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Coldwell Banker Realty

Quick Fixes for Your Common Household Problems

It may seem like there’s always something going on as a homeowner, from silencing a squeaky hinge to unclogging a temperamental toilet. But many household problems can be easily fixed without calling a repair service.

A can of WD-40, a toilet plunger and a bottle of vinegar are great basics to keep on hand for easing sticky fittings, clearing the toilet and making short work of common stains. Here are some simple fixes for common home problems that even the non-handy can handle:

Squeaky Floorboard
Banish that annoying squeak by sprinkling a little talcum powder over the noisy area and brushing it into the cracks.

Stained Tub
Removed stubborn stains by combining equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

Stuck Sliding Windows
Loosen stuck windows by spraying a little silicon spray lubricant (found at hardware stores) onto a rag, then wiping along the tracks, whether metal, wood or plastic.

Dry and Worn Cutting Board
Revive a worn board by warming a bottle of mineral oil (available at drugstores) in a bowl of hot water, then wiping the oil onto the surface with a soft cloth. Wipe off the excess four to six hours later.

Scuffed Linoleum
Take care of scuff marks by rubbing the spot with white toothpaste and a dry cloth, or spraying WD-40 on a towel and rubbing lightly. Later, degrease the area with liquid dishwashing soap and water.

Poor Toilet Flush
Before you call a plumber, look for the water valve behind the toilet, on the wall or the floor. Turn it counter-clockwise as far as you can. Once it’s fully open, the tank will get its optimal water fill and power up your flush.

Torn Window Screen
If tiny tears are letting bugs in, apply clear nail polish to any tiny holes. For larger rips or tears, look for new and effective screen repair patches at the hardware store.