No matter how well you take care of your home, it will eventually have one or two things that end up being broken. Whether it’s wear and tear or misuse, there are lots of ways to make home repairs all on your own. No need to spend a lot of money to call repair services.
Here are 55 DIY remedies to common home repairs.
These are surprisingly easy to fix! You’ll be surprised at what you can do on your own.
1) Fix Scuffed Floors
Use a tennis ball to buff out scuff and marks on your tile and linoleum floors. You can also place a broom handle through one side of the tennis ball for more leverage.
2) Get Dents Out of the Carpet
Get dents out of your carpet by letting ice melt on top of the divots. You’ll want the full dent to be wet and fairly soaked. Next, blot with a sponge, and flush the fibers with a spoon.
3) Fix a Stuck Lock
Shave a pencil with a pocket knife so that the graphite is poking out and rub it on the inside of the door. Break a piece off inside the lock and place the key inside the lock. This will break up the graphite which will lubricate the lock.
4) Twisted Toilet Tank Chain
Remove the chain in your toilet and place a straw over it to prevent it from endlessly running due to a kinked chain. Problem solved just like that!
5) Rusty Screws
Is there a rusty screw that you just can’t seem to loosen? Pour some vinegar on top of a rusty screw to loosen it. It should come out without any issue.
6) Water Stained Walls or Ceilings
Spray water stains on your ceiling with some bleach and they will disappear. Just add a few tablespoons of bleach into a large spray bottle, spritz, and let dry.
7) Fix a Crack/Hole in the Wall
Mix some baking soda and Crazy Glue and use your mixture to fill in cracks and holes in the wall. It will harden to a plastic-like substance that you can sand or file down. You’ll want to work quickly.
8) Fix a Drawer That Sticks
Do you have a drawer that sticks? Rub a bar of soap on the sides of the drawer to make it pull in and out smoothly. How easy is that?
9) Phillips Screwdriver Replacement
You can use the head of a vegetable peeler as a Phillips screwdriver if yours breaks. Of course, this isn’t a permanent replacement but it certainly works if
you’re in a pinch.
10) Driveway Oil Stain
If you have any oil stains in your driveway you can sprinkle kitty litter over the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then step on the kitty litter with your shoe so it is crushed. Scrub with some detergent and wash away.
11) Squeaky Doors
Vasoline isn’t just for healing dry skin or other skin ailments. Rub some petroleum jelly on door hinges to prevent them from squeaking. Problem solved!
12) Unclog a Toilet
Pour half a cup of liquid soap into your toilet and let it sit. The soap will help the clog slide through. And you didn’t even have to call a plumber!
13) Chairs wearing on the floor’s finish
You could always buy those felt stickers for the bottom of stools or chairs in your home, but they’re bound to come loose after a while. Instead, hammer in tacks that have felt pads attached to them.
14) Air bubble in your wallpaper
“If it’s less than 1 inch across and you don’t feel any debris inside, such as a paint chip, you can forgo the standard procedure of slicing an X into the paper and brushing adhesive behind it. Instead, use a syringe (about $5; at paint stores) to poke a pinhole that releases the air and allows you to inject adhesive right where it’s needed. To get a clean cut in vinyl paper, make a small slit with a utility knife before inserting the syringe,” says This Old House.
15) Rough-looking plaster walls
Disguise rough-looking plaster by using some matte paint. The flat sheen will help hide any imperfections. Glossy paint isn’t the best choice because it will reflect light and highlight imperfections.
16) Cupboard door won’t stay closed
If your cupboard doors don’t seem to want to stay shut, it means that it has an old spring, the roller latch is worn out, or it’s covered with paint. That’s okay, just purchase a heavy-duty magnet catch for less than $5 at your hardware store. It takes just a couple minutes to install.
17) Scratched wood
A scratch in your woodwork can really ruin the entire look of the piece. Hide scratch marks in furniture, trim, and flooring by finding “Minwax marker” at your hardware store.
18) Sliding door is hard to open
Does it take superhero strength to pull up your sliding patio door? There is probably debris stuck in the wheels. Remove the door by turning the screws at the bottom. Clean the wheels as well as the track. Spray it with some silicone lubricant and replace!
19) Doors that swing open or closed on their own
If your door swings open or closed, the hinge pins might need some adjusting. Pull out the hinge pin and lay it on a flat surface. Hit the middle of it with a hammer and reinsert the pin. The door should no longer swing.
