Keeping your home in tip-top condition is tiring and it often feels like it's in need of constant repair. Whether it's a toilet that just won't flush properly or scuff marks on the walls courtesy of the kids, maintenance jobs seem to appear on an almost daily basis, and it can become overwhelming. Fortunately, these handy home repair hacks are quick and easy for anyone to accomplish and will save you from having to call out a handyman.
Apply Glue To Increase The Life Of Your Furniture
Particleboard furniture is cost-effective and easy to assemble, but the downside is that it tends to chip and crack over time, more so than items made of materials like plywood or MDF. The good news is that you can make your particleboard pieces live longer with this simple proactive hack. Apply a dab of glue to any flaws you notice on your furniture, then smooth it over with plastic wrap.
If you want, you can then touch up the area with a marker or something similar to achieve a rustic, reclaimed look. This DIY restoration is simple and incredibly satisfying.
Trim Away The Fray On A Woven Carpet
There's nothing more irritating than noticing a pull or a fray in a carpet. However, you don't need to call out a carpet expert to have this common issue fixed — that would cost you a lot of money. Instead, take a scissor and carefully trim the frayed area, then place some fabric into the base of the carpet. Then, line the carpet area with some wax paper and cover it with a heavy object.
Leave the object on the carpet for a couple of hours, which should be long enough for it to set. Your carpet fray will now be a thing of the past!
Use Superglue For Waterproofing Outside
For many of us, doing DIY home repairs indoors is one thing, but our outdoor space is often a step too far. However, many simple hacks can save you a fortune on landscape garner or handyman fees. One such example is waterproofing. If you notice a hole in your hose, swimming pool inflatables, or any other items that need to be waterproof, then good old superglue is all you need.
Pretty much everyone has superglue somewhere in their toolbox or garage, but if not, it's cheap and easy to find in most convenience stores. Simply dab some glue onto the area that needs proofing and leave it to dry.
Use Soap To Unstick A Drawer
Anyone who owns an old or antique chest of drawers will likely be familiar with the drawers feeling stuck. This is totally normal and simply a sign of age rather than anything serious. Fortunately, the fix for this inconvenience is incredibly simple. All you need to do is take a bar of soap and run it back and forth along the drawer glides a few times.
The soap will act as a lubricant and your drawers will glide open and shut as if they were brand new. Just remember to use either unscented soap or a scent that you like the smell of!
Fix Your Tiles Using An Iron
You may think that clothes iron has just one purpose — to make your shirts look nice. Well, think again. Irons are actually incredibly useful for various repairs around the home, including warped floor tiles. If you notice one of your tiles is peeling, just place a sheet of aluminum foil over it and press the hot iron over the foil to soften the flooring, enough to let you pull up the warped area a little bit.
From here, you can remove the redundant adhesive and add fresh glue, then place a heavy object on top of your newly-stuck tile until the glue is set. Job done.
Use A Soda Bottle For A Sprinkler
The summer months are a punishing time for the grass in your yard, and the relentless sun combined with a lack of rainfall can really take its toll. Rather than investing in a pricey sprinkler, though, you can easily fashion one out of an empty soda bottle. Not only is this a cheap and effective hack, but it's also something your kids will have fun helping you make.
Carefully pierce a few holes in the bottle — try and have them spread out consistently. Then, attach the head of the soda bottle to your hose using tape, turn it on, and enjoy.
Sharpen Your Scissors With Aluminum Foil
Scissors are one of the hardest-working tools in the household, used for a variety of jobs from opening parcels to cutting pizza. It's therefore unsurprising that scissor blades go dull over time, and keeping them sharp is important. What you might not know is that you already have the perfect whetstone in your kitchen drawer — aluminum foil. This household hack is one of the easiest — and most useful — on this list.
All you need to do is take a small sheet of aluminum foil and cut into it a few times with the scissors. Just five to ten slices should do the trick.
Use A Vegetable Peeler As A Screwdriver
This might be one of the most unlikely hacks on this list, but vegetable peelers have a secondary skill that not many people are aware of. If you end up in a situation where you can't find — or don't have access to — a screwdriver, then fear not. Just grab a peeler from the kitchen and insert the tip into the screw head and use it exactly like you would a screwdriver.
