Clever House Hacks that Make Everyday Life EasierBy Barbara Norris
Small wins like fixing a broken cable or helping someone get the lid off a jar can make us feel like lowkey superheroes. Though we may not be saving the world like Superman or the Avengers, there’s something to be said for making everyday life a little bit easier for ourselves and the people we love.
In any home, things will inevitably break or malfunction at some point. Knowing how to restore household items to tip-top shape can be a blessing. Still, we must caution our readers that the hacks provided in this list are for minor issues only. Professional assistance is always recommended for major malfunctions. However, if it’s just a bit of surface rust or some messy cords you’re dealing with, then the solution you need can be found in the following pages. These straightforward tricks will transform any individual into a virtuoso of home repairs.
Pull a Michelangelo
While we love a newly painted room, we additionally understand what a mission it is to keep the paint where it should be. No matter how careful we think we’re being, spots of color seem to find their way onto door handles, carpet, and other spots they weren’t meant to drip.
To improve your painting game, simply cut an opening in a plastic drink lid and slide it over the handle of your paintbrush. This will keep your hand, your clothes, and the carpet safe from stray paint drips.
Here’s an approach to keeping your wooden coffee table in fine form. Take a damp towel and place it over any scratches on your coffee table. Leave it there for around ten minutes, then run a steam iron across the towel. Ensure the iron is on its hottest setting.
The warmth and dampness will help smooth out the scratches, and your valued household items will look fresh out of the box when you’re finished.
Keeping Things Crystal Clear
While we all know toothpaste is fundamental to dental cleanliness, relatively few individuals realize that it’s capable of helping out with many other household chores. For example, toothpaste can help you make glass sparkle like it’s shiny new. It’s especially good at eliminating tiny scrapes and scratches.
Apply a generous amount of toothpaste to a paper towel and polish the mirror with it. For best results, use a consistent, circular motion and give it some time. Finally, use a clean paper towel to wipe off the excess toothpaste. You should be rewarded with clean and sparkling glass.
The Magic of Vinegar
Regularly cleaning your shower head is so important. After all, it provides the water you use to keep yourself clean and fresh. The last thing you want is for it to be full of muck and grime! Thankfully, cleaning it doesn’t have to be a chore. All you need is a plastic pack and some vinegar.
Fill the bag with vinegar, secure it to the nozzle using a rubber band or hair tie, and leave it for around two hours. Once the required amount of time has passed, open the bag and run the shower for a few seconds to clear out the last remnants of the vinegar.
Line the Grooves
At times, we need to move our furniture around to create a new look in our home. However, when the furniture has been sitting in one place for a long time, it tends to leave a mark on the carpet. Thankfully, there is a way to dissolve these indentations. All you need are some ice cubes.
The dissolving ice will soak into the carpet fibers, making it easier to brush them into the right positions. Just be sure to ventilate the area to ensure the wet carpet can dry quickly.
Let Coke Do its Magic
Did you know that our favorite beverage has a few different applications other than extinguishing our thirst? Cleaning blocked drains is one of them! Let two liters of the bubbly beverage cool down to room temperature, then pour it into the blocked drain.
After around two hours, flush it with warm water, and there you have it! The drain should no longer be clogged! It’s wonderful to know that we can address blocked drains without having to resort to powerful chemicals.
Sealing a Leaky Pipe
Plumbing accidents are among the worst household dramas, especially if pipe bursts and starts flooding your house. Luckily, you can create a temporary fix to get you through until the professional plumber arrives.
Turn off the water supply to the house and observe until the leak stops trickling. Then, apply sealant to the leaky pipe and give it time to dry. From that point onward, you can relax and trust that somebody will come to assist you with a more permanent fix.
You could stack tape rolls on top of another in a bureau, or simply dump them all in a labeled box. However, there’s a far more convenient way to store your rolls of gaffer tape, packing tape, and duct tape.
Simple head down to your nearest hardware store and pick up a toilet roll holder. Just as this handy device helps you dispense toilet paper, so too can it make life easier when it comes time to use some tape.
Rubber Bands for a Perfect Coat
It’s almost impossible to avoid making a mess when painting, but this hack will help you keep your paint tins clean and tidy. Instead of wiping the brush on the sides of the paint tin, use a large rubber band like the one displayed in the picture below.
This trick allows you to distribute the perfect amount of paint onto your brush without getting drips and dribbles down the side of the paint tin. It’s especially handy if you won’t be using all of the paint in one go as you’ll keep the mouth of the tin clean, making it easier to pop the lid back on.
