20 Things We Did to Pay off $78K of Student Loan Debt

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My husband Travis and I paid off $78,000 of debt in less than two years.

We paid off $53,000 alone in ONE YEAR!

Today I’m sharing 20 ways you can change things up, save money, etc, for how to pay off student loans faster… and what I would change if I had a do-over.

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How to Pay off Student Loan Debt

Let’s start with some baseline facts. Throughout our debt payoff, our combined income was roughly $88K meaning we lived off $35K and put 60% of our income towards loans.

While we put $53K toward debt the first year we only put $25 toward it the second. That’s because we also bought a house around six months before we became debt-free. It’s not the order I’d recommend doing things but we were forced out of our rental and decided we’d rather put off our debt-free scream a few months than wait another year to buy.

Now for the hard truth: It was really easy signing for these loans but it was not easy paying them off.

Over $12,000 of my personal income alone was from side jobs and I (no lie) contracted shingles early on in the process from how stressed I was about the task at hand.

What’s also true, aside from the discipline it took to turn down trips to Disney and dinners out, is that I had a great year. I had fun, went out, and we even took a vacation. Even though sometimes I felt deprived in the moment, looking back I wasn’t deprived at all. Every “no” made me a stronger person.

There are countless stories on the Internet about how people paid off massive amounts of debt in short amounts of time and they mostly say the same thing. So I wanted to give you something a little different and tell you what I think are the 20 most important things we did to tackle this big problem as quickly as possible.

1. Determine Your “Why”

This is the first and most important step we took. We decided we want to travel and buy a home big enough to foster children (one of my side jobs was at a foster group home.) Every time it got hard I reminded myself of why we’re doing this and it influenced every financial decision I made. You’re gonna need this one to succeed.

2. Have Clarity

You can’t finish a race if the route’s not laid out. The next thing we did was take inventory of our debt, savings, income, recurring bills, etc. to have a clear picture of our financial situation. Some couples don’t combine their finances, for us it was necessary to be transparent with each other since his earned income would be paying off my loans and vice versa.

3. Make a Budget

You’re gonna need a specialized budget. It’s 100% necessary to have a written budget before every month begins. We do ours in EveryDollar, it’s the easiest user interface I’ve worked with. We’ve never made a perfect budget, we’re always tweaking throughout the month but we always spend less than we bring in. We’re able to meet and exceed our loan payment every month because of the budget.

4. Change How You Shop

I traded Publix for Aldi, Target for Walmart, and the mall for Goodwill. Some changes were better than others (LOVE Aldi, hate Walmart) but it’s all for the sake of saving money.

While getting out of debt we committed to not paying full price for anything. I sit in my car or stand in line looking for coupons before I make a purchase. Here are some of the ways I save on full-priced items

  • Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on activities.
  • Shopping through Rakuten when making any purchases online will get you cash-back from virtually any retailer. (I never get a Groupon without getting Rakuten cash back!)
  • Use Blink to save on prescriptions.
  • EyeBuyDirect to save on prescription eyewear.
  • Energy saving methods like buying low-flow showerheads to reduce our utility bill or using wind power through Arcadia (it doesn’t save me money but it’s better for the environment!
  • Sites like Restaurant.com for dining deals.
  • ThredUp for nice secondhand clothing at steep discounts from retail.
  • I take advantage of free trials at gyms.
  • Apps like ibotta to save at grocery stores and other big box retailers.

5. Pick Up Extra Jobs

There are only so many things you can cut out of your life but there’s virtually no limit to the amount of money you can bring in. We started with hourly side jobs and since starting this blog I’ve had opportunities to freelance that have given me much more flexibility with my time.

You have to start somewhere and I am convinced bringing in extra income is the key to paying off large amounts of debt fast. If you can’t work any extra then negotiate a raise or find a higher paying job. This is that vital of a step.

I’ve laid out some 21 ways to make extra money and if you’re interested in blogging you can start here or check out my post about how to start and monetize a blog in any niche.

6. Drive Old Cars

We both drive Toyota Corollas and will drive them until we need something bigger. IMO, you don’t deserve a new car if you’re in debt, you don’t even deserve a nice used car. I don’t care how shiny it is.

You need something to get you back and forth from your 2 jobs and when you can pay cash for an upgrade then you deserve whatever you can afford.

7. Buy Used or Find Free

I don’t buy new clothes anymore and half of our furniture we got for free next to dumpsters and repainted. New doesn’t always mean better. We’ve saved a lot of money this year by not falling into that trap.

8. Meal Plan

I’m so passionate about this I wrote a book on it.

Meal planning is essential to saving money on food. I worked in restaurants during college and they did inventory every week and planned specials around it to minimize food waste and save money. So I do the same in my kitchen. I plan meals around what I have and the grocery budget has become the one section I never exceed because of it.

If you need help:

  • Making a simple DIY meal plan
  • Buying less and saving money at the grocery store
  • Preparing food once you plan it
  • And reducing the food waste in your house

Then check out my book Meal Planning on a Budget (It’s available on Amazon!)

If you’re bad at doing stuff like this or don’t have a lot of time, Cook Smarts is the meal planning I recommend. It’s the best value out there and I always say work smarter, not harder.

9. Celebrate Milestones!

Every time we pay off a loan or hit a milestone we have a little celebration. It’s usually dinner out (using Groupon or Restaurant.com) or a glass of whiskey and a movie on Netflix. If you have big loans that don’t have little milestones, make your own. $3K and $5K increments are a good start.

10. Sell Stuff

We didn’t have any big things to sell but we got a few nice appliances from our wedding so we sold the old stuff and made enough for gas for the month. We regularly sell clothes at Plato’s Closet and random stuff on OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.

