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5 Things Every First Apartment Renter Should Know How to Do

Stonegate Apartments - Monday, April 06, 2020

woman sitting on a couch reading a magazine

Apartment living has many benefits, like lower utility bills, access to amenities such as a fitness center or pool, and maintenance staff available for repairs. Even though renters don’t need to worry about fixing a broken dishwasher, there are still some simple skills every renter should have, especially if it’s your first apartment.

First Apartment Tips and Skills

Know how to Hang a Picture Frame

Once you move in and feel settled, you’ll likely want to start decorating with artwork and pictures that are personal to you. All you’ll need is a hammer, a nail or two, and a level. For the first two items, you’ll have to head to the hardware store, but a level can actually be found on your phone! On iPhone’s, it’s a built-in app, for all other phones you can download one. Once you have your tools, you can find a tutorial online that will teach you how to hang a picture in less than five minutes. It’s a simple skill but one that’s good to have.

Cook Quick and Healthy Meals

Eating out and ordering delivery gets expensive fast. Knowing how to cook a few quick and healthy meals will save you money while still tasting delicious. Rice bowls, stir-fries, omelets, and paninis are simple, can be completed in under 30 minutes, and include inexpensive ingredients. As a first-time apartment renter, you probably need all the money you can get!

Change A Lightbulb

This one seems so obvious, but some people still don’t know how to change a lightbulb. Check to make sure you’re replacing the old bulb with a brand new one, that the wattage is correct, and you don’t screw the bulb in too loose or too tight. That’s really all there is to it.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

If you trip a circuit in your apartment, it’s important you know how to reset the switch to restore power. Locate the panel box and look for the circuit breaker that is in the off position or not fully on. Some breakers will show a bit of red on the switch if they’re tripped. If the circuit breaker hasn’t fully switched to the off position, you must move it there yourself before you turn it on again.

Once you move the switch back to the on position, power should be restored. If the power doesn’t come back on, try flipping it off and on again. If the breaker shuts off again, you likely have a short or some other problem that needs to be fixed. This is where your maintenance staff should take over.

Unclog a Toilet, Sink, or Tub

You could call maintenance to unclog a toilet or drain but knowing how to do so yourself is a much quicker solution. Buy a plunger for the toilet, a flexible snake to drain the sinks and tub, and Drano®, and you’ll be all set. If, after trying to solve the problem yourself you still have a clogged drain, then you should put in a maintenance request.

Knowing some basic skills will give you the freedom to decorate and make simple repairs on your own time. If you do have a more serious repair that needs attention, submit a maintenance request or call the office directly at (518) 283-0131.

Looking for more first time apartment renter tips? Read through the following blog posts:

Where to Shop for Apartment Essentials in Rensselaer

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, March 05, 2020

grey couch and glass coffee table in the living room

If you’ve just moved to the area or this is your first apartment, you’re likely in need of some furniture, décor, and living essentials for your new place. Our large apartments feature a balcony or patio, a breakfast nook, and large walk-in closets, so there is plenty of space to decorate and make yours.

To help the transition to your new home go smoothly, we’ve put together a list of our favorite places to find furniture, décor, and other home goods.

Where to Shop for Your Apartment

Target

625 3rd Avenue Extension

Just 5 minutes from Stonegate is Target. Know for their on-trend and affordable furniture and home goods, this is a great place to start if you’re in need of a lot of items. You’ll find everything from towels and shower curtains to furniture like dining chairs and tables. Shop their kitchen department for affordable utensils, pots and pans, small appliances, and more!

HomeGoods

102 Van Rensselaer Avenue

Similar to Target, HomeGoods stocks a variety of furniture, bedding, kitchenware, bath items, and décor. As an off-price retailer, you’ll find name brand items at discount prices, meaning you can furnish your apartment for less! We love heading to HomeGoods to find those finishing touches, like pillows, candles, and artwork.

Habitat ReStore in the Capital District

70 Fuller Rd, Albany, NY

You may have to do some digging, but the Habitat for Humanity store can feature some high-quality furniture at great prices. With a little paint and elbow grease, a lot of the furniture can be transformed into something that fits your style perfectly. Habitat for Humanity has been known to have a great selection of desks, dressers, kitchen tables and chairs, and TV stands.

Pottery Barn

1 Crossgates Mall Rd Ste A205

If you want to purchase an investment piece or two, head to Pottery Barn. The upscale furniture store sells bed & bath items, tableware, lighting, home goods, and furniture. The pieces always feature the latest trends and styles and will make your home feel truly luxurious. You can also purchase custom designed items such as an armchair or couch for furniture that is exactly what you’re looking for.

At Home

161 Washington Ave Ext

Whatever you need for your apartment, you’ll likely find it at At Home. Rugs, pillows, home décor, patio furniture, bedding, kitchen and dining, and so much are all under one roof. The variety of design styles ensures you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for at an affordable price. With one of the biggest selections of home goods in the area, you could spend an afternoon picking out the perfect items for your new apartment!

A new apartment is an exciting opportunity to create a space that reflects you and your style. Any of our 1, 2, or 3-bedroom layouts can act as the perfect blank slate to create a home that truly feels like yours. Contact us today to learn more about Stonegate or to schedule a tour.

How to Have A Successful Moving Day

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, February 06, 2020

Person holding a moving box

Congratulations on finding your new apartment! A new place is always exciting. It’s a chance to start fresh, decorate a new home, and make new memories. Before any of that happens, though, you have to move. And moving is never fun.

While we can’t make it more enjoyable, we can help make the process a little easier. After reading through our tips for moving you’ll be an expert at packing, moving, and unpacking.

Tips for Moving Apartments

1. Declutter Your Apartment

You’ve likely been in your current apartment for at least a year, possibly way longer! During that time, you’ve inevitably acquired a lot of stuff; some things you can’t live without and others you haven’t touched in a while. If you haven’t used an item in a year or more, let it go. You likely won’t use it ever again.

If you have the time, consider selling your items online using Craigslist or Facebook. The extra money will be useful if you plan on hiring movers. It can also be used towards paying for boxes and packing supplies. If you’re short on time there are many organizations that will accept your donations. 

2. Make A Moving Checklist

A moving checklist will keep you organized and on-track throughout the moving process. It should include everything you need to do before moving out, the day you’re moving, and once you get into your new place. Common things to put on the list include hiring movers, changing your address, returning your keys, forwarding your mail, and setting up utilities at your new apartment.

3. Start Packing As Soon As Possible

Try as you may, you can’t move overnight. Moving requires a lot of preparation, including starting to pack ASAP. Start with seasonal items and then move on to items you only use on occasion. Things like books, clothing, serving dishes, decorations, and (most of) your kid’s toys can all be packed a few weeks before the big move.

4. Learn how to Pack the Right Way

With that said, learn how to pack the right way. This includes knowing what size move you have, organizing your items, and planning a packing order. Having a strategy will make packing seem like a much more manageable task.

5. Make a First Night Box

After not going to be able to move and unpack everything in your new place in one day. For that reason, make a first night box so you have the essentials easily accessible. In the box you should include the following:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Any necessary personal care items
  • Clothes for the next day
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand soap
  • Clean linens for your bed
  • A bath towel for each person
  • Pajamas
  • Basic tool kit
  • Disposable utensils and dishware
  • Any necessary chargers
  • Medications

6. Clean Before Moving Out

This seems like extra work, but it will save you money and frustration. If you don’t clean before handing over your keys money will likely be deducted from your security deposit to pay for a professional cleaning service. Remember to clean appliances, the floors, ceiling fans, dust, sweep the balcony, and vacuum out the pantry.

Moving to Stonegate Apartments

Moving is quite the process, but once you’re in your new apartment at Stonegate it will all be worth it! Learn more about our 1,2 and 3-bedroom apartments and schedule a tour today. We can’t wait to show you around!

Signs It’s Time for a New Apartment

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, January 09, 2020

three plants on a table with a couch in the background

It’s that time again! You’re due to renew your lease soon and you’re wondering if you want to stay or go. When you first found your apartment, it may have been love at first sight. It was in the perfect location, the rent was the right price, and the layout couldn’t have been better. Now, however, things are different. You can’t put your finger on it, but something is making you consider moving to a new place.

If you’re contemplating moving out, consider these five things to help determine if it’s the right choice.

5 Signs You Need A New Apartment

You Have a Bad Roommate

If you and your roommate don’t get along and they intend to renew, that’s your cue to leave. Even if you and your roommate are still friends, your lifestyles may not be conducive to living together. One of you may be messy while the other prefers things to be a Monica Geller level of clean. Or maybe you like to have people over a lot while they prefer a quiet space to come home to. Either way, it’s time to move on and move out.