We're not sure if the vegetable peeler makers designed the instrument with sewing screws in mind (it's pretty unlikely!), but it's amazing how often thus household hack might come in handy.
Use Zip Ties Instead Of Drain Cleaners
Sure, drain cleaners may be the most efficient product for unblocking and cleaning your drains, but they certainly aren't the most economical. To avoid spending all that money each time, you can simply use a couple of zip ties to get the job done instead. Simply link the zip ties together — a deep drain will require two or three — and clip off any protruding barbs with a scissor or wire cutter.
Then, feed your DIY device down the plug hole and have a little poke around to clean out the clog. This simple hack will save you a surprising amount in the long-run.
Clean Scuff Marks Using A Tennis Ball And Broomstick
Let's be honest, scuff marks on the floor are incredibly annoying. If left untreated, they can build up and leave your home looking unloved. If you have floors that get easily scuffed then all you need for a quick fix is a tennis ball and a broomstick. Cut an "X" into the ball using a Stanley knife or similar, wide enough that it fits onto a broomstick handle.
Then, just rub your new contraption back and forth over the scuff marks and watch them miraculously disappear. This can be achieved without the broomstick, of course, but it'll be slightly harder work.
Drill A Hole In Your Garbage Can To Avoid Suction
There's nothing more infuriating than removing a full bag from your garbage can, only for it to split and send the smelly contents of the bag all over the floor. This happens due to the suction generated between the bag and the garbage can liner itself, so taking action to prevent this suction will prevent these messy moments. All you need for this handy household hack is a drill.
Simply drill a couple of holes in the side of your garbage can (when there isn't a bag inside). It's important you put the holes in the side rather than the bottom, to avoid any unwanted spillage!
Use A Potato To Unscrew A Broken Lightbulb
If you've ever experienced a lightbulb breaking while it's still in the socket, you'll understand that it can be a pretty stressful experience. Not only do you have broken glass to clear up, but you also have the difficult challenge of retrieving the rest of the bulb out of the socket. The good news is that it can be done easily and safely and all you need is a potato!
Maske sure the power is turned off, then simply cut the potato in half, push the soft side into the broken bulb, and turn it anticlockwise until the broken glass is wedged into the potato.
Use Crayons To Fill Nail Holes
Nail holes are an irritating eyesore than can ruin an otherwise great-looking wall. Although small, they are definitely noticeable, but, unlike larger holes, you don't need to get the Polyfilla out or call a handyman. All you need to tidy up your nail holes is a crayon, something you're likely to have in the house if you have kids. The key is to find a color that's similar to the wall.
Then, simply apply some pressure and rub the tip of the crayon over the nail hole. Not only is this quite fun, but your walls will be looking shiny again.
Use Ice Cubes To Clean Your Garbage Disposal
The chances are, you've already heard that leaving a lemon rind in your garbage disposal keeps it smelling fresh. A lesser-known hack is an easy way to clean the disposal itself, by simply running a few ice cubes through the garbage disposal. This process will clean the blades and help dislodge any rogue bits of food that have gotten stuck in the components. Additionally, cleaning with ice cubes means that there's no residue left to scrub away.
Once you've ground a few cubes of ice and are happy that the components are sufficiently clean, run some hot water into the disposal for a minute or so before adding the lemon rind.
Improve Your Caulk Edges Using Tape
Caulk is a flexible material used to seal small air leaks through cracks, gaps, or joints. It's a popular and useful DIY technique, but achieving a perfectly straight edge can be difficult. To help with this, just pick up a roll of painter's tape from the hardware store. Apply the tape above and below the area you'll be caulking, apply the caulk, smooth it out, and remove the tape while the caulk is still wet.
Caulk and painter's tape are also a killer combo when you're painting the edge of a wall, so it's worth investing in these products to store in your toolbox.
Using A Bread Clip For Pretty Much Everything
The next time you finish a loaf of bread, don't throw out the clip for its bag. Beyond keeping bread fresher for longer, these little clips have a variety of handy uses. Bread clips can be used to keep headphones from tangling (cue the smug look on the faces of those of you with wireless headphones), as useful identifier tags to attach to objects, and even as makeshift guitar picks!
