check out these 6 sustainable cleaning hacks using Fairtrade coffee and tea. Trust us, cleaning never smelled so good.

sustainable cleaning hacks with coffee

Try a Coffee Scrub

Coffee may breathe new life in you every morning, but did you know it can also liven up your kitchen? The first of our sustainable cleaning hacks will get your shine on using coffee grounds. You can use it as a scrub for all your hard to clean items like the sink, old baking pans, even your stove.

Because coffee grounds are abrasive, they are particularly effective at tackling those stubborn spots and its absorptive properties make it a powerful degreaser. Coffee even has antibacterial properties, giving you an extra deep clean.

How to use this cleaning tip: Gather some old coffee grounds into a container. Create a paste by gradually adding warm water and mixing. Add some paste on a washable cloth and start scrubbing! Once you’ve finished, either rinse off your item (don’t worry, it’s safe for coffee grains to go down the drain!), or wipe down the surface with a clean cloth.

Why not try using Café William’s Fairtrade and organic coffees? Check out their selection here.

Eliminate Odours with Coffee

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh brewed coffee? But coffee’s properties are also particularly effective at absorbing smells in your home because it contains nitrogen.

If you’ve run out of baking soda in your fridge, try adding a container of coffee grounds to neutralize smells.

You can even add sachets of coffee in your shoes, your sock drawer, and your shoe closet to absorb odours.

How to use this cleaning tip: Take fresh coffee grounds and add them to a container or small sachet. Add the container or sachet to the area you are trying to deodorize. Swap out grinds every few months to maintain freshness.

Kicking Horse’s Fairtrade organic dark roast “Kick Ass” has a sweet, smoky and audacious profile that will do the trick. Get some here.

Revive Wood Furniture with Coffee

Let’s be honest, we all need a little makeover in the spring time; and your wooden furniture is no different. Turns out that coffee is the answer!

Not only can you use coffee grounds to polish your wooden furniture, you can also use coffee to restore the colour and hide scratches.

How to use this cleaning tip: Start by making a paste with your old coffee grounds. Using a reusable swab or the corner of a cloth, apply the paste to the affected area. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes then wipe off with a damp cloth. Reapply until you reach the desired colour.   

sustainable cleaning hacks with tea

Shine Hardwood Floors with Tea

Tea time is more than just canapes and dainty cups.

Did you know you can use black tea to wash and shine your hardwood floors? Because tea contains tannic acids it makes for a perfect solution to bring some life into your hardwood floors.

How to use this cleaning tip: Steep 6 Fairtrade tea bags in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Once the liquid has cooled, use a washable rag to start mopping your hardwood floor section by section.

Four O’Clock has a great selection of Fairtrade certified black teas. Explore their selection here.

Degrease your Kitchen with Green Tea

Did you know that tea is an excellent degreaser? You can even repurpose your used teabags for this cleaning hack. Again, the tea’s tannins are able to break down grease more quickly, leaving everything from old pans to the inside of your microwave sparkling.

How to use this cleaning tip: Steep green tea in hot water for about 10 minutes. Allow the liquid to cool until you can handle it, then simply wipe down greasy surfaces. For extra tough grease, you can soak your pots and pans overnight and watch the magic happen.

Try Bridgehead’s Fairtrade certified peppermint tea to leave your kitchen smelling fresh. You can pick some up here.

Clean Your Mirrors and Glass with Tea

Because the tannins make it so effective at removing grease, tea can also make for a great solution for cleaning mirrors, windows and glass. Whether you use it as a spray, or work with the old tea bags themselves, tea will help get that luster back into your mirrors and windows.

How to use this cleaning tip: Steep 5-6 old tea bags in hot water for about 10 minutes. Let the liquid cool completely then add to a reusable spray bottle. Apply on glass surfaces, mirrors, or windows and wipe dry with a washable cloth.

Coffee Tea