Your Apartment is Noisy

Some noise now and again can be expected, but if you find yourself constantly telling your neighbor to keep it down, maybe it’s best to find a more serene apartment. Noise can also come from construction happening outside, traffic, or that roommate we mentioned previously.

If you can’t move to a new apartment for a few months, there are several ways to reduce noise in the meantime. File a noise complaint with your landlord if your neighbors are the source of the problem. If construction or traffic is the problem, white noise may be able to drown out the noise until you find a new apartment to call home.

Lack of Storage

It no surprise that you’re going to acquire some new items throughout your time at your apartment. New shoes, decorations, and small kitchen appliances all take up space. The problem arises when you have no space to store these items. When you’re microwave has a permanent home on your kitchen table or you’re storing shoes in your car, it’s time to reconsider your situation.

There’s Nowhere to Park

Picture this: you’re driving home after a long weekend visiting your parents. You’re tired from the drive and just want to crawl into bed. Except there’s no place to park! You’re now forced to park a quarter-mile from your apartment and you, and your suitcase, have to trudge home. It’s frustrating and something you shouldn’t have to put up with.

When you start searching for your new place look for one with assigned parking, a large parking lot, or one with designated visitor parking so you know there will always be room for you.

There’s a Lack of Security

You deserve to feel safe in your own home, and if you feel anything less than that you should consider moving. If your apartment doesn’t feature a gate, an intercom system, or double locks on unit doors you have reason for concern.

Thankfully, a lot of apartments these days understand the need and want for multiple levels of security. The previously mentioned features are becoming standard which is great for everyone!

Reasons to Move to Stonegate

At Stonegate we’re focused on providing our residents will highly desirable amenities and features. Our community is spread over 9 peaceful acres and is conveniently located near many of the area’s popular employers and destinations.

 All residents at Stonegate have access to the following:

  • Private, covered balconies and patios
  • Key fob security system
  • On-site maintenance
  • Additional storage space
  • Ample parking

Get in touch today to schedule a tour and find your new apartment!

How to Make Your Home Guest Ready

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, December 05, 2019


The holidays are here and it’s time to turn on the charm and host your friends and family. While space may be at a premium, there are still ways to make room for overnight guests in your apartment. Hosting a dinner or having friends over for coffee? We have some tips on how to be a good host!

Be Our Guest

Tip No 1. Have Some Serving Essentials

Everything looks better when it’s on a fancy cheese board or platter. Invest in a set of matching wine glasses (drinking wine from tumblers should be reserved for college) and pick up a cheese board and a nice knife. Guest will feel more welcome knowing you put some time and effort into preparing for their visit.

If your any of your guests have food allergies, be cognizant of them and prepare accordingly. Not sure of any dietary restrictions? Just ask! No one likes to show up to a party and realize there is nothing for them to eat.

Tip No 2. Create an Instant Guest Room

If your apartment only has one bedroom, or if your second is acting as an office, you can still create a guest room. A pull-out couch will transform your living room into a guest room in just a few seconds. Keep some extra pillows and a set of sheets on hand for a hotel-like experience.

Tip No 3. Decorate Mindfully

While frivolous to some, if you entertain guests frequently you should decorate your space with them in mind. A bar cart is stylish and keeps your liquor, serving ware, and other entertaining necessities all in one place so you always know where they are.

A couple foot stools can act as a coffee table when it’s just you and then as extra seating when you need it. They can also be easily moved aside when it’s time to pull the couch out and go to bed.

Tip No 4. Clean the Bathroom

The least glamorous tip on this list, but also the most useful. A dirty bathroom is unpleasant and could put guests off from visiting you again. Scrub the toilet, wipe down the counters, and clean the mirror. Make sure there is toilet paper and soap in addition to a towel for guests to dry their hands. For an added bonus, light a candle so it smells nice!

Tip No 5. Clean the Kitchen

Equally as important as a clean bathroom is a clean kitchen. The kitchen is often where people gather so you want to ensure the counters are clean, there are no dishes in the sink, and the floors are swept.

Tip No 6. Have Some Games Ready to Play

The majority of people love a good game! Whether it’s a board game or a deck of cards, it’s a good idea to have something available. They can be great icebreakers if a guest brings a friend that is new to the group. They’re also just fun to play once dinner is done and people are having dessert.