20) Rattly window
“The sash lock’s cam mechanism is misaligned or broken. To suck a double-hung’s sashes together and eliminate rattling—and drafts—remove the center latch and install two new ones instead. Arrange them so that the latches are fully engaged when the cam is turned about halfway,” says This Old House.
21) Door sticks to the finish on the stop
If you notice that your front door seems to stick down at the stop, it’s probably because the door was closed before its paint had time to fully dry. You can apply wax to give it a temporary fix, or sand the door’s edges and repaint with 100% acrylic latex.
22) Deadbolt sticks when you put the key in
If you notice that the deadbolt or your key sticks when you try to turn the key, the lock needs lubrication. Be careful not to use oil though because it will attract dirt. Instead, use graphite powder.
23) Your gutter is overflowing like a waterfall
Do you happen to have a giant waterfall feature coming from your gutters? It sounds like your downspout is clogged. First, flush it with water, then use a wire coat hanger to dislodge any debris.
24) Widening cracks in the driveway
If you live in an area that freezes, driveway cracks can be the bane of your existence. When water gets into smaller cracks, it expands when it freezes, making bigger cracks! Fix these by pouring in some cold-pour filler then seal the entire driveway.
25) Lawn is turning brown
No one wants a brown, dead-looking lawn. Usually, a brown lawn means that it isn’t getting efficient water. To tell if your lawn is thirsty before it turns brown, look at it through polarized lenses. If the lawn looks blue-grey instead of green, it’s time to water it.
26) The tree-swing rope is ruining the bark
Having a tree-swing rope in your backyard is a great way to entertain the kids. And it looks so charming! Instead of attaching a rope around a branch that wears away at the bark, use some eye screws that go all the way through then secure with a washer and a nut. Drilling through the tree is less damaging than hanging a rope over it.
27) Water in basement after rainstorm
Finding water in your basement after a downpour is never good. It probably means that your gutters downspout is pouring out water too close to your home’s foundation. Add a spout extension to make sure it’s going out a ways from the home.
28) Stinky butcher block
Over time, wood countertops and butcher blocks can take on an unpleasant garlic-type smell. Sanitize it by washing with 1 teaspoon of bleach mixed with a quart of water. Afterward, pour coarse salt on top and scrub it in using the half of a lemon.
29) The toilet rocks
Sometimes the toilet seat can feel a bit rocky if the bolts aren’t tightened enough. If that doesn’t work, purchase some shims from you hardware store and slide them under the toilet for stability.
30) Water-stained stainless steel
Instead of spending money on expensive stainless steel cleaners, just reach for the WD-40 instead. Spray on the WD-40 and wipe away the excess. It will remove fingerprints and repel water.
31) Stained grout
“You can remove stains by bleaching with a grout pen, but that can leave the grout color uneven. Hide that problem by darkening all the grout with a grout colorant in a soft-gray or beige hue,” says This Old House.
32) Dripping faucet
To fix a dripping or leaky sink faucet, turn off the water and remove the faucet from the sink. Smear a little Vaseline around the O-ring then replace the entire faucet. It should fix the problem until you’re able to buy a new O-ring or new faucet.
33) Radiator isn’t getting hot
The radiator might have rust or paint freezing the bleeder valve if it’s not getting hot. Try freeing it with a radiator key. Just gently work the valve back and forth until you can get it open. This will release the pent up air and the radiator will fill with hot water again.
34) Loose switch covers
Do your switch covers seem to be loose? It just means that the screws holding them in are too short. Head to the hardware store and purchase longer ones, this should keep them in place.
35) Banging water pipes
Water pipes can bang against walls or flooring when running the washing machine or dishwasher. Fix this by securing loose section of pipes with pipe hangers. Be sure to wrap the pipes in insulation where they penerate walls or flooring.
36) Buff out baseboard dings
“Battered baseboards are no friend to polished home decor, but they’re unfortunately all too common in our busy world of furniture moving and active kids. Luckily, wood putty exists. You just take a little bit of this stuff, spread it over minor scratches to even them out, and then sand it down after it’s dry. Touch it up with a little paint and no one will be any wiser,” suggests Make Space.
37) Slow-draining bathroom sink
Fix a slow-draining bathroom sink with a little help from vinegar and baking soda. Unscrew your drain cover, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. It will work its magic to solve the issue!
38) Creaky floorboards
A creaky floorboard or boards can drive you absolutely nuts! To fix it, all you’ll need is some baby powder. Sweep a thin layer of it over the squeaky area. It will get into the cracks and prevent the boards from rubbing together.
39) Stuck window
An easy way to get a stuck window to budge is by using a utility knife and a hammer. Use the knife to score a line between the sash and the frame. Another option is to wedge a putty knife and wedge it in between the sash and frame, lightly tap the blade, and it should dislodge the window.
40) Clogged garbage disposal
Before attempting to fix a garbage disposal, make sure it’s turned off. Use tongs to reach down and remove the blockage like a banana peel or piece of silverware. If you don’t find anything use the handle of a broom to try and rotate the blades.
41) Weak toilet flush
“Before you despair — or call a plumber — see if you can give your flush more gush. Look behind your toilet (probably on the wall or the floor) for your water valve. Once you’ve located it, turn the valve counterclockwise as far as you can — just keep going until it won’t let you turn it anymore. Once you can’t turn it anymore, it’s fully open, and that should help your toilet tank get its optimum water fill, which should power up your flush,” explains HGTV.
42) Musty washing machine smell
A front loading washing machine can start to have a musty smell after a while. Prevent this by keeping the door open for a while after each wash. To get rid of the odor, clean the door’s seal with a bit of water and white vinegar once a month.
43) Rusted stainless steel
If you’ve accidentally left a cast-iron pan in the sink, you might have left a rust stain. Remove it by scrubbing with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Spread the mixture on the stain and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then scrub with a scrub pad.
44) Remove a stripped screw
If the top of your screw has been stripped, you might think it’s impossible to remove, but it’s not! Just place a rubberband over the top then insert the screw. The rubber will give the screwdriver something to grip onto.
45) Unstick your fireplace damper
“The damper is the steel or cast-iron door at the top of the firebox, and it is critical to keeping your fireplace working effectively. Clean your damper with a firm wire brush. Be sure to wear safety goggles and some type of face mask to keep all the old particulates out of your eyes and lungs. Also, this will be a dirty job, so don’t head into it wearing your Sunday best. Remove the soot and rust buildup with a lot of scrubbing, then finish off with a bit of WD-40 or similar lubricant on the hinges,” explains HGTV.
46) Remove lime deposits from sinks
Lime in the water can build up on our sinks. Remove it by soaking some paper towels in white vinegar then laying them over the lime-deposit hard-water stains. Be aware that this may discolor brass.
47) Sliding door mat
Prevent a door mat from slipping and sliding with this easy hack. Just use a hot glue gun to spread a few lines of glue on the bottom. You can either press the mat down while the glue is hot to ensure it doesn’t move or wait for the glue to dry and it will provide extra traction.
48) Prevent banging cupboards
Does your cupboard make a loud bang every time it closes? Help dampen the noise by placing hot glue on the inside of the cabinet or drawer. Once it dries, it will serve as a bumper.
49) Rusty kitchen knives
A set of new knives expensive, if your knives have gotten a bit rusty, you can revive them. Just soak them in lemon juice for a while then wipe clean with a damp sponge.
50) Worn out caning
“A little sagging over time is natural but reversible. To tighten caning back up, use a sponge to wet the underside with warm water. Let dry slowly overnight. Repeat if necessary,” explains Real Simple.
51) Stained bathtub
Renew a stained bathtub by creating a mixture of equal amounts cream of tartar and baking soda, add some lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture over the tub’s surface and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse.
52) A slamming door
Soften the slam of a door by adding a few pieces of peel-and-stick weather stripping around the door. Or, you could take a wide rubberband wrap it around the doorknobs on both sides. Just avoid covering the latch.
53) Stuck lightbulb
Help remove a stuck lightbulb with some duct tape. Press the middle of a foot-long piece of duct tape onto the middle of the bulb. Fold each loose end in half and stick it to itself. Grip each end between your thumb and index finger then twist it counterclockwise.
54) Flattened pillows
Puff up your flattened pillows by placing them outside on a sunny day. Flip it after an hour or so. The sun will evaporate any moisture in the filling and they should plump right back up.
55) Remove popcorn ceiling
“Take a 6″ inch spackle knife and attach to the end of your shop vac using duct tape creating a new extension for the vacuum to clean up all the falling popcorn and dust particles as you push the blade along the ceiling,” explains Remodeling Expense.
When it comes to home repairs, there are so many things that you can do on your own that will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by hiring someone else. Plus, you can take pride in accomplishing your home maintenance!