Choose the Cleaner Option
How often have you held nails in your mouth while hammering one in? This isn’t the most hygienic approach, and that is the reason we think this hack is a lifeline. First off, you need to get a magnet that’s strong enough to hold the nails but small enough to fit on the end of your hammer.
Use the strongest glue you have on hand to attach it to the bottom of your hammer, and you’ll have a handy nail holder for your next carpentry project. This will keep your nails in order without putting your teeth at risk.
Potatoes to the Rescue
There are various reasons why a lightbulb might burst, and when it happens, removing it from the socket can be a dangerous affair. It can leave you with shards of glass all over the place and a broken bulb to somehow lever out without shocking yourself.
Thankfully, a simple potato can save the day. Cut a medium or large potato in half, carefully press it into the broken edge of the bulb, and you should be able to safely twist it out of the socket.
Soap as a Lubricant
Are you having trouble getting a screw to drill into a wooden surface? This can be a problem with hardwood, but thankfully, a simple bar of soap can come to the rescue.
Drag the metal screw from tip to head along a bar of soap. This will lubricate the screw, making the job a whole lot easier. An electric hand drill or simple screwdriver should now be all you need to drive the screw into the wood.
Ketchup as a Cleanser
Cleaning silver utensils can be an overwhelming job. If you’re dedicated to getting every last bit of grime off, this already tough task will get significantly harder.
Here is a little hack to get silverware to shine brilliantly like a jewel. Instead of turning to dishwashing liquid, use ketchup or tomato paste. The acid level in tomatoes is said to remove grime and stains quicker than soap suds.
Foil as a Blade Sharpener
Scissors are among the most useful household tools. You never know when they might come in handy, so it’s important to ensure they’re always sharp and ready to slice through whatever material you need to cut.
How are you meant to sharpen your scissors, though? Thankfully, this simple hack can help. Just pile up a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and slice through the pile with your blunt scissors. After a few slices, you should notice that they’ve gotten sharper. Keep going until you’re happy with the result.
English Ivy as an Air Purifier
English Ivy is an air-purifying plant that can help you bid farewell to incense and chemical air fresheners. The plant will ensure your air stays fresh, clean, and pure, adding a lovely atmosphere to any home.
The plants can even absorb toxic residue and fumes from paint and other household products. Indeed, an English Ivy plant inside a room is an exceptionally wonderful sight. Aside from sanitizing the air around them, they give us a lot of free oxygen, leaving us feeling dynamic and revived!
Chocolate to Remove Scratches
Chocoholics will either love or hate this idea. On the one hand, it gives you a great excuse to buy a lot of chocolate. On the other hand, you won’t be able to eat it all! As it turns out, chocolate can be used to remove scratches from costly wooden tables, restoring them to their former glory.
All you have to do is break off a piece of chocolate and rub it over the scratches until they disappear. This works like magic, and the smell is divine. As a bonus, you get to eat whatever chocolate is left over. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Crayons as a Concealer
Whether you’re moving into a new house, moving out of an old one, or simply redecorating, it’s common to end up with holes in the wall where pictures were once mounted. Thankfully, crayons offer a simple solution to this problem.
Though these holes in the wall are only small, they are very noticeable, especially if you have a landlord who’s precious about their walls. No matter how many holes you have in your walls, there’s no need to stress since! Just get a crayon that matches the paint, and scrape the way into the hole to plug it up and make it invisible. Problem solved!
Toothpaste for a Scratch-Free Vehicle
Regardless of whether one is the best driver, eventually in our vehicle’s life, it will get a knock, and definitely, there will be some scratches. Over the long run, these “scars” aggregate, and the vehicle begins looking more seasoned than it really is. One hack for getting your vehicle looking new again is to utilize toothpaste.
Put some on your fingers or a cloth, and apply it in a circular movement over the affected part. Try not to press too hard, and keep an eye on the effect the toothpaste is having on the scratches. Once you’re happy with the result, wipe away the excess toothpaste.
Caulk to Perfection
Caulking is such a finicky job, and it seems impossible to get a nice, neat finish. This hack will help you achieve the impossible and get smooth, clean lines each and every time. Before starting the job, line the edges around the area you need to caulk with painter’s tape.
The picture demonstrates how to use the painter’s tape. Once it’s in place, apply the caulk, and when you’re finished, don’t wait to pull off the tape. You want to remove it while the caulk is still wet as, otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally pulling the caulk off with the tape.
Foam Noodle to the Rescue
If your garage has limited space and your vehicle scarcely fits through, this genius hack will help. Even if you have plenty of room in your garage, it might be a good idea. After all, it’s easy for passengers who aren’t paying attention to accidentally damage your vehicle by opening the door too quickly and slamming it into the garage wall.
To prevent such accidents, get a pool noodle and attach it to the garage wall. You’ll need to have your car handy so you can determine the height at which the door is likely to hit the wall. This is where you want to attach your pool noodle padding. Then, you can open and shut your car doors without a care in the world, knowing you have the necessary protection in place.
Nail Polish for Holes
After some time, windows will get little scratches in them, diminishing the charm of the home’s exterior. Don’t panic as we have an easy hack here. All you need is a bottle of clear nail polish to resolve the issue.
Apply layers of the fluid on the scratches, and you can ensure they don’t get any worse. Note that this hack doesn’t work for any of the bigger and more profound tears!
Silence Wood Creaks with Powder
Having wooden floorboards can feel great underfoot. They look lush and seem versatile until they begin making squeaking sounds. This makes it difficult when you need to move around in the middle of the night as you worry that the creaks will wake up your family or housemates. As the years go by, more and more creaks will emerge from the floorboards, making every step you take a noisy experience.
To treat and prevent this problem, get some baby powder and sprinkle a liberal amount along the seams of the wooden flooring. Smooth it down with a brush and then dust on some more powder; repeat the method until the sound is gone.
Remove Wax with a Hairdryer
Having children in the house implies managing another calamity every day. One of the issues parents experience is crayon marks everywhere on the dividers. Rather than getting irritated and preventing our children from engaging in creative play, we need to break out our trusty hairdryers!
Once the hairdryer is plugged in, set it to its highest temperature and direct it onto the crayon marks until the wax begins to melt. After it has softened, you can take a warm, damp cloth and wipe it off. Continue this process until all the crayon marks are gone.
Just Screw It
Regardless of how much pressure we apply, it seems like that troublesome screw just will not move! Though it should be a simple task, old screws can be tricky to remove. If you can’t get enough purchase with the screwdriver, you run the risk of stripping the head of the screw, making the task of removing it even harder. Thankfully, the following hack should help.
Place a wide rubber band over the top and begin to unscrew in a counter-clockwise movement. This will improve the grip you’re able to get on the screw head, making the job easier and reducing the risk of slipping and injuring yourself.
Creative Sprinkler System
Having a powerful sprinkler system will ensure your grass and plants stay lush and healthy. However, when your budget is tight, it’s time to get imaginative! Here’s a free hack: Pull a plastic container out of your recycling bin, and ensure that the neck of the bottle is a good match for your hose.
Poke a series of holes in the bottle, using the picture above as a guide. Tape the bottle onto the end of the hose, creating a waterproof seal. Set it up in a convenient spot in your garden, turn it on, and you have a low-cost yet effective sprinkler.
Catch Debris with a Bottle
When drilling, it is common to see dirt and debris flying everywhere. The fine residue may even adhere to your face, making the entire exercise a messy undertaking. To prevent this, we can take a plastic jug, cut it in half, and place the lower part of the jug over the base of the drill.
All you need to do is make sure there is adequate space to drill, and you will never again have to deal with debris flying up into your face.
Peeling the Paint Pan Clean
Every home handyperson has encountered the torment of attempting to clean the roller plate following a day of painting and difficult work. Here’s a helpful tip: Rather than washing the extra paint, leave it to dry. The next time you need to paint, you can simply pour the new color over the dried layer.
After several rounds, the paint will strip off in layers, saving you a ton of time and exertion. The only drawback is that the colors can wind up blending, so look out for that. If you’re using contrasting colors, another option is to line the paint pan with plastic wrap. That way, you can simply peel the plastic off when you’re done, leaving you with a pristine paint pan, ready to store away.
We love creative undertakings that involve paint, but good paintbrush holders are hard to come by. All the best brushes are costly, but without a good holder for them, it’s hard for us to keep them in good condition. This means we end up forking out for new brushes far more often than we really need to.
Fortunately, we can make an instant holder from old pool noodles! Just cut the noodle into smaller pieces. Next, make a long even cut on one side and enough vertical cuts on the other to hold each of your brushes. Easy!
Coffee to Unclog Drains
One problem every homeowner will face at least once in their life is a clogged drain. This could happen in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, and it is immensely frustrating. The next time you encounter a blocked drain, give this trick a go.
Rather than dropping everything and calling a plumber, grab an espresso container from the kitchen counter. Blend the coffee grounds in with dishwashing liquid and hot water, then dump the hot liquid down the drain. Follow it up with lots of boiling water. If this doesn’t clear your drain, it’s time to call in a plumber!
Coffee for a Spotless Bathtub
Coffee can help with your bathtub problems too. If you have a lot of grime and soap scum in your bathtub, all you need to do is save up some of the used grounds from your morning cup of coffee.
Get the extra coffee grounds and head over to the tub. Rub them gently over the dirty spots, and watch the lathery deposits froth up. Wash the mess off with water, and your tub should be clean as a whistle.
Add Sparkle with Essential Oils
Furniture requires care, especially if it’s made of wood. When it starts to look dull, the whole room loses its radiance. It’s not sufficient to clear the residue off the sofas and seats every so often. You need to make sure your wooden furniture is well cared for too!
Did you know that a decent wipe-down with essential oils like lemon oil and tree tea oil can eliminate stains and brighten up wooden furniture? As a bonus, these oils will keep bugs out of the room.
Ice Cubes for Removing Candle Wax
If you love candles, you’ve probably got a few spots in your house where hot wax has dripped and made a mess. Scratching the wax off with a sharp device may seem like a good idea, but it just leaves little scratches that need another helpful hack to dispose of!
A more secure bet is to pack a couple of ice blocks in a plastic sack and place them over the candle wax. Allow it to stay there a couple of minutes until the wax gets cold and hard. This will allow you to pick it off without leaving a scratch on the surface.
Candle Wax-Free Carpet
Lifting candle wax from a carpet is a little trickier. Ice cubes won’t cut it. Instead, you need a steam iron and some paper.
Place the paper on top of the wax and gently press into it with the warmed iron. The wax should melt and adhere to the paper. This will allow you to lift it off and liberate your carpet from the mess.
The Power of a Second Shower Rod
If your shower is a bit of a mess, with body wash, soap, shampoo, and other items littered around the floor, this hack is for you. No more will you have to bend down to retrieve the products you need. Instead, install a second shower rod in your shower recess.
Hang a basket from this rod, and you can place all your shower supplies within convenient reach. Choose the right basket, and this can be a stylish and hygienic upgrade to your bathroom.
Vinegar vs Stubborn Microwave Stench
Regardless of whether the microwave smells of overcooked broccoli or burnt popcorn, a jug of vinegar is all you need to fix it. What’s more, the job only takes about five minutes to complete.
Place a bowl of vinegar in the microwave and close the door. After just five minutes, cleaning the insides of the microwave with a paper towel will help you remove the last of the smell.
Vinegar – The Power Cleaner
A few drops of vinegar will make hazy mirrors glisten in just a few minutes. Mix water with white vinegar and spray the solution on the glass. Then, all you need to do is wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.
This hack is both easy and inexpensive. It also allows you to avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, making it one of the best tips on this list.
Your Dishwasher Can Clean Your HVAC Filter
Dishwashers are capable of cleaning more than just your dishes. Of course, you must always double-check that whatever you plan to put in there is dishwasher safe. However, you will find most HVAC filters go just fine in a dishwasher.
After a cycle through the dishwasher, you can pop the filters back in place, and the air in your home will once again be clean, fresh, and purified.
Rubber-Bands Will Save Your Hand Soap
If you have kids in the house, this hack is helpful. Little ones love pressing the pump on the hand soap bottle, but this can result in far more soap being dispensed than is really needed. Thankfully, the solution to this problem is simple.
Wrapping a rubber band around the neck of the bottle, just below the pump handle, will prevent it from being able to depress all the way. This will reduce the amount of soap that comes out, thus saving you money on refills.
How to Reduce Your Water Bill
Hoping to save those additional bucks on the water bill? This tip will ease the burden on your back pocket while helping the environment at the same time. All you have to do is place a weight inside the cistern of your toilet.
You can do this by filling a plastic jug with a couple of rocks or stones and leaving it in the tank. This will reduce the total volume of water that can fit in the cistern, thus reducing the amount of water that is used in each flush. Over time, this can save a surprising amount of water.