There is nothing better than simple hacking techniques that can make life easier and free up some budget, especially when what you need is something you already have. The internet is full of such ideas and home repair hacks. This is because many of the “hacks” out there are ineffective or simply not very practical. Therefore, we have selected some of the more unique and practical DIY hacks to share with you.
Simple tools for organizing wires and cables
One of the most common things to find is wires lying around the house or misplaced. Wireless headphones are a welcome addition. But things like HDMI and power cords probably won’t be going away anytime soon. So try this simple hack. Keep cords on countertops and tables when they’re not in use. All you need is used toilet paper and a box.
Fill the box with toilet paper and you’re done. Now you can keep the cords organized when not in use or wait for the day the charger runs out.
Put the dryer lint to good use
Everyone knows how dangerous it can be to leave dryer lint out too long without cleaning it. If not, clean your dryer immediately. Dryer lint is highly flammable, and the heat from the dryer can cause sparks that can burn anything around it. However, you don’t have to just throw away the lint in your dryer.
In fact, it can serve as a fairly reliable and lightweight fire starter. Its dangerous nature makes it the perfect fire starter to take camping.
You don’t have to mess up your paint cans.
If you’ve ever painted, you know how messy paint cans can be. Not only are they an eyesore, but the paint can run down the can and stain the floor. Fortunately, there is a simple household item lying around the house somewhere that can quickly solve this problem. That would be a rubber band over the can.
This allows you to wipe your brush over all but the sides of the paint can. This will allow excess paint to fall into the bucket instead of running down the sides of the can.
Make sure the cutting board doesn’t slip.
Even if you’re not a good cook, you have a cutting board in your kitchen. Whether that cutting board is wooden or plastic, it can sometimes be difficult to keep it from sliding when cutting something particularly wet like tomatoes. In that case, it’s useful to wrap a rubber band around the cutting board.
This keeps the cutting board from sliding off, no matter how messy the counter is. And most importantly, you will be able to work with a stable and secure cutting board.
Leave a note on the washer and dryer.
Parents will love this hack. Many washers and dryers have an enamel surface, so you can use a dry erase marker to leave instructions and reminders for those who have trouble separating laundry. In fact, this hack can write about anything. You can draw a calendar to keep track of your laundry, or write quotes to make doing laundry more fun.
However, there is a caveat to this. Obviously, if your washer and dryer are unglazed, proceed with caution. The glass top should still work, but you may want to consider changing the color of the markers.
Dusting blinds with a sock
This may not come as much of a surprise to those of you who have been doing this for years (we know we have), but you can easily dust your blinds with a sock. Sure, you can use a damp cloth, but it’s much easier to slide your hand into the sock than it is to use a cloth or press hard on the soft blinds. If you use a cloth, the blinds may become crumpled or not clean enough.
When you’re done cleaning, wash the socks or dust the blinds with socks you no longer wear. This is better than throwing them away.
Wax the drawers.
Ever wonder how old wooden drawers run so smoothly in antique stores? Yes, they use wax to lubricate the bottoms of the drawers. There is no need to sand them (usually). This method is especially good if you want to buy old wooden furniture but are worried about sticky drawers. You can also use candles to lubricate the tops, sides and other areas of the drawers that come in contact with the dresser.
This should help the drawers move smoothly. If they don’t slide, then the drawers may just need to be polished after years of use. But even that is an easy fix.
Use walnuts to get rid of scratches
This method may seem counterintuitive, but it does work. Walnuts can be used to remove minor scratches from wooden furniture. This is because the oil in walnuts is the same oil that many wood polishes use to do the same thing. Simply take a handful of walnuts and rub the scratch with it. Then use your fingers to rub the oil into the scratch and the scratch should disappear.
Walnut is much softer than wood, so it won’t damage the furniture any further. Just be sure to rub the wood hard to get enough oil.
