Ridiculously Simple Home Repair Hacks To Use Even If You’re Not Handy
The easiest way to patch a hole, caulk a tub, quiet squeaky floors and more.
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Owning a home can sometimes feel like a project in constant need of upkeep. From dealing with issues like a leaky toilet or faucet to staying on top of the wear-and-tear a busy family home receives, it can be exhausting and overwhelming to maintain a house.
Here are some ridiculously easy home repair hacks that just about anyone can accomplish by using everyday items you probably have around the house.
1. Use Cooking Spray To Fix A Squeaky Door Or Cabinet
If you don’t have a can of WD-40 handy, no need to fret. Cooking spray will also work wonders on those squeaky doors or cabinets. Spray just a little on the hinges, and you should be squeak-free in no time.
2. Paint Screws With Nail Polish To Prevent Them From Coming Loose
It’s amazing what a thin coat of nail polish can do! By painting a screw with nail polish, which acts like glue, it is more likely to stay in place. This home hack is easier than trying to assess and fix a stripped screw.
3. Use Crayons To Fill In Nail Holes
Choose a crayon that closely matches the color of the wall you’re repairing. With firm pressure, rub the crayon over the nail hole. It’s like coloring on the walls—but for adults!
4. Achieve The Perfect Caulk Edge Using Tape
If you’ve ever attempted to use caulk but couldn’t figure out how to achieve that perfect straight edge, then pick up some painter’s tape next time you go to the hardware store.
Unlike with paint, the trick is to remove the painter’s tape while the caulk is still wet. If the caulk starts to dry, you might end up pulling up some of the dried caulk, leaving a less than perfect line.
5. Unscrew A Broken Lightbulb With A Potato
Have you ever broken a light bulb while it’s still in the socket? If so, you know how frustrating it can be to remove it. But, you can use a potato to get it out without cutting your fingers.
Cut the potato in half, push the soft side into the broken bulb and turn it counterclockwise until the broken glass is embedded into the potato. Don’t forget to turn off the power and put on protective gloves before you attempt this hack!
6. Use A Rubber Band To Remove Stripped Screws
Place a rubber band over the head of the screw before trying to remove it with a screwdriver. That will add extra friction, allowing you to remove that stubborn stripped screw with ease.
7. Patch Nail Holes With A Bar Of Soap
This is yet another simple trick to easily fill those unsightly nail holes in your walls. Rub a basic bar of white soap in a counterclockwise circular motion over the hole. If the soap leaves a little residue on the wall, just use a warm wet cloth to wipe it off.
8. Quiet Squeaky Floors With Baby Powder
If you have a few squeaky floor boards, it’s probably because pieces of wood are rubbing together. To fix the issue, try filling a small squeeze bottle (such as the kind you’d get with an at-home hair dye kit) with baby powder. Squeeze the powder in between the boards, and then use a makeup brush to push the powder down in the crack.
9. Repair Dents In Wood With A Hot Iron
You can quickly and safely remove small dents in furniture and hardwood floors with an iron. Wet the indentation with a small amount of water and place a moist towel over it. Then run the iron over the area in a circular motion.
10. Remove Marker Or Crayon Scribbles On Walls With WD-40
If your paint has a sheen, you can use WD-40 to easily wipe off markings from crayons or marker. However, if you try to use this trick on matte or flat paints, the oil in the WD-40 can stain the walls, making matters worse. In that case, you should try a Magic Eraser.
11. Clean Grout With Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Apply toilet bowl cleaner to the grout and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then scrub with a small cleaning brush or toothbrush. Finally, mop the area with warm water and prepare to be amazed.
12. Got Leg Cramps? Try Sleeping With Soap
While this isn’t quite a home repair hack, it is a home remedy that many people swear by. And like many home remedies, it’s one that science can’t quite prove or explain. The problem? Cramping or restless legs disrupting your sleep. The fix? Placing a bar of soap under your fitted sheet. Experts guess that the reason this works may be due to the placebo effect — or possibly due to the presence of magnesium in soap. There isn’t consensus about which type or brand of soap works best, so you may want to test out a few different bars to find out which one (if any) works for you.
13. Spot A Toilet Leak Using Kool-Aid
If you suspect a leaky toilet, use a 20-cent packet of Kool-Aid to find out. After removing the lid of the toilet tank, pour in the contents of a dark-colored Kool-Aid packet.
Wait 30 minutes, and if you return to find the inside of your toilet bowl the same color as the Kool-Aid, then you’ll know you have a leak. Just make sure that you don’t flush your toilet while you wait for the Kool-Aid to work its magic.
14. Use Your Phone While Wearing Gloves With Aluminum Foil
Once again, this isn’t quite a home repair tip, but it’s such a good hack we had to include. If you live in a cold climate, you know the pain of wearing winter gloves while trying to use a touchscreen. You could shell out for those touchscreen-friendly gloves, or you could simply use aluminum foil. Simply wrap a bit of foil around all the fingers you need to use on your phone screen and voila!
15. Clean Your Oven Door With A Dishwasher Cleaning Tablet
It seems too good to be true, but you can use a dishwasher tablet to clean the baked-on grease from your oven door. According to a writer who tested this for TheKitchn, the key is to wear gloves (the tablets contain bleach) and to wet — but not soak — the tablet before using it to scrub away the grime.
