5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are bad enough when encountered outside. When they show up in the home, however, it’s out-and-out war. Although few people are as agile with the fly-swatter as they’d like to be, our brains are bigger, so it’s absolutely possible to simply outsmart the average fruit fly. It’s easy enough to learn how to get rid of fruit flies by using simple homemade hacks, but if you’d rather leave the dirty work to someone else, there’s a product for that, too.

Keep fruit flies out of your home

Before we get to that, however, do yourself a favor in the future and prevent fruit flies outright. Try not to leave doors and windows open any longer than necessary, as the little suckers are shockingly fast fliers.

Also, check your home for tiny cracks that could be letting them in and then, consult the apartment maintenance person for help fixing them. And for the love of everything holy, wash your produce thoroughly when you bring it home unless you want tiny hitchhiking eggs to erupt into a whole colony of ravenous fruit flies.

How to get rid of fruit flies

Fruit flies are naturally drawn to the fermented goodness of decomposing produce and garbage. So, it makes sense that the most effective DIY traps involve such materials, most of which are found lying around the average home. Ironically, as much as most people would like to make flies simply go away, you don’t want to focus on fly repellant, so much as a fly attraction.

1. Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegarapple cider vinegar

Experts swear by apple cider vinegar traps as the best way to get rid of fruit flies. White vinegar can also be used in a pinch.

  1. Simply grab a bowl or glass, then fill it up with apple cider vinegar.
  2. Cover it up with plastic wrap, then use a rubber band to secure it.
  3. Make small holes in the top of the plastic wrap and walk away. The fruit flies will sniff out the vinegar, make their way through the holes and then be trapped.

2. Vinegar and dish soap

vinegar and dish soapvinegar and dish soap

This homemade fly trap is even easier. All you need is some vinegar, a bowl and a drop of dish soap.

  1. Fill the bowl with vinegar.
  2. Add dish soap and mix it up.

The purpose of the dish soap is to change the consistency of the vinegar so that the fly becomes immediately trapped.

3. Beer or wine trap

empty beer canempty beer can

Another fermented substance that most people have handy is beer or wine.

  1. Leave a swig at the bottom of your bottle or can.
  2. Place it on a flat surface near the fruit fly problem.

They won’t be able to resist the fermented goodness the alcohol promises, but will quickly get trapped in the bottle. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to encourage faster trapping if you want.

4. Milk and sugar mix

simmering milksimmering milk

This is a trick your great-grandparents probably used.

  1. Simmer a glass of milk on the stove, along with a quarter-cup of ground pepper and a cup of sugar.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place it on the counter. The little buggers are drawn to the sugar fermentation.

5. Ripe fruit trap

ripe fruit trapripe fruit trap

This is one of the most effective solutions, especially if you have extra fresh product.

  1. Put a small amount of vinegar in a jar or cup and add some very ripe fruit or veggies that you have lying around.
  2. Take a piece of paper and roll it up into a cone.
  3. Place it in the cup with the wide side up, narrow side down.
  4. Watch with glee as the rotting produce attracts the flies, which are then trapped, thanks to the cone.

Commercially-available products to get rid of fruit flies

If you don’t want to DIY your fly repellent, consider picking up one of these online products:

  • Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch: Made from a special blend of ferment and vinegar, Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch Dive Jar is safe to keep near food and is easy to use. Just pop open the top and watch the flies line up to get in.
  • Fruit Fly BarPro: This commercially available product promises to eliminate a host of nasty bugs (including fruit flies) for up to four months using time-released vapors. It also repels newcomers from showing up. Plus, there’s no clean-up necessary (other than to throw it away at the end of its use).


How to get rid of gnats in the house

All that said, don’t get fruit flies confused with gnats. Gnats tend to travel in swarms and can bite, whereas fruit flies are loners. However, they’re attracted to the same rotting foodstuffs. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to learn how to get rid of gnats in a house.

One process is very similar to a fruit fly trap. Mix up some apple cider vinegar, water, dish soap and sugar. Then, leave it in a bowl on the counter and wait. Or, you can mix up some red wine and dish soap. If you notice gnats, which are about half the size of fruit flies, hanging around the sink just pour bleach down the drain.

Forget about fruit flies

Hopefully, you’ve learned how to get rid of fruit flies by using one of these DIY or commercial traps. Now, just keep the doors and windows closed and the produce put away so it doesn’t happen again! But even if it does, next time, you’ll already know how to get rid of fruit flies like a pro.



Source: apartmentguide.com

4 Areas Not to Skip in Your Move Out Cleaning

Most standard leases won’t penalize you for normal wear and tear to your apartment, so it’s OK if the carpet looks a little more worn or the paint a little faded by the time you move out. However, the parameters of your lease will most likely hold you accountable for making your apartment look as nice when you move out as it did when you moved in, which can require some extra care on your part.

It may feel like a tedious job, but you probably did put down a security deposit when you signed that lease, and you do want that money back, right?

First, check to see if your landlord or management company has a move-out checklist. This will help keep you on track to getting your security deposit back in full. Then, be thorough when you clean. Imagine how you want your next apartment to look when you walk in with that first moving box and give the same consideration to the people who just signed a lease on your current place.

Tackling stuff beyond the basics during your move out cleaning

Getting that “like new” feel to your apartment means doing more than just the basics. While it’s important to clean the countertops, floors and bathrooms well, here are few items you might not spruce up as frequently that need your attention before moving day.

