Hacks Of Life: Minor Household Repairs
Woman using plunger on sink with man stuck in ceiling. Photo: Jay P. Morgan (Getty)
If you’re not exactly a do-it-yourself person, two things are likely true: you have several household appliances or fixtures currently on the fritz, and you’ve learned to live with working around them. Well, fear not, because at least a few of those problems have simple solutions. You’ll find them all right here in this handy guide to (very rudimentary) household repairs.
1. Broken Lamp
How many times have you seen a perfectly good lamp sitting in a pile of trash? Or worse, how many have you put there yourself. More than likely, when a lamp won't click on, all it needs is a little TLC. That and some needle nose pliers are about all you'll need to make sure the light bulb is actually touching the tab at the bottom of the socket. If that's not the fix, however, then we have another three-letter acronym for you: SOL.
Lamp on table. Photo: Andres Medina (Getty)
2. Leaky Faucet
We all hate the dripping sound of a leaky faucet. It's practically a torture method if you sleep near the bathroom or kitchen. But if you've giggled the handles, what more can you do, right? WRONG! Try tying a piece of string or dental floss around the neck of the faucet, allowing the drips to coast down to the drain in silence. It's not exactly a fix, but it's certainly a solution.
DIY plumber. Photo: sturti (Getty)
3. Cabinets That Won't Stay Shut
You've got one or two simple solutions here: You can A) Buy childproofing supplies meant to keep them shut, or B) Get some adhesive magnets. You'll want to use neodymium magnets (a.k.a rare-earth magnets) instead of ferrite magnets for a stronger pull. Then again, if you have no clue what the difference is, you can always just pick some and hope for the best.
Medicine Cabinet Detail. Photo: ScoWill (Getty)
4. Stuck Drawers
Difficult drawers giving you flack? Get them sliding with ease once again simply by rubbing some bar soap along the drawer glides. It will act as a lubricant, and you'll still have enough bar left over to rinse out your mouth from all that cursing you did trying to unstick it in the first place.
Misbehaving man with soap in mouth. Photo: triggermouse (Getty)
5. Carpet Stains
You'll need an iron, a towel, some vinegar and water for this one, but if you can't rustle those items up, then you're more hopeless than we thought. Anyways, from there, simply moisten the towel with a solution of three parts water and one part vinegar, put it over any stubborn carpet stains, then iron away. The towel should absorb most of the mess, leaving you with a clean floor ...but a filthy towel. Hey, something had to make a sacrifice here.
Removing stain. Photo: DragonImages (Getty)
6. Carpet Dents And Divots
OK, so you don't have an iron or vinegar or a towel handy. You're only one person. We get it. How about an ice cube? Can you muster one of those up? Good, because that's about all you need to knock out carpet divots. Just let the cube melt on the spot, dab the moist area with a sponge after and hour or two, then fluff the fibers using a spoon or hard-bristled brush. It's as easy as one... That's it. Just one.
Hand placing ice cube into dent in carpet caused by legs of table or chair (removing dent in carpet). Photo: Dorling Kindersley (Getty)
7. A Real Hole In The Wall
This one's not going to win you any "Best Tenant" awards, but if you have unsightly nail holes in your wall from photos or posters, the easiest, cheapest, and above all most convenient way to fill them is with regular old non-gel white toothpaste. Push some in with your finger and blot away with a rag and no one's the wiser ...unless they go around sniffing the walls for some reason. In that case, some firm pressure and a crayon of appropriate color will work just the same.
Close-Up Of Toothbrush With Paste Against Wall. Photo: Takuro Yokoyama / EyeEm (Getty)
8. The Squeaky Joint Gets The Wax
After identifying the squeaky joints of your bed frame (however you'd like to do that is up to you), all that's needed from there is a little candle wax on the contact points and then no one will know when your bed's a-rockin'. There's a similar trick involving cooking spray and door hinges, too.
Extinguished candle in candlestick with smoke in bedroom. Photo: Malkovstock (Getty)
9. Powder The Floorboards
Don't ask us why we know this, but most at-home hair dying kits come with a little squeeze bottle (look it up). You'll want something similar to one of those for our final hack. Fill your bottle with baby powder and attack any creases in your floorboards that are out of line and making too much noise when you step on them. They'll shut right up as long as you then use a makeup brush to powder deep into the crevices. Uh, not that we know what a makeup brush looks like either, of course.
Hand pouring talcum powder into cracks between old floorboards to prevent squeaks. Photo: Dorling Kindersley (Getty)
If none of those did the trick, you can always resort to Plan B: Break something entirely so you have a legitimate excuse to call a professional (which you probably should have done in the first place).