11. Find Cheap Housing

We own our house now but living in something small and cheap was clutch while we were paying off debt. You get smaller utility bills and have less room to buy “stuff” for. We live in a growing city in a pretty nice neighborhood and I’ve kept no secret that we paid $800 for a 1/1 in a duplex.

As the housing market rises so do rent prices so you have to get creative while looking. My husband went for runs in different neighborhoods and found it on one of those. It wasn’t listed. We also negotiated adding water & sewage into the rent.

12. Stop Eating Out Alone

We still eat out, even when we don’t have a gift card, but we stopped grabbing food out of laziness. I used to get tacos every Wednesday after work (not on Tuesday? Gasp.) and grits on Saturday before I went in.

For millennials, eating out is part of our culture, it unites us, but these taco and grits trips weren’t bringing me closer to anything but my fork. So now I only eat out if it’s with friends or my husband.

13. Visualize

We had a 4 ft paper thermometer on our wall (next to our thermostat, lol) that we fill in after we’ve made our loan payment for the month. I used to just watch numbers get smaller in all my accounts but with this corny visualization trick, It’s been fun to see that red bar go up and the white space above it get smaller and smaller.

I made a free printable debt thermometer for you here if you want to try it!

14. Give

Seems a little counter-intuitive doesn’t it? We could be making an extra $500 payment on our loan, shave a month or two off our total repayment. Only 67% of households give to charity & religious organizations.

It’s over half but Americans still get a D in social justice. It’s important to me to give what we can now so in the future giving more will be a natural progression.

15. Chill Out

Where all my Type A brothers and sisters at!? Let me hear you say “Ahhh. Omg. This is too much. I’m freaking out…” I used to live somewhere on that level.

It’s gotten a lot better since my Shingles outbreak (at the ripe age of 26) but I still have to remind myself to just go with the flow. Whatever happens, will happen and it’ll all work out in the end.

16. Unfollow Your Friends on Social Media

Confession: I unfollowed two of my best friends on Instagram and I didn’t tell them. I love them but they’re always traveling to cool places, eating great food, buying new stuff, and I just couldn’t handle it.

In no way has it affected our relationship (it’s probably improved it) and I can scroll a little safer now.

Also Read: Why Unfollowing my Friends Helped my Finances

17. No-Spend Challenges

I’ve done a few no-spend challenges and they’ve all taught me more about my spending habits. I still bought groceries and went out to eat but I didn’t buy any personal non-necessities. The beauty of a no-spend challenge is that it can look different for everyone and you’re guaranteed to save money for as long as you do it.

If you want to learn how to do a no-spend challenge that transforms your habits and causes you to spend more intentionally you can check out my other book on Amazon, The No-Spend Challenge Guide. (#shamelessplugs)

18. Check Your Bills

Whenever it’s time to renew or we see an ad for a good offer (on something we already pay for) we call to negotiate a better deal. It’s unfortunate that companies take advantage of their customers like they do but that’s how it is and it’s on us to keep our necessities affordable.

19. Ditch Cable

We never signed up so this one is a no-brainer. I don’t care how much you love sports or how many kids you need to keep occupied. There are cheaper, if not free, ways to do it than cable. Try Fire TV Stick or Roku to fill your cable sized void.

Our friend knows our budget is tight while paying off debt so she let us use her Netflix account for free. You never know, maybe one of your friends will do the same while you’re getting your finances together.  And football isn’t going anywhere.

20. Stop Investing

I wouldn’t stop for more than a year or two but it motivated us to go that much faster. I know we missed out on future compound interest but the fire it lit under us helped pay way less in interest.

And now we max out a 401k, two Roth IRA’s, and an HSA. Which is way more effective than just $50 or $100 a month toward these accounts.

If you want to pay off your loans fast, then pile on the money you would be investing to your loan. And remember it’s not forever.

You Can Pay off Student Loan Debt!

So what would I do differently? I would’ve chilled out a little more but that’s really it. I’m proud of how flexible we were able to be and still stay motivated to get the job done so quickly. But there are still things I missed out on that I wish I would’ve spent the money and done.

Whew! That’s a lot, right? Don’t expect to start all these at the same time. We worked up to doing all these things. Start with the first four and work your way down, you’ll be surprised at how naturally they all come over time.

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Are you tired of drowning in your student loan debt? Here are 20 tips and tricks one couple used to pay off $53,000 in student loans in 1 year. #payoffdebtquickly #Payingoffstudentloans #howtogetoutofdebtfast #studentloantips #payingoffstudentloans

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<img data-attachment-id="2438" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/20-things-pay-off-53k-student-loan-debt/1-22/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1-1.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="20 Tips to Help you Kick Your Student Loans to the Curb for Good" data-image-description="

Are you ready to pay off your student loans and be done with them? Here are 20 things a couple did to pay off their massive student loan debt in 2 years. #studentloantips #moneysavingtips #howtogetoutofdebt #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1-1.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1-1.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of drowning in your student loan debt? Here are 20 tips and tricks one couple used to pay off $53,000 in student loans in 1 year. #payoffdebtquickly #Payingoffstudentloans #howtogetoutofdebtfast #studentloantips #payingoffstudentloans” data-pin-title=”The tips and trick a couple used to pay off $53,000 in student loan debt in 1 year.” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt.png” alt=”We paid off $78K of debt in 23 months by doing these things.” class=”wp-image-2438″ width=”238″ height=”357″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-1.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1-1.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1-1.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 238px) 100vw, 238px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

<img data-attachment-id="4245" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/20-things-pay-off-53k-student-loan-debt/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="20 Tips to Help you Kick Your Student Loans to the Curb for Good" data-image-description="

