Whether you own your home, are in the process of buying it, or are renting, it comes in very handy to know some very easy to use tips and tricks for fixing or maintaining the house. It is certain that most landlords appreciate it when renters take care of a place without calling for every little thing. It is just as great for people who are trying to save money since they can do it themselves.
Here are a few tricks that do the job without a great deal of effort or know-how. There are many more and you may know of several that are also helpful.
If a light bulb breaks off in the socket, it can be troublesome. In order to replace the bulb, the broken one needs to be removed. However, you don't want to cut yourself in the process.
Next time this happens, make sure that the light switch is off, then cut the end off a potato. Cram the potato into the socket. You can then unscrew the lightbulb without getting cut. When done, just throw away the potato and the end of the bulb.
If you are a gardener and use Venetian blinds, don't throw the old blinds away. Instead, clip the slats into 8-inch lengths. These are superb for marking garden rows, just by writing the name of the vegetables or flowers on the slat segments with a permanent marker prior to use. As an added benefit, they are waterproof.
If the washer ate half of a pair of socks leaving you with an unmated pair, don't throw away the unmated one. When you have two unmated socks, put one inside the other. Then, each time you have soap remnants from bars of soap, put them inside the socks. When there are several in the sock 'bag', tie the ends of the socks together. This makes a handy scrubber for the shower, for washing the pets, for scrubbing pots and pans, or what have you. You can even keep one of these in the car for emergencies when you have no soap and need to clean up. All you need is water.
If you have a drawer or door that squeaks every time you open or close it, or which sticks, rub the edges with a bar of soap. The soap works as a handy lubricant and it is usually a good smelling one.
Soap can also be rubbed on the outside bottom of camping pots and pans, too. This makes it simple to wash off the soot that develops when the pot or pan is used over the campfire.
If you reuse plastic bags that you get from the store, which is a good idea, you can keep them handy and organized by using an empty Kleenex box. Simply tack or nail the box behind a door and push the bags into the box when they're emptied. When you want to reuse one, it is simple to pull one out. Yet they don't clutter up the place and they are out of sight.
If you've shoveled much snow, you might have noticed that after a while, snow tends to stick to the blade. This can increase the effort when you shovel snow.
You can fix this by spraying the shovel with vegetable oil cooking spray. The snow slides right off. This even works on garden shovels and hoes. Vegetable oil is easily biodegradable so it doesn't harm the soil. Vegetable oil spray also works well on lawnmower blades.
If you've ever tried to patch old concrete or cement, or have tried expanding an existing concrete or cement walk with new concrete or cement, you might not have had good luck. Old cement resists bonding to new cement. There is a way to correct this, though.
Immediately prior to pouring the new concrete/cement, thoroughly wash the old concrete/cement with vinegar. Cement is an alkali base and vinegar is an acid. Using the vinegar softens the old cement temporarily until it dries, so it is more apt to bond with new cement or concrete as the new stuff dries.
These are just a few tips and tricks that can help around the home and garden. There are hundreds or thousands more. What is your favorite household trick?