Tip No 7. Add Some Final Touches

Lastly, add a few finishing touches so your guests truly feel welcome. Light a candle or turn on your diffuser, make room for coats and shoes, and fluff those pillows. Some good music is also a nice detail to include.

Love to entertain but your current space is too small? We offer one, two, and three-bedroom apartments that will give you the space you need. Explore our floor plans or get in touch today to schedule a tour!

How to Budget As a Couple When Your Significant Other Moves In

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, November 07, 2019

two people sitting on a bed eating pizza

The day has officially arrived. It’s the day when your significant other moves in and the two of you take the next step in your relationship. While picking out furniture and cooking dinner together is exciting, learning how to budget as a couple isn’t.

Chances are one of you makes more than other, has more debt, or likes to shop more. These are all factors that need to be considered when determining a budget and how the two of you are going to split expenses. At the same time, it’s important to remember that you’re two, unmarried individuals with separate incomes and goals. So how do you budget together while keeping things separate?

Budgeting in a Relationship

Determine Your Goals

Now that you’re living together, you need to discuss both short and long-term goals. Do you want to save for a new couch or TV? Are you hoping to get married and buy a house one day? All these things need to be discussed and planned for so you’re financially ready to take the next step.

You should also take some time to discuss personal financial goals. Does one of you want to pay off student loans or a car within the next five years? Or maybe even start a business! Accomplishing these things will require financial sacrifice in other areas of your life.

Know Each Other’s Financial Status

Just as your partner now gets to see you first thing in the morning, they also get to know about your financial health. Discuss credit score, any debt either of you may have, monthly payments, and salary. When the time comes to apply for a different apartment or buy your first home, you don’t want to be caught off guard by unknown information.

Split Expenses Based on a Percentage

If you were living with a roommate, you would probably split all shared expenses 50/50, regardless of who makes with what. With a significant other the situation is different. You’re building a life with them, not fighting over who bought the toilet paper last.

It is highly unlikely that you both make the same amount of money. Instead, decide on a percentage of income you both feel comfortable contributing. You can also decide who is responsible for what bills. One of you pays the Internet while the other pays the energy bill and you both contribute a percentage to the monthly rent.

One thing that’s not recommended is to combine finances or co-sign a line. If things go south, figuring out how to dissolve the joint account could get messy. Apps like Venmo, Facebook Pay, or writing a good, old fashion check make splitting bills easy.

Consider Your Savings

If you do decide to try joining your expenses, start with a savings account you both contribute to. This money can be used for new furniture, a vacation, or even date nights.

If you do decide to save money together, make sure you also save money in an account that is just for you. Building upon your own accounts and assets is important to achieve personal financial goals or to have if the relationship doesn’t go as planned.

Money Problems are not Relationship Problems

The moment you start to nickel and dime each other is the moment problems begin to arise. There is no reason to fight over who bought hand soap last or whose snack is whose if you’re both contributing your fair share to the important stuff.

If your relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust and communication, there is no reason to count pennies. Discuss money regularly so you can avoid fighting about cash flow and who owes who.

Have an Exit Plan

No one wants to think they’re relationship will end, but it is a possibility. Keep bills and accounts in one person’s name only so they’re easier to transfer if necessary. Ensure you have enough saved to pay for an apartment alone if need be. A breakup falls within the category of financial emergency.

Moving in Together

If you and your significant other are ready to move in together, contact us today! Our apartments are perfect for couples. Close to local restaurants, nightlife, parks and more, you’ll be excited to call Stonegate home. 

Tips for When You’re Sick

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Four tips for when you’re sick and living alone.

October is here and so is the start of flu season. Being sick with the flu or a cold is never fun, but it’s even worse when you live alone. There’s no one around to run to the store for you, make a cup of tea, or just hang out while you get your strength back.

Have no fear though, there are ways to survive being sick while living alone.

How to Feel Better 101

Stock up on supplies now

Don’t wait until you can’t breathe and are wearing every sweatshirt you own to run out to the store for medicine. Take note of the state of your medicine cabinet and then make a trip to the closest drug store. Stock up on day and nighttime cold medicine, cough drops, pain reliever, tissues, a Netty Pot, and even some canned soup. The next time you wake up with flu symptoms you’ll be thankful you thought ahead.