Are you ready to pay off your student loans and be done with them? Here are 20 things a couple did to pay off their massive student loan debt in 2 years. #studentloantips #moneysavingtips #howtogetoutofdebt #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebtfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Are you tired of drowning in your student loan debt? Here are 20 tips and tricks one couple used to pay off $53,000 in student loans in 1 year. #payoffdebtquickly #Payingoffstudentloans #howtogetoutofdebtfast #studentloantips #payingoffstudentloans” data-pin-title=”The tips and trick a couple used to pay off $53,000 in student loan debt in 1 year.” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-2.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4245″ width=”312″ height=”468″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-7.jpg 1000w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good.jpg?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/20-tips-to-help-you-kick-your-student-loans-to-the-curb-for-good.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 312px) 100vw, 312px”>

<img data-attachment-id="4284" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-find-what-you-value-to-make-smarter-spending-decisions/mf-the-secret-to-paying-off-debt-fast-78k-in-2-years/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-The-Secret-to-Paying-off-Debt-Fast-78k-in-2-Years.jpg?fit=700%2C1350&ssl=1" data-orig-size="700,1350" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="The Secret to Paying off Debt Fast!- $78k in 2 Years!" data-image-description="

Do you want to figure out how to FINALLY pay off your debt? Here is the secret to paying off debt fast. #payingoffdebtfast #payingoffdebtquickly #howtopayoffdebtfast #howtopayoffdebtquickly #studentloantips #moneytipsformillennials #moneyhacks #debthacks #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebt #payingoffstudentloans, howtogetoutofdebtfast

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-The-Secret-to-Paying-off-Debt-Fast-78k-in-2-Years.jpg?fit=156%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-The-Secret-to-Paying-off-Debt-Fast-78k-in-2-Years.jpg?fit=311%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”The Secret to Paying off Debt Fast!- $78k in 2 Years!” data-pin-description=”Do you want to figure out how to FINALLY pay off your debt? Here is the secret to paying off debt fast. #payingoffdebtfast #payingoffdebtquickly #howtopayoffdebtfast #howtopayoffdebtquickly #studentloantips #moneytipsformillennials #moneyhacks #debthacks #gettingoutofdebt #howtogetoutofdebt #payingoffstudentloans, howtogetoutofdebtfast” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-3.jpg” alt class=”wp-image-4284″ width=”251″ height=”484″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20-things-we-did-to-pay-off-78k-of-student-loan-debt-8.jpg 311w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-The-Secret-to-Paying-off-Debt-Fast-78k-in-2-Years.jpg?resize=156%2C300&ssl=1 156w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MF-The-Secret-to-Paying-off-Debt-Fast-78k-in-2-Years.jpg?w=700&ssl=1 700w” sizes=”(max-width: 251px) 100vw, 251px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

Planting Roots: LoKey Designs Opens Storefront in St. Louis’ Shaw Neighborhood – Ladue News

“If not now, when?” That was the question Laura Dooley asked herself before ultimately deciding to push forward to open a studio for her home goods and plant business, LoKey Designs, last June.

It was a serendipitous journey to get the Shaw storefront to where it is now – a retail space showcasing a range of plants, pots, home décor and more, as well as one for hosting by-appointment shopping and virtual consultations and bathing in the peacefulness of the lush greenery stocked from floor to ceiling.

“The biggest deciding factor was whether it will get enough light to keep plants happy and healthy,” Dooley says. “I was so fortunate this space has a gorgeous amount of natural light.”

Dooley was fortunate, as well, in finding the studio itself. The space had been special to her for a few years. “A friend of mine had a retail store in this space, and when she was moving out, I remember wishing silently that I could move my business in there,” she says. “I just felt connected to it somehow.”

However, taking it over solo wasn’t possible at the time. But here’s where things got weird: A completely unrelated friend asked if Dooley would be interested in co-using an available space, and lo and behold, it was the one her other friend was leaving.

By October 2019, Dooley was operating LoKey Designs from the shared retail space, but after the coronaviral pandemic shut it down, she moved her business online. There, orders and collaborations flourished, but Dooley knew she needed a space to work with clients and couldn’t keep running things from her home. By late spring, with the decision looming of whether to let the physical space go, Dooley decided to push ahead and take it over on her own.

“Each time I walk into my studio, I am instantly filled with so much joy and excitement – it’s truly become my happy place,” she says. “It’s an undeniable tranquil, plant-love vibe.”

With the brick-and-mortar in St. Louis’ Shaw neighborhood, Dooley can carry a wider selection of plants and pots, and she has added to LoKey’s offerings local, hand-poured candles, plant-related books and seasonal gift boxes curated with other local makers. Her top-selling items are low-maintenance, low-light sansevieria and pothos snake plants and DIY succulent kits, which are popular for beginners and make a great gift that can be shipped across the country.

Currently, shopping at the studio is done only by appointments, which can be booked in 30-minute increments online. Dooley also recently started offering virtual plant consultations via email, phone or videoconference. Most often, clients are searching for plants that will work with specific spaces in their home or office, especially with spending more time in these spaces due to remote work.

“We cover the light, water and soil conditions, and from there, I make suggestions on next steps and care,” she says. “It’s always been a goal to make plants approachable and bring practical plant knowledge to clients so they can have the confidence to care for them on their own.”

Virtual consultation pricing starts at $15 for 30 minutes. Some clients bring photos of their space or show Dooley a specific pot or plant they need to find a fit for. The biggest myth she hears is that people wish they were good with plants.

“Just about every client who walks into my studio or I chat with virtually says this,” Dooley says. “The aspiration to be a good plant parent is not unattainable. It’s not crazy either. I try to bridge the gap of information on houseplants so my clients can have the tools, info and confidence to keep their plants lush and happy.”

Moving forward, LoKey will be offering video tutorials on plant care and more nationwide shipping on items, as well as hosting more virtual planting parties in lieu of the in-person ones that gained popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, Dooley hopes to hone in on the creative adaptability she admires in her plants and continue instilling that in others.

