From clearing clogged drains to filling nail holes, maintaining your home can seem like a challenge—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Make light work of these and other common repairs with our collection of 10 invaluable home hacks from bobvila.com
1. On the Edge
Are your dull craft scissors literally no longer cutting it? Sharpen up with this homemade solution: Stack several sheets of aluminum foil, fold them in half, and cut them with the scissors. Within six to eight cuts, the razor-sharp blades will be ready to use.
2. Got the Chills
Wiping out dents from your carpet is as simple as placing ice cubes over the divots and letting them melt—and engorge the carpet nap—for a few or several hours. After blotting the water with a sponge, fluff the fibers with a spoon to reveal the luxurious carpet in your humble home.
3. Shower Power
A clogged shower head can lead to slow-running water and a similarly low-energy start to your day. Fill a ziplock bag halfway with vinegar, secure it over the shower head with rubber bands, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the bag, rinse the shower head, and enjoy the refreshing, fast-flowing water.
4. Freshly Pressed Floors
As effective as irons are at de-wrinkling garments, they’re equally adept at pressing old, warped floor tiles back to perfection. Cover the peeling tiles with aluminum foil, and press a hot iron over the foil to soften the flooring. Then, gently pull up the warped section of flooring a bit. Scrape away dried adhesive, add new glue, and press with a heavy object to complete this underfoot fix.
5. Under Lock and Key
You don’t have to be a locksmith to open a stuck lock. The essential key to success is graphite, which you can obtain from a pencil with the help of a pocketknife. After you fill the lock keyway with the graphite, the lubricated lock will be ready to receive your key—and unlock in a jiffy.
6. Pop Star
The start of spring is a poor time for a lawn sprinkler to break, but if yours conks out, create a temporary watering tool from an empty soda bottle pierced with holes. After attaching the neck of the bottle to your garden hose, turn on the spigot to give the lawn a drink or even enjoy some springtime sprinkler fun!
7. Above the Fray
Have you hit a snag on your woven rug? Trim the fray with scissors, and then squeeze fabric glue into the base of the carpet. To set the adhesive, line the carpet with wax paper followed by a heavy book. In two to four hours, even you will be floored by the unnoticeable snag—and the regal look of your old rug.
8. Glued to the Idea
Because of its tendency to chip and crack, particleboard furniture’s useful life is often cut unnecessarily short. Prolong its existence by applying ordinary school glue to any flaws, smoothing the glue with plastic wrap, and coloring the repaired areas with marker for a rustic, restored finish.
Moving out of a rental means you can no longer hide unsightly nail holes behind portraits and posters—if you want your deposit back. Non-gel toothpaste, a household staple, can easily fill the holes while blending seamlessly into the walls. Rub a dollop of paste into the hole, blotting the excess with a wet rag for a pristine finish.
10. Duct and Cover
Despite its reputation for makeshift fixes, duct tape can bring serious stability to plastic items like vacuum cleaner hoses, paint buckets, camping tents, and trash cans. Tape a swath to cracks and holes in everyday essentials—indoors and out—to prolong their useful life.