Last week we shared some home maintenance repairs that only take a few minutes to fix. Part 1 focused on 7 items that are easy fixes for homeowners and eager to-it-yourself’ers to tackle. Here are another 7 easy fixes that you can take care of yourself and save money instead of hiring the job out.
Doors that creak and moan when they’re opened and closed don’t hurt anything, but they sure can be annoying. Silence the squeak with lubricating spray, such as WD-40. Use the straw that comes with the can to direct the spray to the top crease in the hinge. Use the lubricant sparingly—a tiny bit goes a long way. It’s a good idea to hold a rag or paper towel behind the hinge as you spray to protect the door or jamb from overspray.
Banging Cabinet Doors
If your cabinet doors bang loudly every time you shut them, the problem can be solved instantly by installing bumpers, such as GorillaGrit Cabinet Door Bumpers. Clean the cabinet door to remove gunk or residue, and then position two bumpers on its inside edge, one at about ½-inch from the bottom and another at the same distance from the top. Make sure you attach the peel-and-stick bumpers where the door makes contact with the cabinet base to muffle the sound of the cabinets closing.
Hard water can wreak havoc on tubs, showers, and sinks, leaving dark and dingy orange-brown stains that don’t come off with regular household cleaners. If you don’t relish using caustic cleaning products, or spending hours scrubbing the stains away, here’s a quicker fix. Mix lemon juice and cream of tartar (available in your grocer’s spice aisle) to form a paste, and then apply the paste directly to the stains. Leave the mixture on the stain for an hour and then rinse away to reveal a sparkling clean fixture.
An exterior door that doesn’t seal tightly when closed lets in cold drafts, which can result in increased heating bills. Stopping drafts is a simple fix that requires removing the old weatherstripping (just pull and scrape it off) and then installing new peel-and-stick weatherstripping. Opt for a weatherstripping kit, such as the WeatherGuard Door Insulating Kit that comes with a bottom door seal in addition to regular weatherstripping for an airtight seal.
Sticky Door Locks
Do you have to jiggle, coax, or turn the key forcefully to unlock your door? Corrosion and dirt buildup can make it difficult to use a key in a door lock—but if you’re experiencing problems, wait before you run out to replace a tricky lock. Try rubbing the cuts on the key with the lead of a graphite pencil, or squirt a little powdered graphite, such as Panef L-300 Powered Graphite into the opening in the lock. The graphite works to lubricate the tumblers in the lock so your key will turn with ease.
Sticky Wooden Drawers
Over time, wooden drawers can begin to stick, making it difficult to open and close them, but you don’t have to live with sticky drawer syndrome. To help the drawer slide smoothly again, remove it from the cabinet and turn it over so you have access to the underside. Rub a bar of paraffin (found in your grocer’s canning aisle) along the both bottom edges of the drawer. The paraffin will lubricate the drawer and help it slide smoothly.
If your clothes come out of the washer smelling musty instead of clean, you probably have a bit of mildew in your washer. Fortunately, banishing the mildew is a quick and simple project. Put one cup of baking soda in the washer, and run one empty load on the hottest water setting. The baking soda will clean and remove all mildew growth so you can have fresh-smelling laundry again.