“With the studio, I have the opportunity to take my business in a lot of new directions,” she says. “I can showcase my plant love and passion for home décor in a way that inspires people.” 

LoKey Designs, 2207 S. 39th St., St. Louis, lokeydesigns.com

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Source: laduenews.com

How to Deodorize a Room: Natural Recipes For A Fresh Smelling Home

Have you ever forgotten to take the trash out before vacation? You come home to a house ridden with a very unappealing smell. Even when the garbage is disposed of, the odor can linger for days.

While it can be tempting to spray down the home with a store-bought air freshener, these contain chemicals that are harmful to human health. Over 20 percent of the general U.S. population have reported having adverse health effects from air fresheners.

To help you get rid of common household smells in a safe way, we’ve created a guide on how to deodorize a room. It includes a natural DIY room deodorizer recipe and 7 hacks for getting rid of specific home odors. Read through to find what household items you can use to rid these unwanted smells.

How to make a basic DIY room deodorizer

illustration of DIY room deodorizerillustration of DIY room deodorizer

To create a natural air freshener that isn’t harmful to your health, you only need four items. Make this spray and use it when an unwanted smell comes into your apartment.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 30-40 drops of essential oil
  • Misting spray bottle

Instructions

Step 1: Add 30-40 drops of your preferred essential oil with the baking soda. Stir until it’s completely mixed together.

Step 2: Pour this baking soda and essential oil combination in a spray bottle.

Step 3: Add the three cups of water to the bottle. Shake to mix.

Step 4: Spray the area on the light misting setting.

This natural DIY home deodorizer can be personalized with any scent. Each essential oil has its own unique properties, so be sure to pick one that fits the space you are using the cleaner in. For example, a scent that promotes slumber is better for the bedroom than the kitchen.

Why does baking soda work to deodorize a room?

Many room deodorizing recipes, including the one above, call for baking soda. Why is this? Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has a low pH level. Most bad odors have a high pH level, meaning they are acidic. By adding baking soda to the environment, you are neutralizing the area, causing the odor to fade.

Illustration of baking soda to deodorize a roomIllustration of baking soda to deodorize a room

Essential oils to add to each room

When making this DIY room deodorizer, you can choose your preferred natural scent to use. If you aren’t sure what will smell best, here are some essential oil suggestions for each room.

Living room

illustration of vanilla and cinnamon essential oilsillustration of vanilla and cinnamon essential oils

The living room is an area you’ll be hosting people as well as relaxing. Depending on the tone you are trying to set, vanilla or cinnamon essential oil could be a good fit. Vanilla is known to improve relaxation and create a tranquil environment. If you want to relax after a long day in your sparkling-clean living room, vanilla is the right choice for you. For those who are having friends over for a book club or social event, cinnamon might be a better fit. The scent of cinnamon boosts memory and increases alertness.

Kitchen

Illustration of citrus and peppermint essential oilsIllustration of citrus and peppermint essential oils

Make the kitchen a productive place by using a citrus or peppermint essential oil when scenting your DIY deodorizer. If you have a long afternoon of meal prepping ahead, citrus is known to boost energy and improve your mood. For the non-chefs who can get frustrated in the kitchen, a peppermint scent will alleviate stress and reduce irritability.

Bedroom

illustration of lavender and chamomile essential oilsillustration of lavender and chamomile essential oils

A restful space, the bedroom can benefit from lavender or chamomile essential oils. These calming scents both reduce anxiety. Lavender also promotes relaxation which can help you fall asleep. Chamomile can improve your mood, great for those who wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Other rooms

Illustration of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oilsIllustration of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils

If you have a laundry room, playroom or any other room that needs to be deodorized, you might consider tea tree or eucalyptus oils. These natural smells each have their own unique properties. Tea tree oil has antifungal benefits and is an immune booster. Eucalyptus essential oil is cleansing and known to lift moods. Both will help keep your space clean.

7 common household smells and how to rid them

Whether your home is new to you or you’ve lived in it for multiple years, you’ve probably come across one of these common household smells. We explain why they happen and how to rid them from your home. In addition, we suggest an essential oil that you can use to keep the space smelling fresh.

1. Stale air

illustration of essential oil being dripped on light bulbillustration of essential oil being dripped on light bulb

Stale air is a smell that’s hard to describe, but easy to identify. It’s usually caused when the indoor air begins to feel stuffy or humid due to a lack of fresh air. If the weather is nice, you can rid this smell by opening the windows and letting fresh air in. However, if it’s too hot or too cold out, this might not be an option.

In that case, you can create your own stale air deodorizer by cutting lemons in half and placing them throughout the home. Another quick solution is to rub a little vanilla essential oil on the outside of your light bulbs. Be sure to do this when the light is off. Once you turn the light on, it will heat up and start smelling sweet.

2. Carpet smells

illustration of vacuumillustration of vacuum

Whether you are moving into a new apartment with carpet or you spilled something on your rug that has caused a stench, this absorbent flooring is prone to smell.

To get rid of carpet smells, baking soda is your friend. Sprinkle baking soda on the entire carpet and let it sit for a few hours. Then vacuum it up. The baking soda should soak up any bad smells. It’s best to do this when you are out of the house for a period of time. The baking soda doesn’t have any chemicals, but it can leave a mess if people in your house walk through it.

3. Fridge odors

illustration of fridge with baking soda insideillustration of fridge with baking soda inside

Does your fridge smell even after you clean out your leftovers? This is because the plastic in the refrigerator absorbs odors. Even if you’ve scrubbed out every crumb and spill, the plastic might still stink.

To prevent or mute this odor, try putting a box of baking soda in the fridge. Baking soda will absorb these smells and leave your fridge smelling clean after just a couple of days. Another alternative to this is leaving coffee grounds in a container in your fridge. Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds can absorb odors and leave your fridge smelling like a freshly brewed cup of joe.