The versatility of bread clips is a great example of thinking outside of the box when it comes to household hacks; it's always worth considering something's value before mindlessly throwing it in the trash.
Use A Hot Iron To Repair Dents In Wood
Noticing a dent in your wooden furniture or hardwood floor can be disheartening, but there is a handy DIY trick that saves you from having to call a handyman or a carpenter. Once again, it's the trusty clothes iron showing its versatility as a household essential. To achieve this, wet the indentation area with a small amount of water and cover it with a moist towel. Then, run the tip of the iron over the area in a circular motion.
The heat and steam from the iron "pops" the dent out and will have your wooden surface looking as good as it did the day you first got it.
Remove Stripped Screws Using A Rubber Band
At some point in your home repair journey, you will encounter a stripped screw. A stripped screw is a screw with a head that has become so damaged and bored out, that the screw bit on your screwdriver or drill can no longer grip it effectively. While certainly frustrating, stripped screws can be extracted with this handy hack using a simple rubber band and a screwdriver.
Just stretch the rubber band tight and place it over the stripped screw head, then unscrew it like normal with your screwdriver. The friction caused by the rubber will allow you to remove the stubborn screw with ease.
Silence Squeaky Floors Using Baby Powder
Squeaky floorboards are a common complaint for homeowners. The good news is, they aren't a sign of structural damage or anything too serious but are just the wood of the floorboards rubbing together. There is an easy fix for this friction, and all it involves is a tub of good old talcum powder. Carefully sprinkle some of the powder in between the floorboards in question and then use a makeup brush to push it down into the crack.
Once you've dispensed a sufficient amount of talcum powder into the cracks of your floorboards, walk up and down the area to distribute the powder evenly. Now, enjoy your newly quiet floor!
Use WD-40 To Remove Scribbles From Walls
Any parents reading this will be able to relate; kids have a habit of getting carried away and taking their artwork to places it shouldn't go — like pristine white bedroom walls. While this might infuriate you, it's certainly something that can be repaired without the need for a professional painter and decorator. If the paintwork has a sheen, you can use the miracle worker that is WD-40 to easily remove crayon and marker scribbles.
Simply spray a small amount onto the target area and wipe with a warm cloth in a circular motion. If your walls are painted with a matte or flat paint, try using a magic eraser instead.
Use Toilet Cleaner On Grout
Let's be honest, grout can make even a nice bathroom look pretty nasty. Unfortunately, it's an inevitable byproduct of everyday wear and tear, so grout is bound to present itself as an issue to deal with at some point. Luckily, there is a cheap and easy DIY remedy to have your tiles looking shiny and new once again. Grab your bottle of toilet bleach from beside the toilet bowl and apply it carefully, covering the grout.
Allow the bleach to set for 15 minutes or so, then scrub it with a small cleaning brush or toothbrush. Finally, mop the area with warm water and prepare to be dazzled.
Use Kool-Aid To Spot A Leak
A leaky toilet is incredibly annoying, but it's often difficult to diagnose. So, before calling out a plumber try this genius hack that will cost a mere 20 cents. Pour the contents of a dark-colored packet of Kool-Aid into the water of your toilet cistern, then wait for approximately half an hour. If you return to find your toilet bowl the same color as the Kool-Aid then you know you have a leak.
This clever trick can be the difference between spending a fortune on an unnecessary plumber call out or not, so it's definitely worth giving a go.
Use A Bar Of Soap To Fill Nail Holes
Like a crayon, a bar of soap can be used to remove unsightly nail holes in your wall and return them to their former glory. If you don't have kids, then it's more likely you'll have access to a bar of soap than a crayon, so if that's your situation then this one's for you. As with the crayon, this home repair hack is quick and easy.
Take a basic bar of white soap and rub it in an anticlockwise, circular motion over the nail hole. The hole should fill immediately, and any residue left by the soap can be wiped away with a warm wet cloth.
Stop Your Garbage Can Smelling With Bread And Vinegar
We get it, garbage cans aren't exactly meant to smell like roses, but extremely pungent ones can make an entire room smell bad. Even using scented trash bags can't always mask the smell of the garbage so try this clever household hack instead. Pour a decent amount of vinegar over a slice of bread, then drop it into the bottom of your trash can and leave it overnight.
