Things go wrong in our homes all the time, but we don’t always have the right tools for the job to put things right. That used to be the case, but these smart home repair hacks could become a lifesaver around your house.
Glue your screws in place
One DIY job that can be more tricky than it seems is simply using a screwdriver. The screw likes to fall off, but now there is a simple solution that will have you wondering why you weren’t always doing this.
You can just dab a little bit of glue onto the tip of your screwdriver and then put a screw on the end of it. Your screw will hold in place, and you can just peel it off when you’re done.
Fill in holes with toothpaste
The chances are, at some point you’ve hung a picture or two in your home. When it comes to moving out, your landlord will expect their property to look as good as new if you’re going to get your security deposit back from them.
That’s where the toothpaste comes in. Instead of trying to find a special filling material, you can just use some white non-gel toothpaste to do the job. It’ll fill in the holes and pass your landlord’s inspection, earning you your deposit back.
Bring wood back with coffee
Wood is a very useful material when building things in our homes, but over time it can look old and worn. If you’ve ever spilled a cup of coffee on yourself before, then you’ll know it can stain pretty well.
You can use that to your advantage to stain unvarnished wood in your home with coffee. The perky drink will also come in handy if you are looking to hide any nicks or scratches that may have happened to your wooden furniture over the years.
Protect your fingers using pegs
Hammering nails can seem like a risky job because, in the initial stage, you have to hold the nail yourself. That means you are swinging that hammer toward your digits, but you can now take the danger out of that job for good.
Why hold a nail with your own fingers, when a clothes peg will do the job just as well. Better yet, you can hold the peg from a safe distance, meaning if you miss the nail, the only thing that’s going to get hit is the peg.
Soak your tiles before cutting them
To save some money, lots of people try to cut their own tiles when redecorating their bathrooms or kitchens. Cutting the tiles to fit your room is essential, and soaking them in water will make the job ten times easier.
If you soak the end of the tiles you are planning on cutting for a couple of hours in water, it really takes the pain out of cutting them. When dry, the tiles are prone to breaking, but when wet they hold together much better.
Silence your drawers with soap
Wooden furniture can really bring a room together, but as they get older they are prone to squeaking when you use them. The rails get worn over time, but there is a way to keep your old furniture quiet.
Simply take out the drawers and rub either a bar of soap, or some liquid soap, onto the rails and that should stop the noise. Your drawers will glide open and closed nice and quietly, restoring your furniture back to its luxurious best.
Remove stickers with heat
For some reason, manufacturers and stores love to put stickers and labels on their products that most people simply cannot peel off. They often come off in about a million pieces, but there is an easy way to take them off.
If you blast the stickers with some heat from your hairdryer, they should come off without much fuss. This will heat the glue on the sticker, making it slide right off and removing those unsightly labels that make our premium products feel cheap.
Freshen up your showerhead with vinegar
In some places around our homes, water leaves a scaly residue behind that doesn’t look the best. When it comes to showerheads, it can even affect how well the water comes out.
To remove the calcified remains of the water from your showerhead, try half filling a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it to your showerhead. Leave that overnight, and by morning your showerhead should be looking as good as new, while feeling more powerful than ever as the vinegar removes the blockage.
Silence your hardwood floors with baby powder
Hardwood floors can really make a place feel super luxurious. They can also be a little bit annoying when one of the floorboards decides it wants to squeak every time someone steps on it.
There is a solution to silence that annoying floorboard, and all it takes is a bottle of baby powder. Just spray the powder down the cracks of the offending floorboard, brush the excess into the gaps, and your floor should be nice and quiet again.
Soap up screws to ease them in
Sometimes a screw just will not go into that piece of wood, and no matter how hard you try, it’s just not going to go. There is a solution to make things a little easier for yourself, and all you’ll need is a trusty bar of soap.
Grab the bar of soap, rub all of its sides onto the soap, and try screwing it in again. The soap should give the screw just enough of a soften to get it to go into the wood without having to strain yourself.