1. Hard to reach spots

cleaning window sillcleaning window sill

Everyone has those hard-to-reach spots around their apartment that often get ignored on cleaning day. While that’s fine for regular cleaning, they’re not the spots to avoid when preparing to move out. Make sure you check these key areas for dust:

  • Crown molding
  • Baseboards
  • Ceiling fans
  • Air vents
  • Window sills
  • Tops of high cabinets and appliances

Spend some time wiping them down with a good duster and/or multi-surface spray if they look a little dingy.

2. Grimiest places in the kitchen

oven cleaningoven cleaning

Even though it may feel like the grease that has accumulated on your stovetop and in your oven is impossible to clean, you can return these appliances to their cleanest appearance with a little work.

Ammonia or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can serve as homemade cleaners for your stovetop, helping to break down grease and make it easier to wipe away the grime. Cleaners designed to target grease specifically can also often be found at hardware stores.

Many ovens offer a self-cleaning option, which is ideal if your oven is moderately dirty. This process heats your oven up to burn off the grime, so if your oven has a lot of build up, don’t use this option. Too much grease can smoke up during the self-cleaning process and be quite dangerous.

Oven cleaner is another option, but it can be a little rough on the person doing the cleaning, so make sure to wear safety gloves. For the natural route, baking soda, water and vinegar sprayed on and left overnight can loosen the build-up.

3. Newly emptied spaces


Packing up all your belongings creates empty spaces where your stuff once lived. You may suddenly notice how dirty or dusty the inside of your cabinets is or a strange spill that has sat in your fridge for nobody knows how long. Wipe down all the insides of cabinets in your kitchen and bathrooms, and give special attention to the shelves in your fridge and freezer. Complete the cleaning by wiping down the outside of each. as well.

4. Walls and floors

guy fixing wallguy fixing wall

General wear-and-tear typically doesn’t include carpet or wall stains or the holes from hanging pictures. It’s easy to take care of this common damage. Attack carpet stains with a carpet cleaner or use baking soda. Extreme stains may require you to rent a professional-grade carpet cleaner from your local hardware store.

Wall stains can typically be wiped clean. For small holes in walls, fill them with spackling paste, using a putty knife. Once dry, smooth over with sandpaper and you’re good to go.

Don’t forget your move out cleaning!

There are always last-minute items lingering, so a quick walk-through will help ensure you leave your apartment in the same condition it was in when you first arrived.



Source: apartmentguide.com

Food Storage Tricks for a Small Apartment Kitchen

Living in an apartment has its pros and cons. Even though many people enjoy renting their apartment, it can also come with a few challenges. Most renters would agree they have limited space for their belongings, especially if you live in a studio or one-bedroom. In places like your kitchen, you’ll never run out of things to organize, but how do you handle everything in a tiny room?

Check out these easy food storage tricks for a small apartment kitchen any renter can use. You don’t need to screw holes in your wall to hang things or potentially damage the drywall for more space. With a little creativity, you’ll find a spot for everything, and your kitchen will look organized and clean.

1. Get wire shelf racks for cabinets

Apartment cabinets are notorious for being small. You might not be able to stack more than a few plates or bowls at a time, especially side by side. This places limits on the number of pantry goods you can stock alongside your dishes.

Don’t worry about leaving clean dishes on the counter when there are wire shelf racks for sale. These racks stand alone, so they don’t require any installation. Get them in any color you like and use them in every cabinet to double the storage space instantly — freeing up room for all the rice, canned tomatoes and broth you desire.

2. Invest in containers

Food storage containersFood storage containers

Over the last few years, celebrities and popular Pinterest bloggers have posted pictures of their pantries filled with clear plastic containers. It’s both a clever food storage trick and a trendy design touch — the perfect solution for renters who want their small kitchens to be stylish and functional.

They’re usually sleek and airtight, making them ideal for combining boxes of noodles, cereal or bags of flour. Find a few containers for the food you keep in your pantry and use them to minimize how many boxes and bags take up extra space.

3. Use freezer bags intelligently

Bulk food purchasing is a great way to reduce grocery spending and stay stocked up. Unfortunately, freezer space can be limited in an undersized fridge. Here are a few tricks for frozen food storage.

When you buy a large pack of ground beef or chicken thighs, you can make them last longer by freezing them. The problem is that styrofoam and plastic containers are bulky. Take the meat out, section it into usable portions and seal it in freezer bags, removing the air to condense the volume.

Are you a fan of boxed freezer goods, like pizzas, ice cream bars and burritos? Take items out of their boxy packaging and keep them in freezer bags instead. This allows you to store smaller items with less air and cardboard taking up space. If you’re worried about freezer burn, wrap these items again in plastic wrap.

Finally, keep soupy leftovers in easy-to-manage flat layers. You can lay a flat, sealed bag on a cookie sheet, and wait patiently for it to harden. Your stews will no longer create misshapen lumps that need to be maneuvered into whatever space is available.

4. Hang temporary hooks

Command hooks help people who need storage solutions without causing permanent installation damage. Press them on the inside of your cabinet or pantry doors to hang your cooking utensils and bags of food, then store the rest for other hanging needs around the apartment.

5. Use more drawer dividers

kitchen drawer dividerskitchen drawer dividers

Kitchen drawers get messy when you toss in whatever you can find. Even if you keep everything in the drawer, it doesn’t have to stay a mess. You can find and use extra drawer dividers to organize everything from silverware to measuring cups.

Use some of the dividers to combine pens, bread bag ties and bag clips, which often get lost in the back under mail and instruction manuals.