Remove the bread slice the following morning before you insert a fresh garbage bag and you should notice an incredible difference in the odor — or lack of it in this case!
Use A Dishwasher Tablet To Clean Your Oven Door
Cleaning an oven is arguably the least enjoyable of the household chores. Ovens aren't just greasy, but they can also be difficult to access; they're typically below waist height and tend to be dark and dingy. This household hack will help you deal better with this undesirable job. It almost seems unbelievable, but one trusty dishwasher tablet can clean the baked-on grease off of your oven door.
Pop on a pair of gloves and wet the tablet a little with warm water, then slowly scrub the oven door and watch in amazement as the powerful little block gets to work.
Unblock Drains Using Household Ingredients
We can all relate to that uncomfortable moment when your shower starts to fill up like a bath, or when your sink suddenly fills up even without the plug pressed down. The good news is you don't need to spend money on expensive drain unblocking products because you can make a perfectly good DIY version using ingredients from around the home. First things first, boil some water and pour it down the drain.
Then, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar and let it sit for around ten minutes. Pour another jug of boiling water down the drain and there you go, an unblocked sink.
Use Dish Soap As Laundry Detergent
Some of the most valuable household hacks are centered around the versatility of the products already at your disposal. Dawn, the washing-up liquid, is a great example. If you happen to be running low on laundry detergent and desperately need to put on a wash, one teaspoon of Dawn can do a half-decent job. It's important that you don't just pour the teaspoon of Dawn directly into the washing machine, though.
Instead, pour the liquid onto a dry rag and then throw it in with the rest of your clothes. This is by no means a long-term solution, but can be a lifesaver when you need it!
Clean Your Bathtub With Dish Soap And A Broom
Once again, Dawn shows it's one of the most versatile home cleaning products, as it can be used not just for washing your dishes and (occasionally) your clothes, but the washing up liquid can also do a pretty good job cleaning your bathtub. If you think about it, the properties used in Dawn to clean grease off dishes is almost identical to that needed to clean dirt and grime from a bathtub.
Just squirt a generous amount of Dawn around your tub and give it a good scrub with the dampened end of a broom. The broom isn't essential but your back will certainly appreciate it.
Banish Grout Using Shaving Cream And Bleach
Grout build-up in between tiles can make even the trendiest flooring look tired, but you might be wondering how to clean it off effectively. With this home cleaning hack, you won't need to go out and buy any fancy products from the store — you'll probably have this handy concoction in your bathroom. Simply equal parts shaving cream and bleach and apply the mixture along the grout lines in your target area.
The shaving cream helps thicken the bleach so that the mixture sits atop the grout for an extended period. Leave this to do its magic overnight and when you rinse it off the following morning your floor will look fantastic again.
Wrap Aluminum Foil To Use Your Phone While Wearing Gloves
When the weather gets cold we often face a dilemma: keep our hands warm or have the ability to use our phones. Unless you invest in special touchscreen-fingered gloves, this is usually a decision you're left with. Thanks to this hack — albeit not exactly a household one, but a handy hack nonetheless — a sheet of aluminum foil can be the answer to this uncomfortable winter conundrum.
All you need to do is wrap strips of foil around as many fingers as you need to use your phone. If you're extra prepared, you could stick the foil to your gloves with tape for added performance.
A Quick Hack To Clean A Blender
Blenders are great; they make life easier and help us stay healthier. But let's be honest, cleaning them out is a pain. There are so many individual components and hard-to-reach places where residue has built up over time. Fortunately, this clever cleaning hack is quick and easy. Rather than washing all the pieces of your blender by hand, just add soapy water inside the main jug compartment and run it for about 10 seconds.
The soap will infiltrate all of the different parts of the blender and give it the deep clean it probably needs. Then, just rinse it out a few times and you'll be good to go.
Use Cardboard To Prevent Your Windshield Frosting Up
If you live in an extremely cold climate, the chances are you're already familiar with this hack. But if you haven't then this could be a game-changer. Walking out to your car in the morning to find that its windshield has frozen over is incredibly annoying. You'll spend ages trying to heat up the car while scraping away the ice, which is a tedious and tiring process. This genius trick avoids all that.