4. Garbage disposal stink

illustration of garbage disposal being cleaned with iceillustration of garbage disposal being cleaned with ice

If you go to wash dishes and notice there is an odor coming from your drain, it could be your garbage disposal. It’s easy for food to get caught in hard-to-reach places, preventing it from being washed down the drain.

Some people put citrus peels down their garbage disposal to mask this odor, but this doesn’t clean the food that is causing this smell. To clean, place a handful of ice in your sink drain. Then pour a cup of salt on top. Run the water and turn on the garbage disposal. The ice and salt will slowly drain into the garbage disposal, cleaning it and sharpening the blades.

5. Mold or mildew

illustration of a bowl of charcoal to absorb smellsillustration of a bowl of charcoal to absorb smells

Mold and mildew can leave a musty smell in your home. If you have a serious mold issue, it’s important to have a professional take care of it. Mold is known to cause many respiratory issues.

If the smell of mold persists, you can use an odor absorber to dull the scent. Baking soda, charcoal and kitty litter are all items that can soak up any moisture in the air and get rid of the smell. Place one of these in a bowl near the musty smell. Be sure it’s out of reach of small children or pets.

6. Washing machine smells

Illustration of essential oils being used in washing machineIllustration of essential oils being used in washing machine

Your washing machine is meant to make your clothes fresh and clean, but what do you do when it begins to have a mildewy or sour scent? Washers are prone to a build-up of soap, dirt or hair. Over time, this can lead to an unnatural moldy stink.

To clean, begin by getting rid of any debris that’s caught in the gasket, or rubber liner, of your machine. Wipe this rim down with a mixture of vinegar and tea tree essential oil. This is an antifungal formula that will clean off any leftover dirt. Then use this same mixture, measuring two cups of white vinegar and 20 drops of tea tree essential oil into the liquid tray. Run on a hot cycle or cleaning cycle. When done, wipe the interior with a microfiber cloth.

You can prevent some of this build-up by leaving the lid open after each wash cycle. This will allow your washer to dry out completely. It’s also helpful to use the correct amount of detergent. Creating too many suds can leave a leftover residue that dirt clings to.

7. Skunk stench

illustration of skunk and vinegar solutionillustration of skunk and vinegar solution

If your clothes or your pet has been skunked, the attacker will leave a pungent smell that can last for weeks. This stink can easily be transferred to the house.

For houses that smell like skunk inside (but not outside), open the windows and turn on the fan. Heat up a tray of vinegar on the stove on low heat. This should overpower the skunk smell.

If the smell is on your pet, The Humane Society suggests mixing together a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a quarter cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of dish soap. Use a pair of gloves and wash your pet with this mixture. Be sure to avoid their eyes and don’t store this mixture, it has the potential to explode in a bottle.

List of essential oils for different roomsList of essential oils for different rooms

Keep your apartment fresh

Regular cleaning will keep your home clean and free of these unwanted smells. For more home hacks like these, check out our cleaning and maintenance advice page.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Guide to Choosing the Best Debt Consolidation Companies

  • Get Out of Debt

In a world of last resorts and desperate measures, debt consolidation is a veritable godsend. It’s an effective, low-cost, and hassle-free solution that can clear troublesome debts in one fell swoop and leave you with something more suitable and manageable.

But as helpful as debt consolidation is, it’s not always an easy and straight-forward solution. Some debt consolidation companies will give you more problems than solutions, more questions than answers, and others will refuse you outright.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best options available to you as you seek to consolidate your debt.

How to Get a Debt Consolidation Loan

Debt consolidation can be somewhat of an enigma, a Catch-22. It’s at its most helpful when you have a lot of unsecured debt and a history of late payments, but this also means you have a poor credit score, in which case you might be refused a loan. 

After all, debt consolidation is a personal loan and a personal loan requires a good credit score. 

Bad Credit Options

Your options are somewhat limited if you have bad credit, but you’re not without opportunity:

New Credit Card

This is rarely a good option as credit cards come with high-interest rates and likely won’t benefit you unless you can find a balance transfer card with a long introductory period. 

These cards allow you to move debt from one credit card to another and for a fixed period (typically 12 to 18 months) you won’t pay any interest. You can use this period to clear the debt or at least make a significant impact so that you’ll pay less interest when the introductory period ends.

Credit Unions

A credit union may provide you with more possibilities than a bank, offering better rates and targeting these towards borrowers with lower credit scores. They can also help you to establish a debt management plan and provide you with a credit counselor.

Friends and Family

If you can’t get a consolidation loan from a bank, credit union or credit card provider, you can try asking friends or family. This is a huge ask, but if you have a terrible credit score and a lot of debt, it’s one of the only ways you can get a personal loan. You can ask them to lend money directly or take a loan on your behalf. 

In either case, make it worth their while with a monthly payment that covers more than the principle of the loan. Even if you’re repaying 10% or 20% on the total cost of the loan, it’s likely to be much cheaper than a traditional consolidation loan, which is designed to prolong the loan’s term, keeping monthly payments low but overall interest payments high.

Improve Credit Score

It’s an option you probably don’t want to see and have no doubt already considered, but the simple fact is that every time your credit score improves your chances of getting a consolidation loan improve with them. The difference between a 5% loan and a 10% loan is massive over several years as compound interest kicks in and the interest costs escalate.

It can take years for your score to improve enough to make a difference, but only if you have a lot of derogatory marks. If your score is weak because of a limited history, the odd missed payment, and very few active accounts, you can fix it in a few months. Take a look at our guide on how to improve your credit score fast to learn more.

Good Credit Options

A good credit score improves your chances significantly. There is no guarantee, but you’ll certainly have more options than someone with bad credit.