6. Store things above cabinets

Don’t forget that you can always use the space above your cabinets as storage, too. If your cabinets don’t extend to the ceiling, it’s available space waiting to help. Dutch ovens, small appliances and any other kitchen supplies you don’t use every day can make a home up there.

Just be aware that they may collect more dust and require a quick wash before you bake with them again.

7. Label everything you buy

Americans are notorious for food waste, throwing away 165 billion worth of food each year. If you’re someone who stores leftovers and never eats them — or has no idea what’s sitting in the back of your cabinets — labeling can help organize food and remind you when it’s time to dive into your stored meals.

One label maker will go a long way in organizing your kitchen and other rooms in your apartment. Create labels for expiration dates so that you can toss out what’s expired instead of leaving it in your pantry or fridge. You can also label foods with what recipes they go with, so you always know what you can make and when you should throw food away.

Clever food storage ideas for small apartments

Before you can organize your kitchen, you’ll need to start spring cleaning to get rid of everything you don’t need. Organize whatever’s left with tricks like drawer dividers, wire shelf racks and command hooks. You’ll find the techniques that work best in your apartment, depending on the shape and size of your kitchen.



Source: apartmentguide.com

What is an Emergency Maintenance Request?

  • Many apartments are only responding to emergency maintenance requests during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Emergency maintenance requests should only be made in cases of true emergency, which pose a safety threat to the resident or major potential damage to the property
  • Some maintenance issues can be easily handled by the resident

Apartments are pretty complex places, and things are bound to go wrong from time to time. So, how’s a renter to know when it’s appropriate to file a routine maintenance request or opt instead to press the proverbial “red button” to summon emergency assistance?

At this point, it’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has caused many apartment complexes to shift gears and only offer maintenance services for true emergencies at this time. It’s an inconvenience for sure but it’s being done to keep residents and maintenance workers as safe as possible.

What does emergency maintenance mean?

The concept of what qualifies as emergency maintenance can seem convoluted to the uninformed tenant, but it actually isn’t. Basically, if the issue at hand presents a safety issue or potential for property damage, call for emergency maintenance post haste. If not, wait until regular business hours resume.

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Types of emergency maintenance requests

  • Natural gas smell. Such a leak can cause disastrous consequences, including death. Never hesitate to make the call if you suspect a gas leak.
  • A broken water line, flooding or a small leak that appears to be getting worse. Those things can go from zero to 60 pretty quick, causing significant damage.
  • Fire. Before you call for emergency maintenance, however, dial 911.
  • Septic tank back-up or failure. Aside from being gross and unsanitary, this problem can also cause major damage.
  • Non-functioning heat during periods of freezing temperatures
  • Non-functioning air-conditioning during periods of hot weather
  • Power outage. Sometimes, there’s nothing maintenance can do about an outage, such as when severe weather strikes. However, random or frequent unexplained power outages can cause other safety problems, so it should be addressed.
  • A broken door lock. No one should be able to access your apartment except for you and trusted individuals. A broken door lock leaves a resident vulnerable and endangered.

When not to call for emergency maintenance

  • Clogged toilet
  • Broken or non-functional light bulb
  • Heating or air-conditioning malfunction in non-extreme temperatures
  • Appliances on the fritz, like the ice maker or oven
  • A drip/leak so weak that it can be temporarily handled using a bucket or cooking pot

Instead, opt to either fix the problem yourself, if possible, or fill out a non-urgent maintenance request for an issue of this sort.

How to submit an emergency maintenance request

Ideally, when you first move in, management will provide detailed instructions on how to make emergency and general maintenance requests. If they don’t, be sure to ask and keep the info somewhere it’s readily accessible to you.

Most apartments will have a 24-hour phone line for emergencies. Only use this if you’re really and truly in a serious situation (as described above).

For general maintenance, some apartments rely on voice mail or old-school paper request forms. Many others have made the leap to digital requests. Check with your management team or hit up the property’s web site to find out which yours uses.

You’re the best resource

Even the best property managers can’t anticipate every problem. They’re simply not in your space day in and day out the way that you are. So, your role as a tenant is critical. Keep a watchful eye on appliances, look out for anything amiss and take steps before a small issue becomes a big, fat one.



Source: apartmentguide.com

6 Creative Storage Solutions for Efficiency or Studio Apartments

If you’re hoping to live in a popular city, neighborhood or building while sticking to a budget, considering a studio or efficiency apartment could help make your real estate dreams a reality.

These smaller living spaces are often located in desirable parts of town at a price point that’s more affordable to single renters. The downside? Less square footage. The upside? A chance to declutter and less space to keep clean!

With a few organizational skills and a little creativity, moving your belongings into a studio or efficiency apartment doesn’t mean you have to give everything up. Here are some creative storage solutions for studio apartments, efficiency apartments and other small spaces.

1. Multipurpose when possible

Because floor space will likely be limited, choose your pieces of furniture carefully and wisely. Opt for furniture that will suit your lifestyle and meet your needs (even better if you can meet multiple needs with one piece.)

Think sofas that pull out into a bed, TV stands that offer ample storage, coffee tables and ottomans with built-in storage and other creative solutions. You may not be able to fit in every piece of furniture you’ve always wanted, so decide what’s the most important and the most functional.

pots on a wallpots on a wall

2. Go higher up

You might have limited floor space, but the walls of smaller spaces are often underutilized. Use bookshelves, mounted shelving, hanging fixtures and hooks to give yourself storage options without taking up too much valuable space on the floors.

You can hang pots and pans in the kitchen, use a hanging clothing rack to maximize closet space, display your personal items and more. The key is to be willing to think outside the box. Just be mindful of your security deposit and check with your landlord before installing any serious hardware in the walls or ceiling.

3. Baskets and bins

If storage is lacking, you may find yourself struggling to find places to hide necessary items that aren’t so visually pleasing. Today, baskets and bins are available in a wide range of materials to help give you some storage space without sacrificing your design aesthetic.

Store linens, office supplies, small kitchen equipment or clothing accessories in one easy-to-find location.

4. Don’t forget doors

Your studio or efficiency space may not have a lot of doors, but you have at least one! Doors are also often underutilized in small and large spaces, alike.

Add a hanging rack or hooks for compact, discreet storage of coats, hats, jewelry, towels or anything else you might be struggling to find a home for. Don’t forget about the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, too!

pillow and blanket storagepillow and blanket storage

5. Rotate with the seasons

In order to be as efficient as possible, focus on keeping items you’ll use on a daily basis in the easiest to reach places. In the winter, store summer linens, shoes and clothing under the bed or in another location you don’t need to access often.

In the summer, do the same with heavy blankets, winter coats and boots.

6. Channel Marie Kondo

Stay organized and purge often. Learning to be and stay organized might be the biggest challenge you face in a studio or efficiency apartment, as clutter will become apparent much faster.

Use this as an opportunity to downsize and get rid of items you don’t really need — unworn clothing, excess dishware, materials for past hobbies and the like. Make a point to practice decluttering at least once a year to reassess the necessity of items you’ve collected throughout the year.

Don’t let a small space get you down

A small-space apartment can seem intimidating at first glance, especially if you’re downsizing or used to living in a larger space. Instead of worrying about the size of your space, use your move as an opportunity to reorganize and restructure your belongings.

If you’re willing to get a little unconventional and consider some creative options, you’ll find a place to store all of your favorite things.



Source: apartmentguide.com

What to Do About Bad Smells in the House

When you’ve found the perfect new home and are counting down the days until you can move in, nothing can put a damper on your spirits quite like bad smells in the house that just doesn’t seem to go away. Musty or stale smells, odors from previous smokers or pet owners, or even smells from fresh paint can be less-than-welcome and hard to get rid of.

While it might take a little elbow grease, there are several plans you can put into place to get your new home smelling a little fresher.

1. Start with a top-to-bottom deep clean


While one can hope that the previous owners, previous tenants or landlord have already done a thorough move-out clean, it doesn’t hurt to go through the process once more to ensure nothing was left behind in the turnover process.

Wipe down surfaces, sweep and mop the floors and use your go-to cleaning products, so the scents left behind will be familiar to you. Perhaps the most important task: open up the windows, turn on any ceiling fans and let fresh air circulate throughout your new home. This will help eliminate any bad smell in the house.

2. Try to identify the cause of the odor

dirty dogdirty dog

If the bad smell in your home still seems to be lingering a day or two after you’ve cleaned and aired out your new space, it’s time to get to the bottom of the issue. Depending on the source, your cleaning techniques will be different.

Pet odors

Odors left behind by pets can be notoriously strong and difficult to get rid of — especially if your home has carpet. Try to identify specific areas where pet urine may have left stains — a blacklight can help you here as it will illuminate any areas containing urine.

You can try techniques like baking soda or an enzyme-based carpet cleaner to spot treat the area and neutralize lingering odors. Spot test any cleaning products first or your security deposit could be at risk if you cause further damage to the flooring.

Food odors

If strong food or spice smells are still present after your general cleaning, focus your attention on the kitchen and deep clean areas like vents, fans, oven, refrigerator, etc. Examine sinks and garbage disposals to see if they might be the source of bad smells. Consider asking your landlord to repaint any walls located close to the oven, refrigerator, sink or microwave.

Smoke odors

Cigarette smoke is one of the most potent odors and hardest to remove, which is why most landlords and property managers prohibit smoking of any kind indoors. Very strong remaining odors can even lead to thirdhand smoke damage to new occupants.

To truly tackle cigarette smoke odors, removable items like blinds, carpet and draperies will need replacing, which is something you should discuss with your landlord.

Mold odors

Odors from mold or moisture damage are not only unpleasant, but they can also impact your health. Mold typically grows in parts of the home that are prone to moisture or ventilation issues — like the bathroom or basement — but can grow almost anywhere including on wood, carpet, food and fabric.

For areas with light mold like the shower, use bleach to effectively remove the mold. For larger mold issues, contact your property manager as a few states have laws in place defining landlord responsibility regarding mold maintenance.

3. Consult with your property owner

man on the phone talking about bad smells in the homeman on the phone talking about bad smells in the home

If you’ve done your own deep cleaning, tried to address the issue at the source and still can’t seem to shake the bad smell in your home, it’s time to consult with your landlord to see how the two of you can address the situation together. In some cases, foul odors can be a sign of a larger issue that is beyond renter control.

Stubborn odors from a previous pet or smoke damage may require a cleaning crew or maintenance crew to replace items like blinds and filters. If your home contains a substantial amount of carpet, ask to have the carpets professionally cleaned if they weren’t already before you moved in.

You may run into issues concerning financial responsibility, as foul odors from food or unhygienic previous tenants are not typically a health risk (though odors from cigarette smoke or pets may be, depending on individual situations). Your landlord may ask you to split the costs or cover costs of additional cleaning if you are unhappy with the living situation, but it is always worth bringing it to their attention early on to see what the two of you can work out.