Hang pre-drilled frames in no time
Pre-drilled picture frames are challenging to hang because they require you to line up your nails with the slots in the frame. Many people have found hanging them a real challenge, and we can understand why.
There is a simple solution to make sure you get your nails in the right place from the very beginning, to save you hammering them into the wall multiple times. Just add some masking or painter’s tape to the back of the frame, lining up each hole, and put the tape on the wall.
Microwave your old sticky tape
Thanks to the invention of sticky tape, DIYers have been making light work of their household improvements for years. They sometimes don’t come cheap, but it can be months, or even years, between DIY projects for some people.
In that time our tape can go hard and seemingly becomes useless, but hold on before throwing that old roll away! You can freshen them up by sticking them in the microwave for a few seconds, warming the glue up, and bringing them back to life.
Remove carpet dents with ice
If you have ever moved a heavy piece of furniture, you will probably have noticed the big dents it can leave on the carpet underneath. You don’t have to buy a new carpet or rug though, because there is a simple solution to get rid of them.
Just pop an ice cube in the dent, let it melt, and then mop up the water. All you’ll have to do then is go over the dent with a toothbrush, and it should restore your carpet or rug.
Find wires with a microphone
Okay, this is only really a useful tip if you have a microphone, but it will save you getting an electric shock from drilling into any live wires. Attach your mic to a recorder and hold it up to the wall.
If you come across any wires, your microphone should begin to hum or whine whenever it finds a cable. Simply map out where the wires are and avoid drilling into them thanks to your new essential piece of DIY equipment, your microphone.
Plastic bags keep paintbrushes alive
When you start to paint a room it feels like a good idea, but a couple of hours into the project you’re beginning to question your life decisions. Taking a break for a few hours, or days, can result in paintbrushes turning to stone, making them practically useless.
To avoid getting the cleaning chemicals out, you should simply pop your paintbrush into an airtight plastic bag when you’ve finished with them. It will keep the brush soft and ready to be used from the moment you pick it up again.
Save your fingers with a potato
Broken light bulbs represent a problem that many of us simply don’t know how to fix. It turns out the humble potato could be your essential tool to illuminate your home once more.
All you need to do is cut the potato in half and press it into the shattered glass. Make sure the potato is really wedged in and then turn counterclockwise to get your previous unremovable light bulb out of the socket. Just make sure to throw the potato in the trash afterward!
Discover a leaky toilet with Kool-Aid
If you have a leaky toilet, it could be an expensive job to fix. To cut out one stage of that cost, you can check to see if your toilet is leaking by using some Kool-Aid.
All you need to do is pour a sachet into the water in the back of the tank and leave it for ten minutes, making sure you don’t flush. If the Kool-Aid has found its way into the toilet bowl, then it looks like you’ve got yourself a leaky toilet that needs fixing.
Use coins to make wrenches work
Buying a complete set of wrenches could set you back a ton of money, and there’s a way to make DIY work without it. If your wrench is too large for the thing you’re trying to grab, you can make it fit by throwing a few coins in.
The coins will fill the excess space, and help you to loosen or tighten whatever it is you are trying to fix. Who knew that all it took was looking around for some spare change?
Find nails holes with magnets
Sometimes we feel the need to redecorate, and that often means giving our walls a fresh coat of paint. You’ll have to take everything off the walls to paint, but do you really want to hammer new nails into the walls to rehang your pictures?
When removing the nails from your walls, simply place tiny little pins in the holes and just paint over them. Then, when you’re done painting, just swipe a magnet over the walls to find your original holes to begin using them again.
Unclog your spray cans with gas
Many spray paints have a short shelf life once you use them for the first time. The nozzles will typically clog up and make them unusable, even though you know there is plenty more paint inside.
To make use of the paint you bought ages ago, all you have to do is take off their nozzles and soak them in gasoline for a little while. This will clean the unclog the nozzles of any paint that is blocking them.