Debt Consolidation

Banks and credit unions have created loans specifically for debt consolidation. They will take your circumstances and debt into account, look at manageable monthly payments, and then provide you with the money you need to clear your debt.

This money can be used to clear credit card debt and loan debt and will come with a favorable interest rate. There may also be an origination fee, which is charged as a percentage of the loan.

Personal Loan

A personal loan is more of a DIY option. Shop around for a loan that offers a favorable interest rate and provides enough money to cover your debts, apply, and then use the funds to clear those debts. There may be an origination fee, which is charged to cover processing fees.

How to Start with Debt Consolidation

In simple terms, debt consolidation is refinancing. You’re swapping one loan for another, but in doing so you’re essentially refinancing the terms.

 If you only have one or two debts to clear, your first step should be to seek refinancing. Contact your lender and look at extending the agreement.

They may also recommend a debt management program. Both options are often more favorable than consolidation and at the very least they should be considered. Once you’ve exhausted those possibilities, you can look into acquiring a consolidation loan. 

What to Look for in a Debt Consolidation Company

Debt consolidation is a world away from debt settlement, which can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to scams. However, debt consolidation scams do exist as well, and you need to look out for these, remember to look for:

Interest Rates

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure the company is regulated, the site is secure, and the offer is genuine. Don’t be tempted by introductory rates and false promises, only to be blindsided by small print.

Just because it’s a debt consolidation loan doesn’t mean you’re getting a beneficial rate. It’s not uncommon for consolidation loan providers to offer you interest rates much higher than the ones you already have, which means you’ll pay much more interest over the lifetime of the loan.

Changing Rates

Not all rates are fixed, so make sure your rate is. It can be helpful to use a loan rate calculator to make sure you’re getting a good deal and won’t pay more than you already are. Focus on the long-term as well as the short-term, lower monthly payments are great, but not if they mean you will pay twice as much interest over the course of the loan. 

Check the BBB

The Better Business Bureau is a great source of information when dealing with companies in the financial sector. A company’s absence from this list isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s a scam but it should warrant further research. Look at complaints and mediations as well as reviews and company info.

Look for Affiliations

Does the company work with the National Foundation of Credit Counseling or the Financial Counseling Association, do they have any worthwhile affiliations? These partnerships can be a sign that you’re dealing with a legitimate consolidation company.

How Do Debt Consolidation Companies Work?

Imagine that you have $30,000 in debt spread across three credit cards:

  • Credit Card 1 = $10,000
  • Credit Card 2 = $10,000
  • Credit Card 3 = $10,000

You’re paying 20% APR and making monthly repayments of $300 each or $900 total. Those loans will be repaid in approximately 4 years and in that time, you’ll repay just over $4,700 in interest per card, amounting to a total repayment of $44,100.

If you take out a 5-year personal loan at 10% interest, you’ll pay $637 a month and repay just $38,245, saving you a couple hundred bucks a month, nearly $6,000 in total, and making the debts more manageable, all at a cost of an additional year.

However, there are some issues to consider here. Firstly, if you really want to reduce those monthly payments, you’ll need to increase the loan’s term. If we reduce it to under $300, then you’ll pay back close to $70,000 and it’ll take 20 years to clear.

This is essentially how many consolidation companies work. They’ll promise to clear your loan debt and leave you with a low monthly payment, but in doing so they’ll prolong the life of your loan and leave you repaying massive amounts of interest.

Of course, if you get a loan with just 4% interest, you can clear the above debt in 4 years, pay just a couple grand more, and repay less than $700 a month. But this option isn’t available for the majority of borrowers.

Pros and Cons of a Debt Consolidation Loan

Debt consolidation is not always the best option. It certainly can be if you have the freedom of choice and a great credit score to back it up, but if you’re struggling in that department then debt consolidation can be a nightmare that drags you into lifelong debt.

Pros

  • Clear Debts: Turn multiple debts into one manageable one.
  • Lower Rates: Pay less money every month, thus improving your debt-to-income ratio and decreasing outgoings.
  • Fewer Penalties and Missed Payments: With lower monthly payment demands and fewer debts, your risk of missing payments and accumulating penalties reduces.
  • Multiple Options: There are several options available, even for borrowers with a low credit score.

Cons

  • Extend Debt: It can extend the length of your debt.
  • Pay More: You may pay more money over the lifetime of the debt.
  • Prolonged Misery: Unlike debt settlement, it won’t drag you out of debt any time soon and if your debts are causing you great stress, it may prolong that.
  • Credit Score: A consolidation loan will appear as a new account on your credit score, although at the same time the other accounts will be cleared. You may, therefore, take an initial hit, but this will even-out before long.

The Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies

There are dozens of reputable debt consolidation companies out there, many of which provide loans that can be used to purchase cars, make home improvements or launch a business, as well as consolidate debt. 

There are a few key points to consider when looking for a debt consolidation company including the minimum credit score they require, the origination fee, the loan amount and term, and whether or not they require anything specific from borrowers.

With those things considered, here is a selection of the best debt consolidation companies out there right now.

BestEgg

BestEgg is has funded more than $9 billion worth of loans with a 95% customer satisfaction rate and an A+ BBB rating.

The process is quick and easy and you can secure as much as $35,000 for consolidation and major purchases. You need a minimum credit score of 640 to apply and they have interest rates ranging from a low of 5.99% to a high of 29.99%.

There are origination fees, however, and they also require an extensive credit history, which rules them out if you’re young and are only just starting to build credit.

LightStream

LightStream was launched back in 2013 as a division of SunTrust Bank. It requires a minimum FICO Score of 660, but there is no origination fee, no minimum debt-to-income ratio, and there is also a co-signer option.