Let It Go

Let your weekly chore calendar go, just until you feel better. It’s unlikely you’ll be well enough (or even able) to do any serious cleaning around your home. Take the time to rest and give your body the break it needs, your floors can stand to not be vacuumed for a while. If you are able to get up and move a bit, try to focus on a keeping a few areas of your home clean. This mostly includes changing your sheets and towels and taking the trash out.

Maintain Your Routine

When you’re in the thick of your illness you’ll likely want to lay in bed, in the dark, while watching reruns of Friends all day. This is understandable (and encouraged!), but once you start to feel a bit better try to get back to your routine ASAP. Open the curtains, make your morning cup of coffee, and respond to a few emails. The longer you stay in the “I’m sick” mindset, the longer you actually feel sick.

Ask for Help

Trying to do too much when you’re extremely ill can make matters worse. Don’t be afraid to phone a friend or a family member and ask for help. Put together a list and ask them to run to the grocery store for you. On their way in to your apartment, ask if they can get your mail. A helping hand will give you peace of mind and help you on your road to recovery. 

Being sick is never fun, but just remember that you’ll be back to your normal self in a week or two. It’s also a perfect time to binge watch that new show without feeling guilty. Oh, and don’t forget to replace your old toothbrush once your cold or flu has run its course.

September Events in Albany

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, September 05, 2019

September events in Albany, New York

Summer may be winding down, but the events happening in Albany are not! September’s event calendar is full of exciting activities, cultural events, and food and drink festivals that you won’t want to miss. For a quick rundown of the September events in Albany, check out the list we put together down below.

Albany Events

Retro Video Game Night

Visit City Beer Hall every Thursday night from 8-10 PM for Retro Video Game Night! Two screens are available at the bar for casual play, no quarters required! The City Beer Hall also has a large selection of board games. Old school video games and craft beer – it’s the best of both worlds for adults!

Hudson River Sightseeing Cruise of Albany

If you’re new to the Albany area this is a great activity to get to know the Capital Region. Enjoy a narrated scenic trip on the Hudson River from 1 – 2:30 PM on Friday, September 6th. A Hudson River Historian will be on board to narrate the cruise while you enjoy drinks and snacks!

Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival

Jazz lover or not, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival is an annual event you won’t want to miss. Enjoy acclaimed musical guests, great food, vendors, kids activities and more all for free! The event takes place on Saturday, September 7th at the Corning Preserve Boat launch. The festival is rain or shine so come prepared!

New York State Hops and Harvest Festival

The Hops and Harvest Festival features the best of fall in Upstate New York! Enjoy an impressive line-up of craft beer, fall activities including a pie-eating contest, lawn games, hope presentations, and glass etching. The Dawg Trio will be at the event playing a signature mix of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, Latin rhythms, and klezmer music. Oh, did we mention the event is free?!

Adirondack Balloon Festival

Thousands of people travel to Glens Falls and Queensbury for the Adirondack Balloon Festival every year. From September 19th through September 22nd, you can attend festival and enjoy seeing hundreds of hot air balloons take flight. Admission is free and activities include breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, kids activities, hot air balloon rides, a craft fair, music performances, and so much more! Arrive early on Saturday or Sunday to see the flight of up to 100 balloons!

Antique Truck Show

Car enthusiast won’t want to miss the 30th annual Hudson Mohawk Antique Truck Show on September 21st and 22nd. Each year nearly 300 antique trucks arrive from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Canada for spectators to enjoy. Gates open at 8AM and admission is only one dollar. During the truck show there is also a large flea market and swap meet.

Thomas Rhett at the Times Union Center

See country superstar Thomas Rhett at the Times Union Center on September 21st at 7 PM. Rhett will be joined by Dustin Lynch, Russel Dickerson, and Rhett Akins for a spectacular night of country music. Bring the family or gather a group of friends for an evening you won’t forget!

September isn’t the only month for exciting events and festivals! There is always something happening in the Capital Region, making it impossible to be bored. Looking to move to the Capital Region? Set up a tour today, we’d love to show you around Stonegate Apartments.

7 Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 22, 2019

women extinguishing a kitchen fire

Between trying not to burn the chicken and making sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot, cooking can be a stressful activity! While trying to manage several things at once, it’s easy to put a hand towel or food too close to the stove and not even realize what you’ve done. The next thing you know the smoke alarm is going off and your stove top is on fire.