16. Add Tea Bags To A Sink Full Of Dirty Dishes
Ironically, the same chemicals — tannins — that cause tea to stain cups over time can also be used to clean dishes. If you have a sink full of greasy dishes, BobVila.com suggests you fill it up with hot water and about a dozen used tea bags before you take to scrubbing. The astringent properties in tea tannins can help cut grease. If you have just one greasy pot to clean, adding hot water and just a couple tea bags should do the trick.
17. Use Common Household Ingredients To Unclog A Drain
A slow-draining sink, bathtub or shower is frustrating. Not only do you have to wait for the water to drain, but you’re left with a residue to clean up. Who wants that?
If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to unclog your drain — or don’t have any on hand — you can follow the following DIY remedy: First, boil water and pour it down the drain. Then, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain (some DIYers recommend mixing in a 1/4 cup of salt) followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then flush again with hot water from the tap. Voila!
18. Treat A Smelly Garbage Can With Bread And Vinegar
Even if you line your trash cans with bags, chances are they’ll start to smell after awhile. One easy fix is to pour vinegar over a slice of bread, then drop into the bottom of your trash can overnight. Remove it the next morning before you put in a fresh garbage bag and see if you notice the difference! Try adding a paper towel or sheet of parchment paper underneath the bread for easier cleanup.
19. Clean Your Bathtub With Dish Soap And A Broom
Save your back while you put dish soap and a broom to work cleaning your bathtub. The same soap that cuts grease on your dishes will tackle soap scum and mildew in the bathroom.
20. Drill A Hole In Your Trash Can Liner To Fight Suction
If you have a trash can with a liner in your kitchen, you know the pain of trying to remove a full bag without it tearing and garbage spilling everywhere. Combatting the suction generated between the bag and liner can help. All you need to do is drill a hole into the side of the plastic liner and voila! Suction solved. It’s important that you drill the hole on the side of the plastic liner and not the bottom so that your liner can still contain any leaks that may occur.
21. Your Tape Measure Can Help You Find Studs
If you take a close look at the tape measure or measuring tape you have at home, you’ll notice some numbers are in red while the rest are black. Or, depending on the brand, you may notice small black diamonds at intervals on the tape. These markers are put there to help you find the studs and the space between the studs in the walls of your home.
Based on the way most homes are built, the studs are a certain distance apart (16 inches). The numbers in red should match up to where the studs in your wall sit. The black diamonds on the measuring tape are set 19.2 inches apart, so they should help you find the space between studs without requiring a stud finder (though it couldn’t hurt to use one at first to double-check!).
22. Use Aluminum Foil As A Funnel
No funnel? No problem. Form foil into a cone shape and problem solved!
23. Remove Rust From Chrome With Foil
Another nifty use of aluminum foil is clearing rust off of a chrome surface. Merry Maids cleaning service recommends cleaning the surface first with a microfiber towel and soapy water, then dipping your aluminum foil into clean water before rubbing it on the rust.
24. Prevent Doors From Rattling Or Slamming With A Cabinet Door Bumper
It’s amazing how the simplest things can have such a big impact—and this little hack is a prime example. By placing an inexpensive cabinet door bumper on the doorjamb, you can prevent a door from rattling or slamming. The same goes for drawers that slam closed.
25. Prevent A Door From Shutting With A Rubber Band
If you’re doing something such as bringing in groceries, let a single rubber band lend you a hand. By looping it over both sides of the door knob, it will be in the perfect place to prevent the door from latching.
26. Fix A Tear In A Screen With Clear Nail Polish
Small tears in a screen can be quickly fixed with a few drops of clear nail polish, which acts as an invisible glue.
27. Treat Carpet Dents With Ice Cubes
Place an ice cube on the dented area of your carpet and let it melt. As the water is absorbed into the carpet, it should start to spring back to normal. After the carpet is completely dry, use a hard-bristled brush to fluff any areas that are still dented.
28. Give Your Shower Head A Vinegar “Bath”
Remove mineral deposits and other grime from your shower head by simply soaking it overnight in vinegar.
29. Use A Foam Pool Noodle As A Garage Wall Bumper
Cut a pool noodle in half and screw it into your garage wall at the height where your car door hits. This easy hack, as shown on Reddit, will protect both your wall and your car door from getting banged up. You’ll want to slice the noodle in half first for easier installation against the wall.
30. Remove Pet Hair From Carpet With A Squeegee
You’d be surprised how well a squeegee can remove pet hair from carpet. Give it a try!
31. Rotate Your Ceiling Fans Correctly
Changing the rotation of your ceiling fan can save you heating and cooling costs. Fans should turn clockwise, at a low speed, during the winter to pull the warm air up and around the room. During the summer, set them to counterclockwise to push the cold air down. While a fan won’t actually change the temperature of the room, the warm or cool air on your skin will make you feel warmer or colder and you’ll be more likely to give your thermostat a break. Note: Most fans have a switch that can be flipped to change direction, while newer models offer the option on the wall panel.
32. Winterize Windows With Bubble Wrap
Fixing a window that bleeds heat doesn’t need to be complicated. Wet the window with a little water, then stick bubble wrap to the glass and voila! You have a low-cost DIY fix that’ll help keep heat in and the cold out. This isn’t the most sightly look for your home, so this trick is best used for out of the way windows like those in a guest room or basement.
33. Prevent Clogged Drains From Forming
Why not save yourself the headache of unclogging a drain by preventing it from clogging in the first place? The TubShroom is so effective it’s gained a cult following on Amazon. The product’s mushroom design catches hair and keeps it out of sight until you clean it.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost.