Hands up if you’re not a great DIYer. It’s okay, we’re all friends here. You can be honest. Those pesky jobs can be a real pain, right? Well, some of them can actually be made a lot easier and save you countless hours. Look no further than these 40 ingenious repair hacks – including a tip that’ll totally transform how you wash your tub.
40. Fix wooden furniture with coffee grounds
As time goes on, wooden furniture can build up plenty of wear and tear – not great if you have a family heirloom in your house. Don’t fret, though. Those old chairs and tables can be easily restored to their former glory if you’ve got some coffee grounds to hand. They’ll plug up any blemishes and add a tasteful brownish sheen to the surface. Who needs paint?!
39. Unclog your shower head with vinegar
Shower heads can accumulate a lot of gunk over time. But instead of just cursing the meager waterflow every time you step in for a scrub, try this tip. Famed home improvement expert Bob Vila’s website recommends pouring some vinegar into a small plastic bag, tying it to the head and leaving it there overnight. Then, once you’ve taken the bag off, give the head a quick wash. Problem solved!
38. Fix squeaky floors with baby powder
Squeaky floorboards are infuriating, right? Now everyone in the house knows you love a midnight snack. But that tell-tale noise can be eradicated super-simply. All you need is some baby powder, a plastic bottle and a brush from a makeup bag. Just sprinkle the powder into the gaps between the floorboards, then press it down with the brush. And there you have it. Happy snacking!
37. Find hidden wires with a microphone
The next time you need to drill into a wall at home, try this tip to avoid destroying any wires hiding on the other side. Just grab a microphone and a recorder, as the device will apparently emit a droning sound if you’re close to any electrical connections. Even better, it should help keep you safe.
36. Clean crayoned walls with WD-40
Young kids may love crayons, but they have a tendency to scrawl with them everywhere. Those nice white walls? Well, they’ve now got some messy artwork on them. Luckily, those crayon marks can be removed from glossy paint if you’ve got some WD-40 handy. Simply spray and then wipe the surface to get it looking as clean as a whistle again.
35. Unclog spray cans with gasoline
Don’t you just hate it when spray cans refuse to push out that last little bit at the bottom? It drives us nuts! If you’ve got some gasoline to hand, though, pour a little bit into a container and then submerge the can’s nozzle. After that, leave the nozzle to sit in place for roughly a quarter of an hour. Apparently, that’ll get rid of any residing gunk. Best not try this tip with anything too flammable, mind.
34. Loosen up drawers with soap
Stiff drawers can test the patience of even the most mild-mannered person. But don’t fret, as the issue can be solved with some quick thinking. By applying soap to the sliders, you should be able to simply and easily loosen up the problematic drawer. Dish and bar varieties of soap should both work, too.
33. Fix drains with a homemade mixture
Struggling to clear out your drains? Well, you can actually create a mixture that’ll fix them right up – and no harmful substances are involved! To begin with, The Delite recommends pouring some boiling water down the plughole. Follow that up with half a cup of baking soda and the same measurement of white vinegar. Then leave the mixture for roughly ten minutes. That should purge any bothersome blockages.
32. Prevent rust circles with nail polish
Just like anything else made from metal, spray cans can become rusty. And it’s a particular problem if you keep, say, your shaving cream in the bathroom, as the heat and condensation you create by washing may speed up the oxidizing process. You can avoid any pesky rust circles on your surfaces, though, by covering the bases of your spray cans in nail polish.
31. Use bubble wrap to winterize windows
It’s not always easy to keep your house warm during the winter months – even if the heating is on full blast. And if the problem is your windows, you could be looking at shelling out a whole load of cash for a fix. But there’s a cheap and easy solution that’ll save you money on bills. First, get your window a little damp, then grab a layer of bubble wrap and place it over the glass. This should help insulate your place, although it looks a little odd.
30. Remove screws with rubber bands
Rubber bands can help you in a number of unexpected ways, so don’t throw them out! If you’re struggling to get hold of a secured screw with your screwdriver, for instance, slip an elastic band in the middle to add some traction. Hopefully, you can then get straight to work.
29. Clear old wallpaper with water and vinegar
Stripping off old wallpaper is a task that most of us dread. No matter what you do, some annoying sections just won’t budge. But a very simple mixture can be the answer to your prayers. Just combine equal quantities of vinegar and warm water, and you’ve got the perfect tool to battle the stubborn paper.
28. Get sparkling grout with toilet bowl cleaner
Grout is one of the toughest things to clean at home, as it’s difficult to scour tight spaces. Mind you, a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner could make the job easier. The Delite claims that the liquid will lift up any dirt if you leave it to soak for around 15 minutes. Then, once you wipe down, the grout should look as good as new.
27. Pour cat litter over an oil stain
Let’s be blunt here: driveway oil stains are absolutely horrible. They’re nigh-on impossible to get rid of, too. But if you own a cat, the solution could be sitting in one of your cupboards. Yes, we’re referring to kitty litter. Just scatter the litter over the stain, leave it for a quarter of an hour and then squash it down, Bob Vila’s website recommends. The oil should then be soaked up, and the mark should disappear with a little more elbow grease.
26. Silence squeaky bed frames with candle wax
Got a candle in your house? Well, its wax can actually solve an annoying issue in your bedroom. No, not that… We’re talking about squeaky bed frames, as wax can help snuff out the noise. You just need to smear the stuff across the part of the frame that’s proving a problem. Who knew, right?
25. Clear furniture scratches with toothpaste
It goes without saying that toothpaste is an everyday essential. But did you know that it can help you out in other ways besides the obvious? Apparently, a small dash of the stuff can get rid of scrapes from your wooden furniture after you scrub it into the surface. Yes, really!
24. Identify toilet leaks with Kool-Aid
No matter how good your eyes are, it’s not always easy to identify a toilet leak. But there’s a creative way – not to mention colorful! – way to solve the issue. Grab a Kool-Aid pack from your kitchen and then empty it into the cistern. And if your latrine is leaking, the bowl should show the shade of the drink within half an hour. Just don’t be tempted to fill your cup up and take a swig…
23. Fix nail holes with crayons
If you’re stuck with an unsightly hole after removing a nail from a wall, then a crayon could be just what you need. Yes, you read that right. Scribble over the affected area, and you’ll essentially fill the gap – returning the surface to its original state. Make sure you pick a crayon color that looks like the shade on the wall, though.
22. Silence squeaky doors with mayonnaise
Are squeaky doors leaving you at your wits’ end? Well, Bob Vila’s website has offered up a truly bizarre solution. Once you’ve lifted the pin that holds the hinges together on your door, smother it in mayonnaise. We’re not joking. Then put the pin back in place, and move the door from side to side. You should be greeted with silence. Weird, but it works.
21. Use pencils to fix stuck locks
Sometimes a lock can do its job a little too well – leaving you in a tricky predicament. But instead of getting stressed outside your house, you can solve the problem with a simple trick. According to Daily Army, pencil lead is an excellent lubricant for keys. Scrawl inside the lock with a pencil, then, and you’ll hopefully get that irksome door open at last.
20. Unclog a toilet with dish soap
Unblocking the toilet is an unenviable task at the best of times, but you can fix the issue without the aid of a plunger. Apparently, all you need is some dish soap. Just douse the bowl with the liquid, and then wait for around half an hour. After that, add a bit of warm water to the mix. This blend should grease up the blockage and clear the pipes.
19. Use a potato to unscrew broken light bulbs
When a light bulb shatters in its holder, it’s a total pain – sometimes literally. So, how can you avoid cutting your hand during the clean-up? Grab a potato from the kitchen, and carve it in two. Then press the softer section over the glass shards to collect them up before dropping everything in the trash. Who knew taters were good for more than just eating?
18. Stop tapping fan chains with tubing
Sure, ceiling fans are an absolute must during the summer. But like any device around the home, they can soon play up. That cooling breeze can cause the fan’s chain to make an annoying tapping sound, for one. But don’t sit there getting slowly more irritated. Simply wrap the chain in tubing before switching the fan on, and you can bask in glorious silence again.
17. Fix carpet dents with ice cubes
If you’ve stuck with the same carpet for years, there’s a good chance that it’ll have picked up a few dents. Don’t worry, though, as you can smooth these out with ice cubes. The water soaks into the surface of the carpet, expanding the flattened fiber. And before you know it, the little dips will completely disappear.
16. Unblock drains with zip ties
This may sound like a strange question, but bear with us: do you have any zip ties around the house? Well, if the answer is yes, keep this tip in mind the next time your drain becomes blocked. Collect together a bunch of ties before snipping their ends into points. Then put the ties down the drain, move them around a bit, and voilà! Your obstruction should be dislodged.
15. Fix rug snags with scissors and glue
Don’t you just hate it when your rug gets snagged? But you can actually fix the damage yourself instead of buying a new one. Firstly, use a pair of scissors to get rid of any protruding threads. After that, apply a bit of fabric glue to the affected area. Then cover this section in wax paper, weighed down with a heavy object to flatten it. Your rug should be back to normal in a few hours.