Eliminate bad smells in your house

Even though they are a pain to deal with, most unpleasant smells in the home can be handled if you are persistent and try various tried-and-true methods to eliminate them.



Source: apartmentguide.com

10 Natural Ant Repellents to Keep Bugs Out

The ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah!

This is cute, animated children’s song but when you see ants marching through your own apartment, it’s suddenly not so much fun. If you notice that these pesky blank insects are a common occurrence in your apartment and are wondering how to get rid of ants, we’ve got some home remedies for ants ready for you to try.

Natural ant repellents to try at home

If you’re looking for a way to get rid of ants without using a pesticide or professional pest control services, here are 10 natural ant repellents and home remedies for ants that you can try.

You can make these natural ant repellents with things you have in your own home, so it’ll be an easy way for you to rid yourself of these pesky critters.

1. Mint


Peppermint essential oil is a simple home remedy for ants that you can make yourself.

Get some peppermint essential oil or peppermint leaves, mix it with water and spray around baseboards, doors and windows to deter ants. However, if you have pets, keep in mind that this ant solution is toxic to animals.

2. White vinegar

white vinegarwhite vinegar

White vinegar is truly an all-purpose household product. From cleaning and disinfecting to getting rid of ants, white vinegar is a must-have product.

Take a mixture of hot water and vinegar and scrub your floor and countertops with it as a way to get rid of ants. While the smell is strong for an hour or so, it’ll rid your home of ants.

3. Cinnamon


Cinnamon smells and tastes good, but did you know it can also be used as a natural ant repellent? You can use either cinnamon essential oil or cinnamon powder to repel ants.

Take a cotton ball or Q-tip and dab it with cinnamon oil and then place it where you’ve seen ants. Or, sprinkle cinnamon powder along windowsills, baseboards or door entries to stop ants from entering.

4. Pepper


Pepper is another kitchen staple that everyone has and uses to season food. However, it can also be used as a home remedy for ants.

Sprinkle pepper wherever you have an ant problem. The smell will irritate them and they’ll go away. You can use cayenne or black pepper as your natural ant repellent.

5. Chalk line

chalk linechalk line

This natural ant repellent is somewhat mysterious. Ants use scent as a way to navigate. By drawing a line of chalk where you noticed ants, it seems to disturb the trail of smell and confuse ants. They won’t cross the line anymore and will go away.

6. Water line


Like the chalk line trick, you can also get your finger wet and draw a water line where you noticed ants last. This will also deter ants, disrupt the smell and help get rid of your ant problem.

7. Hand soap

hand soaphand soap

Take a pump of hand or dish soap and mix it with some hot water and put it into a spray bottle. You can use this concoction to spray down countertops, entryways or other areas you’ve noticed ants marching about.

Use this natural ant repellent as a way to rid your home of the ant problem while cleaning at the same time.

8. Tea tree oil

tea tree oiltea tree oil

Tea tree oil is another home remedy for ants. Like the other essential oil remedies, you can use tea tree oil mixed with water as a spray to repel ants or you can saturate cotton balls in tea tree oil and place those cotton balls around the house in high-trafficked ant areas.

Both remedies will work, but be careful to keep this away from pets if you’re a pet owner.

9. Coffee grounds

coffee groundscoffee grounds

Who doesn’t have a morning cup of Joe? Well, instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, you can use them to repel ants.

Simply sprinkle the coffee grounds around countertops, windowsills, doors, the pantry or any other area you’ve seen ants crawling around. This hack will rid you of ants and you’ll get more use out of your coffee each day.

10. Corn starch


This last approach on how to get rid of ants is a bit messier, but it’s effective.

Do you notice a large cluster of ants or a hive instead of just one or two? If you see a hive of ants, cover it with corn starch and then dump water on it. This will kill the hive entirely.

Preventing ant infestations upfront

These 10 natural ant repellent suggestions are great if you already have an ant problem. However, there are ways to prevent ants from entering your house upfront.

  1. Check your pantry: Ants love food and crumbs and they will feast in your pantry or cupboards. Make sure you seal all of your dry food in plastic containers so ants can’t get into the boxes of food stored in your pantry. Also, make sure to sweep or vacuum your pantry regularly and get all of those tasty crumbs off the floor.
  2. Clean often: Make sure you’re sweeping and mopping your floor daily, if not weekly. This will ensure that there are no crumbs on the floor that ants can snack on.
  3. Pest control: If you want to control ants or any type of insect or pest problem, you can consider hiring a pest control expert to spray your home.

Keeping bugs out

No matter where you live, you’ll likely see a bug or two in your apartment at some point. However, there are easy ways to rid your home of ants using home remedies and ingredients you already have on hand.



Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Remove Permanent Marker From Any Surface

Permanent markers are essential in every craft room and household.

They are great for creating lasting memories through artwork, writing labels on metals and plastics to help keep your home organized and even covering up scuffs on shoes.

Although the name suggests otherwise, if you accidentally get permanent marker on a surface you didn’t intend, or one ends up in the hands of a very young, but very inspired creative, there are ways to remove it.

Permanent marker can be removed from a variety of surfaces using basic household cleaners and materials. So grab an old towel or washcloth that you don’t mind the strain potentially transferring onto, and follow the instructions below to learn how to remove permanent marker from any surface.

How to remove permanent marker from plastic

writing leftovers on plastic container with permanent markerwriting leftovers on plastic container with permanent marker

If you had used a permanent marker to label a plastic item and now want to alter that label, you can use a dry-erase marker to remove the writing. A dry-erase marker works well for getting permanent marker off of plastic because it contains rubbing alcohol.

Follow these steps:

  1. Color over the permanent marker with the dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away
  3. Repeat the process if needed

How to remove permanent marker from clothes

using hairspray to remove a stain from a shirtusing hairspray to remove a stain from a shirt

If you got a permanent marker stain on one of your favorite clothing items, don’t fret. There are a number of different methods you can use to get it out of different clothing fabrics. Below are tips for removing permanent marker stains from cotton, leather and wool.


Hairspray is an effective way to remove permanent marker from cotton. Be sure that the hairspray contains alcohol, as not all hairspray products do, and this component is critical for removing the stain.

Follow these three steps to clean your cotton item:

  1. Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  3. Put clothing item in the washing machine without other items in case the stain bleeds
  4. Run on warm with detergent


You can remove permanent marker from leather, without damaging the fabric, using white vinegar.

Follow these three steps to clean your leather item:

  1. Dab vinegar onto the stain with a cloth
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes
  3. Use the same cloth to wipe off the stain using a circular motion


Hairspray is also an effective way to remove permanent marker from wool. Instead of tossing the item in the wash after setting the stain with hairspray, you can handwash it to prevent damage to the item.

Follow these steps to clean your wool item:

  1. Apply hairspray to the area until it feels wet
  2. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  3. Hand wash the item with cold water

How to remove permanent marker from wood

removing permanent marker from wood with toothbrushremoving permanent marker from wood with toothbrush

Not only does toothpaste fight stains in your mouth, but it can also fight stains on your wood furniture or floors. The abrasive quality of toothpaste helps to gently remove the dye without dissolving it. It’s best to use a baking soda toothpaste, but if you don’t have one you can simply mix baking soda with the toothpaste you have. Skip the gel toothpaste, it won’t work.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Apply toothpaste to a cloth or you can even use an old toothbrush!
  2. Rub into the wood, going with the grain
  3. Repeat as needed

How to remove permanent marker from skin

using hand sanitizer to remove permanent marker from handusing hand sanitizer to remove permanent marker from hand

It turns out that hand sanitizer not only can clean your hands of germs but also can be used to remove permanent marker from your skin:

    1. Squirt a dab of hand sanitizer into your hand or on a cloth
    2. Rub directly into the stain
    3. Wipe away with a cloth

How to remove permanent marker from other surfaces

putting rubbing alcohol on a clothputting rubbing alcohol on a cloth

If permanent marker ended up on one of your upholstered furniture pieces, a stainless steel appliance, wall, carpet or glass item, you can remove the stain using the techniques we breakdown below.


Use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker from upholstery. It’s best to blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing as it’s possible to actually massage the stain further into the fabric.

Follow these simple steps using rubbing alcohol:

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
  2. Blot the area
  3. Wash away the remaining rubbing alcohol using a clean damp cloth


Similar to plastic, dry-erase markers work well to remove permanent marker from metal. So if permanent marker ends up on one of your stainless steel appliances, follow the steps below. Keep in mind, you may have to repeat this process a couple of times to fully remove the stain.

  1. Color over the stain with a dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away


Toothpaste for the win, again! Toothpaste also works great for removing permanent marker from walls without causing damage. As previously mentioned, skip the gel toothpaste and ideally choose one that contains baking soda. Then follow these steps:

  1. Apply toothpaste directly to the wall stain
  2. Allow it to sit for 5–10 minutes
  3. Scrub the mark in a circular motion
  4. Wipe the remaining toothpaste away with a damp cloth


To remove permanent marker from the carpet, just like with upholstery, you can use rubbing alcohol. Remember, blot the area with the rubbing alcohol instead of rubbing so you don’t rub the stain further into the carpet. Follow these steps below:

  1. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth
  2. Blot the area
  3. Using a damp, clean cloth, wipe away the remaining rubbing alcohol


If permanent marker ends up on one of your glass items, such as a window or mirror, you can remove it with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol by doing the following:

  1. Apply remover of your choice to a cloth
  2. Rub the strain
  3. Use a clean cloth and a multipurpose or glass cleaner to wipe away

Dry-erase boards

In addition to working well to remove stains from walls and plastic, dry-erase markers can be used to remedy a situation where you may have mistakenly used permanent marker on a dry-erase board. In two steps, you can pretend as though nothing ever happened:

  1. Write over the stain with a dry-erase marker
  2. Wipe away with a clean cloth

Few things in life are truly permanent

You may have to repeat the steps laid out above a few times to be successful, but with a little effort and patience, you can remove most permanent marker stains. For additional cleaning hacks, be sure to check out our cleaning and maintenance tips.



Source: apartmentguide.com

How To Clean An Iron To Make It Look Brand New

Cleaning an iron is a household task that’s easy to forget about. However, with all the shirts to press, sheets to smooth and pants to unwrinkle, it’s no wonder our irons get worn out. Giving your iron the TLC it needs can be simple and way cheaper than opting for a newer model.

There are many different ways to clean and shine your iron using some elbow grease and a few items you may already have in your home. Keeping your iron clean is necessary to keep the chore easy and productive, so check out these tips to clean an iron without any fancy cleaning products required.

