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How to Fix Common Household Problems Fast

Anyone can tackle tasks with these goof-proof solutions.

Anyone can tackle common household problems with these goof-proof solutions.

1. Tiny holes all over your walls
TOOL: White toothpaste
FIX IT: For white walls, the solution couldn’t be easier. Using your finger, smear plain paste into the holes until they’re flush with the rest of the surface. Have a colorful abode? Wait until the toothpaste dries and then retouch the spots with matching paint.

2. A tired, old toilet seat
TOOLS: New seat, measuring tape
FIX IT: Measure the seat from front to back and side to side; then hit the home store to buy a new one. Unscrew the wing nuts (under the seat near the back of the commode) and ease it out. Slip your new seat into the empty holes and screw it into place.

3. Rusty stains making your sink or tub look totally tie-dyed
TOOLS: Zud cleaning powder (sold at hardware stores), light-duty abrasive sponge
FIX IT: First, dry the basin. Sprinkle Zud onto the rust. Moisten rough side of the sponge. Scrub until stains flake off in black chunks. Don’t get the sponge soaking wet or it will over-dilute the Zud.

4. Dresser drawers that stick; putting up a fight every time you need a bra
TOOLS: Unscented candle or WD-40
FIX IT: For wooden drawers that aren’t on a metal track, rub the flat side of a candle onto the bottom corners at the base of each drawer. Got hardware? Remove drawers and apply WD-40 to the track. Reinstall drawers.

5. Dark scuffs on walls and doors from daily wear-and-tear
TOOLS: White vinegar, water, light-duty abrasive sponge
FIX IT: Combine the white vinegar and water in a half-and-half solution; then apply with abrasive side of the sponge on all the marks. Rub softly to avoid scratching off any of the paint.

6. A sagging sofa that makes it look like Tom Cruise made a house call
TOOLS: Quarter-inch plywood sheet with a smooth side, measuring tape
FIX IT: With cushions off, measure the dimensions of the bed of your sofa (most are around 20” by 66”) and order corresponding plywood from a hardware store. Then place it smooth-side up under the cushions.


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