While accidents do happen, there are several things to be mindful while cooking to prevent kitchen fires.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Stay in the Kitchen

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for whatever reason, turn the stove off and move any pots and pans to a cool burner.

Keep the Stove Top Clear

Move anything that can catch fire away from the stove top. That means oven mitts, towels, napkins, dry pasta, and other dry food items.

Put on Your Cooking Clothes

Okay, not really, but make sure you’re wearing close-fitting clothes and roll up your sleeves. Loose clothing can come into contact with burners and open flames easier than you think. If you have long hair put it in a pony tail or up in a bun.

Wipe up Spills

Grease fires are incredibly common and hard to control! Clean your stove every time you cook and wipe up any spills as soon as possible.

Don’t Overheat Oil

Oil that is too hot can start to smoke and bubble up, causing it to spill out of the pan and ignite. As a quick reference, butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees F, canola at 400 F, olive oil at 410 F, and peanut oil at 450 F. Want to know more? Check out this helpful guide.

Wait for Grease to Cool

Pouring hot grease into your trashcan can quickly become a disaster. Wait for it to cool before tossing it in the garbage. You can also pour it in an old food can or container and harden it in the freezer.

Keep Your Smoke Detector Working

If a kitchen fire does occur, a smoke detector is your first line of defense. At Partridge Hill, we recommend testing the smoke detectors twice a year to make sure they’re functioning properly. If your smoke detector is not working properly, call the maintenance staff to schedule an appointment for service.

Dreaming of a new kitchen to cook in? Our apartments feature large kitchens perfect for cooking up your favorite meal or baking a delicious dessert. Contact us today to schedule your tour.

Clean Your Apartment with Natural Cleaning Products

Stonegate Apartments - Thursday, August 08, 2019

natural cleaning products

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t start and end with the food we put into our bodies; it also includes the products we use to clean our homes. Many cleaning products found in stores contain chemicals that can be harmful to our overall health and wellness. Even products that are labeled “organic”, “natural”, or “pure” can include some questionable ingredients.

Learn how to clean your apartment with natural cleaning products and say goodbye to harmful chemicals.

Vinegar is King

Did you know that basic vinegar can be used to clean almost every surface in your apartment? A bucket of warm water and a splash of vinegar can clean cabinets, walls, mirrors, glass, the inside of your refrigerator, and many other hard surfaces.

You can also clean you floors with vinegar by adding a big splash to a bucket along with warm water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The vinegar smell will go away as it dries, and you’ll be left with clean floors!

If you don’t want to mix up a solution every time you clean, you can keep a spray bottle of your natural cleaner nearby. Simply fill your spray bottle with one-part vinegar and two parts water.

To clean your microwave with vinegar put 1 cup in a glass microwaveable bowl and microwave it on high until it’s boiling and has covered the walls of the microwave in condensation. This will take about 5 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before removing the bowl of vinegar. With a cloth or paper towel wipe the microwave clean. Voila, that tomato sauce is gone!

Wondering how to clean your toilet with natural cleaners? Put straight vinegar in a spray bottle and set the nozzle to stream instead of mist. Squirt the vinegar right under the rim and then scrub the bowl with your toilet brush as usual.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking soda is great at eliminating odors and using on hard to clean surfaces. For smelly drains, sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and follow with a couple cups of warm vinegar.

In the bathroom, sprinkle the tub, sink, or grout with baking soda. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to spray over the area and then let sit for a minute or two. Scrub the area clean with a brush and then rinse with water. If you prefer a foaming scrub you can spray the baking soda with hydrogen peroxide instead.

For baked on messes, mix some baking soda in small bowl with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Use a sponge to scrub at the mess until it’s gone. This also works on rust stains, soap scum and dirty grout.

Making a Natural Disinfectant

If raw meat gets on your counter while cooking, you’re certainly going to need to disinfect the area. Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca oil has antibacterial qualities. Place some in a spray bottle and use when you need to disinfect an area.

One thing to keep in mind is that tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. While it’s still safe to use in the home, you should keep it away from children or pets. You should also keep other cleaning products away from little hands, whether they’re natural or not.

Want more cleaning tips? Read about some our favorite cleaning hacks and how to organize your cabinets.

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