1. Clean with baking soda

Baking soda is used to clean almost anything, whether it’s your household appliances, fruits and veggies or your iron. You can create a stain-fighting paste using two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with one tablespoon of warm water. Gently rub the paste on a cool iron plate, coating areas that have mineral deposits. Wipe the paste off using a damp cloth.

Pro tip: Avoid getting the paste in the iron’s steam holes. If you manage to get it in there, use a damp cotton dipped in distilled water or a wooden toothpick to clean it out.

2. Clean with sea salt

person filling up water tank in an ironperson filling up water tank in an iron

Believe it or not, using salt to clean your iron can get the job done. Turn your iron on the hottest setting and lay out a brown paper bag or newspaper on your ironing board. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the paper bag or newspaper and begin to iron the salty surface. Continue this process until the salt takes away all the dirt on your iron. After this, wipe the salt residue away with a damp cloth.

Pro tip: Iron in circular motions to maximize the amount of dirt you take off.

3. Clean with a towel and vinegar

If your main issue with your iron is corrosion, the towel and vinegar trick will make it look good as new! Soak a towel in vinegar and then set the iron onto the towel with the soleplate facing down. Let the iron sit in the vinegar-soaked towel for 30 minutes before wiping it down.

Pro tip: Place your soaked towel in a bin or other container to avoid vinegar seeping into unwanted areas.

4. Clean an iron’s steam holes

person steaming their ironperson steaming their iron

A common problem with dirty irons is the steam holes getting clogged. A good indication of some much needed cleaning is when the iron sputters and leaves mineral-filled or rusty water spots on clothing. Mix ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of distilled water into the iron’s reservoir and inspect the steam ducts in an upright position.

Use an old toothbrush, wooden toothpick or cotton swab to clear away build-up. Test the iron by heating it up and depressing the steam button until the steam flows out freely. Let the iron cool before pouring out the mixture into the reservoir.

Pro tip: Never use metal to clean the soleplate of your iron as this could scratch or damage it.

5. Clean with nail polish remover

Not only does nail polish remover clear away nail polish, but also the gunk on your iron plate! Heat up your iron and dip a cotton ball into some acetone nail polish remover. Use a heat-protecting glove like an oven mitt and wipe the cotton ball along the surface of the hot iron. This method helps dissolve any unwanted residue on your iron. Let your iron cool and wipe away excess nail polish remover.

Pro tip: Perform this cleaning method outside so that your household doesn’t breathe in the strong chemical fumes.

6. Clean with paracetamol

An unusual yet excellent hack for cleaning your iron (especially with burnt residue) is paracetamol (like Tylenol). In fact, any acetaminophen tablet will do. First, turn your iron on the highest setting. Once the plate is hot, use an oven mitt or other heat-protecting glove to press the pill directly onto the burnt area of your iron. The pill should melt into a gel which then dissolves the burnt spot on your iron. Use a damp cloth to clean the soleplate and repeat if necessary.

Pro tip: Don’t use tweezers or pliers to press the pill onto your hot iron. One slip could result in scratching your iron or burning your fingers!

7. Clean an iron with wax paper

someone holding an iron uprightsomeone holding an iron upright

Similar to the salt trick above, you can use wax paper with coarse salt to clean your iron. Place wax paper on your ironing board or a cutting board and sprinkle about a tablespoon of sea salt over the wax paper. Heat the iron to its highest temperature and iron the salt without applying much pressure. The residue will stick to the salt and your iron will be good as new!

Pro tip: Make sure the steam function is off while you perform this cleaning trick.

8. Clean with toothpaste

Toothpaste not only clears the plaque on your teeth but the muck on your iron as well. All you need to do is smear a small amount of white toothpaste on any affected areas on your iron’s soleplate. Leave the toothpaste there for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.

Pro tip: Finish things off by filling your iron’s reservoir with distilled water and setting it down on a towel. Steam your iron leaving in for an additional few minutes to work through.

9. Clean with dryer sheets

Iron assisting with laundryIron assisting with laundry

Dryer sheets have more uses than freshening up your drying clothes. One way to use a dryer sheet you may not have heard of yet is to clean your iron. Simply rub the soleplate with dryer sheets while the iron is on its lowest heat setting. As soon as you feel the dryer sheet get too hot, grab a fresh one. Repeat this process until the iron is clean.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to wear a heat-protecting glove or mitt when touching an iron soleplate. You should be fine while in the lowest setting, but be cautious.

10. Clean an iron with ice cubes

If you accidentally left your hot iron near something plastic, you probably have a bit of a mess to deal with. However, melted plastic is easy to get off an iron by using simple items like a big bowl, ice cubes and a plastic knife or spatula. Place your iron in a bowl or pan full of ice to harden the plastic. If your plastic is already hardened, you can skip this step. Now take a plastic knife or spatula and scrape the plastic away, then wipe it down with a damp rag until you feel the iron’s surface to be smooth.

Pro tip: It’s crucial to get plastic off your iron before you use it again, otherwise the plastic will melt into your garments.

How often should I clean my iron?

The answer to this question heavily depends on how often you use your iron. On average, you should make it a habit to clean your iron every other month to remove mineral deposits. If your iron begins to dull or you see any build-up on the soleplate, then you can do a quick cleanse to avoid having to do a deeper clean.

What is the black stuff on my iron?

someone wiping down their ironsomeone wiping down their iron

Most people notice their iron is dirty when they see “black stuff” on the soleplate. The “black stuff” you see is a result of burn marks, dirt, dust, spray starch and fabric fiber buildup. Additionally, if you leave water inside your iron, it could begin to rust cause rusty spots. It’s important to maintain your iron to avoid it from damaging or ruining your clothing.