14. Smooth out warped floors with an iron
The mere sight of warped floor tiles can give anyone nightmares. Surely you’ll have to pay big bucks to get them replaced? Not according to Bob Vila’s website. All you need is an iron and kitchen foil. You see, the heat from the iron causes the slabs to lift under the aluminum. Now you can apply some fresh adhesive before pressing the tiles back in place.
13. Stop squeaky hinges using cooking spray
Ah, squeaky hinges – the bane of your existence. The constant noise is enough to make even your grandma swear! Little do you know, though, that the solution is sitting in your kitchen cabinet. A quick squirt of cooking spray should fix up the joint and save you from that ear-piercing sound.
12. Lubricate screws with soap
Screws are pretty easy to use, right? Well, not always. There’s often one in a pack that refuses to slide into place. But don’t just throw that rogue screw in the trash. If you’ve got a soap bar handy, simply lubricate the fastener with a quick scrub. Crisis averted!
11. Fix particleboard furniture flaws with glue
Particleboard furniture can suffer a lot of damage if you’re not too careful. But with some quick thinking, pre-existing dents and marks can be fixed. According to Bob Vila’s website, all you need is some school glue and plastic wrap. Using the wrap, level out a layer of the glue in or on the affected area. Then, once the surface is dry, you can add color where needed.
10. Fill nail holes with soap
Soap’s not just good for getting us clean. Oh, no, it’s also a handy DIY tool – especially when you have troublesome holes in a wall. Those nail marks can be closed up entirely if you scrub them at a counter-clockwise angle with the soap, according to The Delite. How easy is that?
9. Strengthen screws with nail polish
Sadly, screws can come loose around the house – as anyone who’s ever stepped on one will know. But to keep this from happening from now on, just coat the screws you still have at hand with nail polish. Apparently, this acts in the same way as any regular adhesive, and it should help keep any fasteners firmly secured.
8. Remove tape with a blow dryer
Masking tape is incredibly useful when we’re painting. Peeling it off when the wall’s dry? Not so pleasant. Talk about a double-edged sword! But all you need to make this onerous task a little easier is to switch your blow dryer on and get that heat on the tape. This should help it come unstuck in super-quick time.
7. Fix wooden furniture dents with an iron
The longer you have wood furniture, the more likely it is to look – well, a little used, to say the least. But any marks can be easily repaired with the help of an iron. According to Bob Vila’s site, you just need to dampen the affected area before covering it in turn with a wet towel. From there, simply iron the towel at a high setting, and the scrapes should virtually disappear.
6. Remove pet hair with a squeegee
While we all love our pets, they can still drive us mad on occasion. Then there’s their fur, which seemingly gets everywhere – from the couch to all four corners of the carpet. If your vacuum isn’t up to the task, though, try a squeegee instead to collect the hair. You’ll be amazed at what comes up.
5. Cut tiles easier with water
Replacing a tile can seem like an incredibly daunting task – especially when you need to trim the new one. But the job can be made much simpler if you place that fresh tile into a bowl of water for two hours. The liquid will soften the section that you’ve got to cut, you see. Thank us later!
4. Fix your door screen with nail polish
Screen doors stand firm through wind, rain and sun, so it’s not surprising they get a little damaged in the process. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to shell out for a new set. A little bit of nail polish will repair any tiny rips in the netting, saving you a bundle in the process.
3. Clear up stripped holes with chopsticks
As any avid DIYer will tell you, stripped holes are horrible to deal with. But if you find that a hinge screw has gotten loose and started to dig into your cabinet, a trimmed chopstick could fix everything up. Just put the chopstick inside the hole to provide some traction for the troublesome pin. It gives you an excuse to get Chinese take-out, too…
2. Hold screws on screwdrivers using rubber glue
In theory, a screwdriver should be able to hold any type of screw if you’re using the correct head. In practice… well, our tools can suck. Fear not, though, as a smidgen of rubber glue on the end of your screwdriver will keep the screw in place. And the adhesive can just be peeled away after you’re finished. Nice!
1. Clean your bathtub with a broom and dish soap
There are few more taxing jobs around the house than wiping down the bathtub – especially if you have back problems. But we’ve got some good news for you. You can scrub the dirty area with a broomstick and get the same results. Just douse the surface with dish soap beforehand. The grime doesn’t stand a chance.