You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 with LightStream and use this to repay loans from approved lenders, with terms fixed for between 2 and 7 years.

LightStream’s rates are between 5.49% and 17.29% and its higher maximum loans make it a great option for consumers with substantial amounts of debt.

Upstart

You can borrow as little as $1,000 with Upstart and repay this over 3 to 5 years. You only need a FICO Score of 620 or more to apply. There is an origination fee, however, and this can be quite expensive, but it all depends on the individual and the size of the loan, ranging from 0% right up to 8%.

Upstart claims to have lent over a quarter of a million individuals more than $3.2 billion since it was founded.

Discover

One of America’s most trusted credit card providers also offers consolidation loans to all consumers with a credit score of 660 or more. You can borrow between $2,500 and $35,000 with Discover and monthly payments can be spread over a term of between 3 and 7 years. 

This is a personal loan, but one that can be used for debt consolidation, and there is no origination fee or minimum debt-to-income ratio requirement.

Other Reputable Debt Consolidation Loan Companies

There are many other reputable companies in this sector, including a whole host of banks, credit unions, and lenders:

  • Marcus, By Goldman Sachs: A 660 credit score is required; respectable interest rates are offered.
  • Prosper: The lowest rates are a little higher than some other companies, but there is also a lower cap on the maximum, with loans between $1,000 and $45,000 on offer.
  • Payoff: Get up to $35,000 with interest rates that drop as low as 5.99%.
  • Upgrade: Loans up to $50,000 with a minimum credit score of 600.
  • Avant: A good option for bad credit and loans up to $35,000.

Debt Consolidation vs Debt Settlement

Debt settlement aims to clear your debts and works best when you have missed payments and old debts. A debt settlement company, such as National Debt Relief, will ask you to pay money into a secure account and then use this money to negotiate with lenders. National Debt Relief’s goal is to get the lenders to settle for a reduced amount and clear the debt in exchange, thus removing them from your credit report.

However, debt settlement has a notable impact on your credit score. Not only do companies like National Debt Relief request that you stop making payments so they can use the money to negotiate, thus leading to missed payments, but the process can take several years and you may be sued in that time.

It’s also not an option if you don’t have much more to spare every month. This means your only option is to use money that would otherwise go toward paying off debts, which in turn means those debts will default and you’ll miss several months of payments, potentially entering collections.

Debt consolidation avoids all these issues and is a simpler process that does much less damage to your credit score. A new account will appear on your credit report and reduce your score, however, and debt consolidation is not without its issues.

FAQs on Debt Consolidation Loans

Still have some questions about these loans, how they operate, and how they can help you? Take a look at these frequently asked questions which cover some of the points we have yet to discuss:

What are the Different Types of Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation takes many forms and applies to any personal loan or balance transfer that moves one or more high-interest debts into another, low-interest account.

A large, low-interest personal loan is the best option and one we have discussed extensively already. Other options include:

  • Home Equity Loan
  • Bank Consolidation
  • Credit Union Consolidation
  • Balance Transfer Card
  • New Credit Card
  • Refinancing
  • Home Equity Loan

How Does it Affect Your Credit Score?

Debt consolidation can both positively and negatively affect your credit score. On the one hand, you will be hit with hard inquiries and a new account penalty. Your average account age will also drop. On the other hand, your credit utilization score should reduce and your payment history should improve now you have more manageable debt.

What are the Financial Consequences of Debt Consolidation?

In the short-term, debt consolidation will improve your debt-to-income ratio as you’re reducing your monthly payments while maintaining the same earnings. This gives you more buying power and provides a little breathing space.

It also relieves pressure that would otherwise be applied from multiple high-interest loans and credit cards, pressure that could result in delinquencies.

What Should You Consider Before Applying?

Make sure you have understood the pros and cons and that you know what you’re getting yourself in for. As discussed already, debt consolidation isn’t for everyone and it’s not without its problems. You may be signing up for decades of debt.

Don’t focus too much on the lower monthly payments and try to look at the bigger picture.

Can I Use My Credit Card After Debt Consolidation?

Try to keep cleared credit cards active, as this will improve your credit utilization ratio by keeping your debt low and available credit high. Don’t rush into using them again, however, unless you have properly budgeted and know you’ll be able to clear the balance every month.

The last thing you want to do is accumulate more credit card debt after going to great lengths to pay it off.

Why Am I Being Refused?

Your credit score may be too low or you may have a limited credit history. Lenders want customers who have a proven track record, which means your score needs to be respectable and you need to have a record of monthly payments, cleared accounts, and debt variety.

What Other Options Do I Have?

Debt consolidation is far from the only option and while it is one of the better ones for many consumers, it’s not suitable for everyone. Other options include:

  • A Debt Management Plan: A debt management plan is preferable in many ways as you don’t need to apply for new loans, pay origination fees, and worry about your credit score taking a hit. It’s all about helping you manage your debt.
  • Non-Profit Credit Counseling: As with debt management, credit counseling is geared towards helping you find your feet, manage your debts, learn to budget, and maneuver through difficult times. The ultimate goal is to avoid delinquencies and last resorts like bankruptcy.
  • Repayment Plan: If you’re struggling to meet your current monthly payments, try to negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors. They want to make sure you pay your debts and don’t default, and if that means reducing monthly payments and prolonging the term, they’ll be happy to do it.
  • Debt Settlement: A good option if you have some money put aside, can afford to wait, and have multiple debts that you want cleared completely.
  • Bankruptcy: It should always be a last resort as it can leave a mark on your credit report that stays for 10 years, but bankruptcy is an option nonetheless. We only recommend looking into this if you can’t find a debt consolidation loan; debt settlement and debt management is not an option, and you have more debts than you can afford to pay. Don’t take bankruptcy lightly, even if it seems to be in-vogue with celebrities.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

7 Carpet Cleaning Hacks You Haven’t Tried Yet

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Carpet Cleaning Hacks For Your Apartment | DIY Carpet Cleaning Tips

While hardwood and wood-style flooring continue to gain popularity in the world of apartment rentals, plenty of landlords and property management companies continue to use wall-to-wall carpeting in their rentals.  No matter what your preference, there are, in fact, some benefits that come with carpeted flooring.  From sound dampening to comfort for bare feet, carpet still has a lot to offer and is much easier to maintain with minimal wear & tear with a few great cleaning hacks.  Whether you live with wall-to-wall carpeting or choose to cozy things up with rugs, check out our carpet cleaning hacks to help keep them looking their best.

Use a lint roller to help extract small debris

Sometimes, suction from a regular household cleaner is just not enough to help you get rid of all the dirt, crumbs, pet hair, spills (i.e. flour, sugar, rice or etc), or the many other tiny particles nested in the fiber of your carpeting.

Truth is, that’s normal. The experts at Fantastic Cleaners say that regular steam (or dry chem) cleaning at least once every 6 months is a mandatory chore for any conscientious homeowner or renter. High-end steam cleaners and dry compound solutions remove up to 95% of the unsanitary agents in both carpets and rugs, unlike regular vacuums.

A great way to extract pesky particles DIY is by using an almighty lint roller! The one downside of using one to further extract fiber-stuck dirt is the need of some manpower. On average, you’ll need anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes to cover a fully carpeted room.

Use a squeegee to remove pet hair from carpets

Have you ever seen what happens to a carpet in a house full of cats? How about dogs? Either way, you can surely imagine the excessive amount of hair pets leave behind as they shed.  What doesn’t stick to furnishing and upholstery will inevitably end up on the carpet.

Bear in mind: This works best for short-haired carpets and rugs.

Squeegees might be meant for cleaning your windows but their efficiency with hair removal is a know-how must for pet-owners! All you have to do is rinse the squeegee so it’s moist enough for pet hair to stick. To maintain a clean carpet when living with pets can be a hefty task, but some know-how, discipline, and persistence is the one sure way to success.  

Apply heat to help remove stubborn stains

Although there are some stains that are not susceptible to removal via heat, most are. The challenge of removing a stubborn smear has pushed human creativity and ingenuity to the maximum.

You can find many different recipes for removing stains via ironing but the one we have comes in 5 simple steps:

  • Remove all dirt possible vie regular vacuum cleaning;
  • Mix water and vinegar 3:1 and pre-treat all stubborn stains;
  • Leave the mixture to set in and work. 5 to 10 minutes should be enough;
  • Use a towel or a rag to cover the stain;
  • Gently iron the area, being mindful to move quickly to avoid damaging the carpet fiber.

The combined forces of water, vinegar, pressure, and heat causes most stains to “relocate” from your carpet to the rag or towel.

Blot a stain rather than rubbing it

We rub one too many things in our daily life – washing silver and dinnerware, brushing our teeth, washing our face in the morning, all the way to wiping smudges off your shoes and etc. Rubbing something to clean it is an instinctual reaction, but when it comes to cleaning a carpet – rubbing is a huge no-no.

Here’s why: When applying pressure to your carpet will only worsen the situation. The more you rub the deeper a stain will set in. Once fiber and dirt spots bound for good – cleaning could render impossible.

Always mind what direction you blot at:

  • Start at the outer edges of the stain, working your way in toward the center.  Working outward could further spread the stain.
  • Mind the arrangement of fibers. You would not want to blot the opposite way, for it could further damage the piece.

Deep clean using safe and effective DIY solutions

The market is oversaturated with products meant for people who own gear for deep cleaning a carpet, but unfortunately, most detergents are heavy on chemicals and pose health hazard risks to you and your family.

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and nature-safe solution for your steam cleaner, here’s a green recipe you should definitely try:

What you’ll need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Essential oils
  • Dish soap
  • A regular fabric softener
  • Hot water

Directions:

  • Pour about 3/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a cup;
  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar;
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap;
  • Add 2 tbsp of fabric softener;
  • Dilute in a gallon of hot water.
  • Optional: add a few drops of your favorite (colorless) essential oil, such as lavender, to help neutralize the vinegar scent

Although not always as powerful as off-the-shelf carpet shampooers, this DIY deep cleaning solution is relatively inexpensive and harmless when diluted in this way.

Shampoo your carpet with shaving cream

Bright and light colored carpets are vulnerable to signs of wear and tear.  Naturally neutral colors can easily become a victim of accidents, mud marks, and kid and pet stains.

An efficient yet lesser known cleaning solution is the hack of using regular shaving cream! It’s budget friendly and can work wonders. It not only helps with aged stains but rejuvenates and freshens the entire fabric of your carpet!

Some call shaving cream “the anti-aging solution”. It not only leaves a pleasant aroma but softens the fabric itself.

Make a DIY carpet deodorizer

Deodorizing your carpet on a regular basis can help maintain a pleasant smelling apartment and is rather simple to do. Simply mix a tablespoon or two of Borax with a few drops of your essential oil of your choice, then add the mixture to a cup or two of baking soda and your DIY deodorizer is good to go.  Simply sprinkle liberally and evenly on your carpet and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes and up to an hour or two, then vacuum it all up and take a deep breath!  Take care to keep any children or pets out of the room while the mixture works its magic – while these ingredients are relatively safe and natural, you want to avoid ingestion and the spreading of the mixture beyond the intended treatment area. 

Carpets are simply a must but cleaning can be a hefty burden. Surrounded by numerous chemical-rich products, we often ask for eco-friendly cleaning hacks to do so. Use these handy carpet cleaning hacks to handle stains and dirt-mark spots in an efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly way!

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Source: blog.apartminty.com