Maintaining a clean iron

To maintain a clean iron, there are a few things to consider. First, try using distilled water rather than ordinary tap water in your iron. Tap water contains minerals which over time results in rust and mineral build-up. Another consideration to avoid rust and mineral build-up is to make sure you empty the reservoir and place it in an upright position before storing it in your laundry room.

To keep your iron’s soleplate sleek and shiny, never iron over metal zippers, buttons, snaps or any other decorative item. The plate will last much longer and keep your iron maintenance low. Maintaining an iron may seem low on the to-do list, but it’s a great laundry hack that will save you a lot of time in the long-run.



Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Clean the Inside of a Metal Water Bottle

Metal water bottles have been all-the-rage for a couple of years now. Not only are they friendlier for the environment, but they’re also more cost-effective than purchasing disposable plastic water bottles.

Another great thing about metal water bottles is they’re more durable than plastic or glass bottles. Like all other bottles, however, it’s important to keep mold and unwanted bacteria out of your metal water bottle, so cleaning it regularly is highly recommended.

If you’re wondering how to clean the inside of a metal water bottle, fortunately, all you need is a few household items to start cleaning. If you’re looking for different ways to clean your metal water bottle, you’ve come to the right place! Whether it’s a just quick solution or a more thorough cleaning process, we’ve got you covered.

cleaning metal water bottlecleaning metal water bottle

The simple cleaning process

To start cleaning your metal water bottle, gather the following household cleaning items:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge or bottle brush

Cleaning your metal water bottle

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is to remove the lid, then pour a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar into the bottle. From there, screw the lid back on and shake the bottle well to evenly coat the sides of the bottle.
  2. Remove the lid, keep the vinegar inside and fill the bottle with water until it’s about halfway full. Next, take your sponge or bottle brush and scrub the insides, then remove the brush. Screw the lid on once more and shake again.
  3. Pour the contents out and rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  4. Your metal water bottle will be as clean as new.

If the smell of vinegar isn’t for you or if you’re on the go, there’s another option for cleaning your metal water bottle — cleaning tablets. All you have to do is add some water to the bottle you wish to clean, drop in a tablet and shake it like it’s your job.

They’ll completely dissolve while shaking so there’s no need for a bottle brush or any other tools. Once it’s dissolved dump out the water and rinse the bottle once more.

One thing to keep in mind is that the tables are, of course, single-use.

water bottle lid cleaningwater bottle lid cleaning

The simple lid cleaning process

Cleaning your metal water bottle is really as simple as that. But what about the lids? People often neglect cleaning the lids of their water bottles. The lids are important to clean because they collect a lot of dust and other bacteria throughout the day as you touch the top of the water bottle frequently. Luckily, the lids are just as easy to clean as the bottles.

To start cleaning your lid, gather the following items:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Q-tips

Cleaning your metal water bottle’s lid

  1. First, you need to fill a bowl with hot water and baking soda.
  2. Soak the lids and caps in the hot water and baking soda for approximately 2-3 hours.
  3. After 2-3 hours have passed, rinse out the lids with hot water and dish soap.
  4. Use Q-tips to clean any other hard to reach areas within the lid.
  5. Rinse fully with hot water and your lid should be good to go.

water bottle straw cleaningwater bottle straw cleaning

The simple straw cleaning process

Similar to lids, bottle straws are often forgotten. To start the cleaning process grab the following items:

  • Hot water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Straw brush or pipe cleaners

Cleaning your metal water bottle’s straw

  1. First mix the hot water and dishwashing liquid in a bowl.
  2. Dip the brush or pipe cleaner into the solution and insert it into the straw. Keep in mind that the brush should be big enough to touch all sides of the brush.
  3. Rinse out the straw with water and you are ready to go.

bottle brushbottle brush

Do a deep clean!

If you’re in a rush, doing a quick clean as mentioned above should do the trick. However, it’s suggested that you should do a deep clean at least once per month depending on how often you use your water bottle. If you use your water bottle daily, you might want to deep clean your bottle weekly.

Deep cleaning your metal water bottle

To deep clean your metal water bottle, it’ll require a bit more time and attention. Consider utilizing these two ideas below for deep cleaning your water bottle.

  1. Fill your metal water bottle with boiling water and let it sit overnight. In the morning, rinse out the water bottle and wash intensely with dish soap. The boiling water will disinfect germs and get unwanted bacteria out.
  2. Consider getting a bottle brush. A bottle brush helps you clean hard to reach areas and scrubs the bottom and sides of your water bottle. Just fill your metal water bottle with boiling water and mix in some dish soap. Then, use your bottle brush to get a good scrub in. The bottle brush will get any mold that’s accrued over time out quickly.

By using either of these two cleaning methods, you’ll ensure your water bottle is free of bacteria and any built-up mold. To deep clean the lids, you can and should soak the lids in boiling water overnight, as well. It works like magic!

Clean your metal bottle regularly

As noted above, metal water bottles are easy to clean, yet people often neglect cleaning them. Now that you know how to clean the inside of a metal water bottle don’t be that person that lets their water bottle sit in the car without being cleaned for months on end.

Letting bacteria and mold creep in can affect your health in negative ways. Stay healthy by cleaning it out regularly and doing a deep clean at least once per month. Perhaps consider adding it to your spring cleaning schedule and then, you’ll never forget!



Source: apartmentguide.com