Just keep a large piece of cardboard to hand for a night when it's set to go below freezing and pop it over your windshield before you go to bed. Voila.
Save Money On Your Water Bill WIth A Simple Trick
Let's be honest, nobody likes paying bills. The cheaper we can make these regular payments for the utilities we use, the better, so this genius trick is a must-try. If your water bill seems a bit steep, there's a high chance your toilet cistern could be the culprit. If it fills up with too much water each time the toilet is flushed, this is excess water you're paying for.
Put a heavy, durable object, like a brick into the tank to disperse the water. Doing this will stop the cistern from filling up too much and therefore save you money.
Turn Takeout Containers Into Plates
This is the kind of household hack to make you say "no way!", but did you know that cardboard takeout containers are actually designed to be turned into plates? All these years you — and probably 99% of Americans — have been pouring out the contents of a takeout onto a plate, because it's easier to eat than when it's in a container. But, all these years you've been doing it wrong!
It's important to be careful when doing this, but simply unfold your takeout container and it will turn into a plate. Also, you can enjoy the added bonus of not having to do any washing up!
Use A Lint Roller To Get Sand Out Your Bag
This one isn't exactly a household hack, but it's one of the handiest you could learn for a day out at the beach. If you like to keep your clothes pristine or have pets in the home, then the chances are you'll already be familiar with a lint roller. This useful little device is a roll of one-sided adhesive paper on a cardboard barrel that is mounted on a central spindle.
Typically, the roller is rubbed against clothing to remove lint or other small fibers, but it can easily be repurposed to dispense any unwanted sand hiding in your bag.
Craft Your Very Own To-Go Cup
This hack is more for when you're leaving the house than anything else, but it's an awesome trick that everyone should know. On those occasions when you've made yourself a delicious drink but don't have time to finish it, just craft a DIY to-go cup and dash out the door. Just wrap some Press'n Seal over the top of the cup or glass and pierce it with a straw.
This homemade to-go cup won't exactly withstand a Nascar ride but it will certainly keep your drink secure while you look around the mall or ride the subway.
A Simple Trick To Check Your Eggs
This hack isn't exactly home repair, more home cooking, but it's certainly something worth knowing about. When it comes to knowing if a food item is still good to eat, eggs are notoriously difficult to judge. Sure, they might have a best-before date on them but this might not always be accurate. Fortunately, before risking an uncomfortable 24 hours, there’s a simple way to tell if an egg is still good or not.
Simply place the egg in question into a glass full of water. If the egg sinks, then it's still good to eat. If it floats, then throw it in the garbage.
Organise Your Cables With Toilet Paper Tubes
Sure, we may be moving toward a wireless future, but most electronic items around the home still require a cable. This means you probably have a bunch of spare cables and chords lying around, cluttering the place. You might not know that there is a free and easy solution to tidying these away, and this solution is usually something you'd throw straight into the trash.
Grab a shoebox and place a few toilet roll tubes inside. These rolls double up as the perfect organizers for cables whether they are long or short, thick or thin. The best part? You can label them using whatever pen you like.
Keep Pool Noodles In Your Boots
If you own leather boots then looking after them is important. After all, you want your boots to look good and last for as long as possible. Rather than spending a fortune on expensive shoe horns, try this clever hack instead. Take a couple of pool noodles and cut them into pieces the length of your boots, then pop them in whenever you're not wearing them.
The firm foam of the noodle will keep the boots upright and in shape, preventing the top of the boot from flopping over and creasing. You'll be sure to turn heads at the next rodeo!
Use A Clothespin As A Toothbrush Holder
There's something kind of gross about using your toothbrush and then lying it flat on the side of the sink, and for good reason; bathroom counters are typically a hotbed of germs. So, what do you do when you're staying somewhere that doesn't have a toothbrush holder? Just ask your friend, or whoever you're staying with, for a clothespin, clip it to the neck of your toothbrush and lie it down without the head touching the counter.
If you're really organized, keep a clothespin in your washbag for whenever you travel. You never know when this hack will come in handy!