Drill into tile using tape
If you have ever tried drilling into tiles, then you will know it’s practically impossible without some help. They are too slippery to let your drill get into them, but the answer is simple.
All you need to do is apply some masking tape to the tiles, and your drill will instantly start making holes. It’s such a simple solution, and it’s a better alternative than trying to hold your drill steady on an impossibly slippery surface.
Subdue squeaky hinges with cooking spray
There are some things in our homes that can begin to drive us insane, especially once they are the only thing we notice anymore. Squeaky hinges on cabinet doors and windows are high up on the list of things that are super annoying.
There is a way to quieten your rowdy, annoying hinges, and all it takes is a couple of sprays of cooking oil. Just spritz the offending hinges with the oil, and they should stop making noise in no time at all.
Save your paintwork with pool noodles
Garages are great for making sure our cars are protected from the elements, but they are also a burden. It’s so easy to open your car door in your garage and bang it on the wall, chipping away at the paintwork.
To prevent that from happening, all you need are some pool noodles at either side of where you park your car. Place the noodles on the wall at the point where your doors would hit, and they will be protected from any damage thanks to the foam.
Avoid rust circles with nail polish
Bathrooms are moist places, and if you have something metal in them, it’s only a matter of time before rust forms on them. You can stop this from happening by being proactive and coating the base of your metal products in nail polish.
It will act as a protective barrier for the metal object, meaning it won’t come into contact with moisture on any surface. That will stop rust rings from forming on them and stopping them looking like they’ve been in your bathroom for years.
Plastic bottles will keep you debris-free
Drilling overhead is not an easy job because there is always some debris that falls from the hole you’re making. If you don’t have safety glasses, this can be pretty damaging for your eyes.
An empty plastic bottle can save not only your eyes, but everything underneath the spot you are drilling. Cut the bottle in half, drill a hole in the bottom, and start drilling. The bottle catches the debris from falling on you, and it saves having to get the vacuum cleaner out too.
Grab a screw using a rubber band
When it comes to DIY, often the hardest part is actually trying to take something apart rather than building it. Screws can be tough to remove as they seem to have made a home for themselves in whatever they were drilled into.
One way to remove screws with ease is to use a broad rubber band. It’s perfect for grabbing screws that just don’t want to be removed as it will finally give you the good grip you’ve been looking for.
Change your wallpaper using vinegar and water
Wallpaper is one of the easiest and fastest ways to transform the way a room looks, but removing it in the first place can be tricky. People can spend hours trying to remove their old paper, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult.
All you need to make sure the paper comes off without any trouble is a mixture of water and vinegar. With equal parts water and vinegar, you can roll your mixture onto the paper a couple of times and watch as the paper peels off with ease.
Sealant can save your water bill
Having a burst water pipe can be devastating for homes if the flooding is major. You have to call a plumber to come and fix it as soon as possible, but what should you do in the meantime?
It won’t be a permanent fix, but you should find your nearest hardware store and buy some silicone sealant. Apply it to the pipes near the hole to minimize the water coming out and reduce the bill you’re going to get for losing all that water.
Cabinet door bumpers will give you peace
There can be nothing more annoying than a door in your home that just keeps slamming shut. It’s loud and it feels as though someone is shaking the house. To stop this from happening without going out and getting a new door couldn’t be easier.
All you need are some cabinet door bumpers, and they will instantly dampen the noise coming from that loud door. It’s a simple solution, but one that could save you hundreds of dollars on a new door.
Toothpaste will remove scratches
Wood is hard-wearing, but it is vulnerable to surface scratches. The easiest way to remove these scratches is to go looking for something in your bathroom. Reach for the toothpaste and a cloth to rub it into your furniture with.
The paste will fill in any of the cracks and can then be buffed out to prevent your furniture from smelling minty fresh. Just wipe off any excess toothpaste, and your table, chairs, or wardrobes should look good as new.
Iron out dents in your wood
Wood is pretty hard, but it will dent quite easily if it’s hit hard enough. Getting rid of dents can be next to impossible, because wood can’t just be suckered back into place like metal.
There is a way to remove dents in wood though, and it requires a clothes iron and a damp cloth. You need to spray water onto the dent and then cover it with a damp cloth. Using the iron move in a circular motion over the dent and after a little while, the dent should disappear.
Use nail polish to fix insect screens
Insect screens are great at keeping out unwanted bugs from our homes, but they are fragile because they are made from netting. When they tear, it can be annoying because they are no longer impenetrable like they should be.
All it takes to fix them, though, is a little bit of nail polish, and no one would ever know there was a problem. The polish will act like glue, allowing you to stick the torn parts together, and it will also dry clear, meaning it blends more discreetly than normal glue.
Rubber bands will stop doors from shutting
We get that most of the time you will want your doors to close, but when you are getting groceries from the car, for instance, that can be annoying. It couldn’t be easier to ensure your doors don’t close themselves by using a rubber band.
Just hook the band over one of your door handles, twist it once, and then hook it over the door handler on the other side. That will keep the latch from going back out and closing the door behind you.
Plastic bottle sprinkler
Who says you have to go out and buy a fancy sprinkler system to keep your yard well watered? All you really need is a regular hose and a plastic bottle. Poke a few holes into the plastic bottle and then feed the hose through the neck.
This will then shoot water all over your yard, just like a sprinkler would. You might have to move it every now and again to make sure every part of the yard gets watered, but you will save plenty of money.
Vegetable peelers make great emergency screwdrivers
It always seems to be that whenever you need something urgently, you can never actually find it. Maybe that’s because we’re all a little bit untidy, but there is a solution to needing a screwdriver in a hurry.
A regular vegetable peeler will act just as well as a screwdriver if you are in a pinch. The peeler will also pry open containers and remove fasteners without much effort, but just make sure to keep an eye on your fingers when using it.
Foil can make your scissors sharp again
Scissors are some of the most useful tools we have in our homes, but after a while, the blades can become dull and useless. There is a way to bring them back to life, and all it takes is a little bit of aluminum foil.
Simply fold the foil sheet over a few times to make it thicker and begin cutting. This will sharpen your scissors and have them cutting with ease, instead of feeling like you’re going to break your thumb forcing them to work.
Free your stuck locks using a pencil
The worst thing that can happen to us is trying to get home after a long day, only to find that our key won’t go into the lock of our front door.
There is a way to get the key in the lock with ease, and it means you don’t have to wait around for a locksmith to let you in. Put a sharp pencil into the lock and coat as much of the metal as possible with the lead. Your key should now slide in with ease.
Say goodbye to snags
Woven rugs help bring a touch of class to our homes, but the moment they start to become a bit tattered, they look like they belong in the trash. Pet’s claws and moving furniture can cause little snags in the fabric, and it’s almost impossible to get rid of them.
The snags are actually easy to get rid of, you just need some scissors and fabric glue. Snip away at the snag with the scissors, squeeze the glue into the base of the rug, then press it with something heavy.
Zip ties will unclog your drains
It’s impossible to stop our hair from going down the drain in the shower or bathtub. That leads to many clogged drains, but to avoid calling a plumber out, you can clear the clog yourself.
To remove the clog yourself, simply attach several wide zip ties to each other, snip at the excess to create barbs, and lower it into the drain. The zip ties should collect the hair and you can pull up the hairy mess, clearing your drain in the process.
Oil stains can be removed using cat litter
If you are working on your car in your garage or on your drive, then there’s a good chance you’re going to spill some oil. It can be hard to wash away using regular cleaning products, but kitty litter is actually the product you need for the job.
To make the oil spill disappear, cover it entirely in cat litter and leave it to sit for 15 mins. Then crush the litter and pour over detergent. Now you can just brush up the litter and rinse it away with some water.
Tape can measure how deep holes are
We might have a rough idea of how deep to make the holes we drill into our walls, but there is a way to know for sure. Just place your screw beside your drill bit and put some tape at the point it ends.
Now you know how deep you need to go into the wall with your drill; where your tape is on the bit. You’ll know when to stop drilling and prevent going in too deep and possibly hitting something inside the wall you don’t want to.
Add a magnet to your hammer
When hammering in more than one nail, you don’t want to have to go back and forth a ton of times to pick up each one. Instead, you can glue a small magnet to the bottom of your hammer to stop you from making multiple trips to where you keep your nails.
Once the glue dries, you will be able to stick a few nails to the bottom of your hammer and get those little jobs around the house done in no time.
Line your painting trays
Painting is a messy job, and it gets pretty much everywhere. There is a way to at least make the annoying cleaning up part of the job a little bit easier.
Instead of taking chemicals to your painting trays, you can line them with foil and simply through the foil away once you’re done. It means you can use the trays time and time again, while saving yourself lots of time not worrying about getting them clean.
Remove excess paint
Rubber bands come in hand for more than keeping letters together for the mailman. They can be used when painting to help remove any of the excess paint from your brush, stopping it from dripping down the wall, or onto your foot.
Stretch the rubber band around your paint can and use the part that covers the top to scrape off the excess. This makes it easier to get the lid back on too because it won’t dirty the edges of the can.
Turn off the water to quiet your noisy pipes
Noisy pipes can be annoying, especially at night when they can wake us up. There is a way to keep them nice and quiet, though it involves turning the water off at the main valve.
By turning the water off at the main valve, you can then go to each and every tap or faucet in the house. Run the cold water on every tap until the water has completely emptied from your home. Now turn your water back on, and the noisy pipes should have gone quiet.
Soap and water will unclog your toilet
No one likes having a clogged toilet, and getting the plunger out is a job that most people would rather avoid. You may be able to avoid that dirty job by using soap and water instead. Pour in plenty of soap in the bowl and let that sit there for around 20 minutes.
Then pour in plenty of hot water and leave it again. The soap and water should unclog the toilet and get the water flowing through your pipes once more.
Hang newspapers to figure out where your picture should go
When moving home, or just redecorating, it can be a tough decision figuring out where to put your pictures. Instead of hammering in a bunch of nails trying to get the perfect layout, why not do the feeling out process using newspaper?
Simply tape them to the wall in the shapes and dimensions of your pictures to figure out how to fit them all in. Once you’re happy with where your pictures should go, you can then start putting the nails in the wall.
Plastic tubes stop fans chains making noise
Ceiling fans are essential in some homes due to how hot it gets outside, but they can be super annoying when their chains keep clinking. It’s enough to stop some people from being able to sleep, but thankfully there is something that can be done about them.
You can attach some plastic tubing to them, much like you would buy for a fish tank. These rubber tubes stop the chains from making noise, letting you sleep in peace without that irritating noise.
Ropes will silence the noise of water drips
It doesn’t matter what it is, but once you notice an annoying noise in your home, you can’t rest until you make it stop. Some people suffer from the noise of dripping gutters, and we have a great solution for those people.
Feed some rope through your gutter, and this will give the water something to follow, rather than splattering anywhere and everywhere. It’s worth noting that the rope takes up room, so it’s best to use this technique where the water is free-flowing.
Unblock the sink with vinegar and baking soda
Baking soda and vinegar can’t help but react with each other, which makes them the perfect cleaning duo. If your drains are clogged up, then you can clear them using two tablespoons of baking soda and a generous helping of vinegar.
Simply put the baking soda down the drain first and then pour in the vinegar. The two will react with each other, and it may even foam all the way back up into the sink. That just means it’s working, and it should clear your drains in minutes.