Easy to clean shoes for bathroom staples
Tennis shoes are great, but they tend to get dirty quickly, especially if they’re white. You can toss them in the washing machine, but this can sometimes damage the shoes and other clothes thrown in there. Instead, try using a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your shoes. This requires a lot of scrubbing and is much better for your shoes than throwing them in the washing machine.
Just make sure the toothpaste you use is not colored. Some colored toothpastes can actually stain white tennis shoes, which is something no one wants. If your shoes are a darker color, this is probably fine.
Sharpening knives without a whetstone
Most people have been in the kitchen and suddenly realized that their knives are a little on the dull side. However, not everyone has a whetstone around, and even if they do, it takes a few seconds to fully sharpen a knife. This is where a ceramic mug can be used to quickly sharpen knives and scissors that have become dull. Just make sure you use an unglazed bottom ring.
The ceramic should quickly sharpen your blades when needed. However, it’s always better to invest in a real sharpening stone for future use, as it’s easier on your blades.
DIY caulking guns.
Caulking guns are a fairly common household item. However, if you find yourself searching in vain for a caulking gun, there is an easy solution that will save you a trip to the hardware store. All you need is a pair of woodworking pliers, a small wooden stick and a zip tie. Simply use the zip tie to secure the caulk to the miter pliers, place a piece of wood behind the pipe, and you have an instant caulking gun.
In fact, if you have these items in your garage or shed, you no longer need a caulking gun. They can be used almost like an actual caulking gun.
Use zip ties to avoid calling a plumber
Calling a plumber can be expensive. Especially when something as simple as a clogged sink can take as little as 10 minutes to complete. Instead, you can use zip ties to make a simple drain cleaner. Cut a slit in the end of the zip tie to catch whatever is blocking the drain and use it to fish out the source of the problem.
This is a better option than using harsh chemicals and a less expensive option than calling in a professional plumber. This easy method will save you money and time.
Make a car-sized bin.
Keeping the inside of a car clean can be a challenge for some people, especially since they often do not have a dedicated trash bin. Rather than regularly going to the dump or emptying your car every time you get home, try this simple solution. Using a regular kitchen container, such as the kind you would use for cereal, you can make a car-sized trash can.
Just remember to put a plastic bag inside as a liner. No more emptying your car or letting trash accumulate.
Reuse paintbrush handles.
Old paintbrush handles may not be the most obvious thing to recycle, but they actually come in handy when using a table saw. Pry open the metal connecting the brush to the handle, and you are left with a versatile wooden handle that can be reused for a pusher. A few simple cuts with the saw can be used as a fader when cutting with the table saw.
Of course, you can also use the handle without making the easy cuts, but this is not always the best option, especially if you push the board fairly hard and need some grip.
Stop buying ice packs.
You may have made home ice packs out of a piece of cloth and ice. However, these tend to get wet when the ice eventually melts and turns to water. Instead, this method can be used to make reusable ice packs that leave no stains. Simply rinse a clean sponge with water and then place it in a Ziploc bag. Place the bag in the freezer and you are done.
Freeze the sponge in the refrigerator and you will have something almost identical to a commercial ice pack. You can also just put ice cubes in the Ziploc bag and use it that way.
Use your cell phone as a speaker for music.
It is nice to have a dedicated speaker, but things can happen. Sometimes people forget their speakers, or if they have them, they don’t have enough power. When that happens, the only thing you can do is turn to your phone and keep the party going. However, cell phones usually do not have loud speakers. To solve this problem, simply place the phone in a bowl or other container with a hard surface and deep curves.
This amplifies the phone’s speaker and slightly improves the sound quality. Of course, this is not a substitute for a dedicated speaker, but it is much better than listening to the inevitable cell phone speaker.
Use bottle caps to support the trolley bar.
Tension rods are usually pretty great until they aren’t, and eventually collapse without warning. So, why not try a little ingenuity to keep the tension rod from collapsing? All you need is a bottle cap, a drill bit, and drywall screws. Using the drywall screw, attach the bottle cap to the wall surface where you plan to install the tension rod. Then insert the rod into the bottle cap.
This will prevent the rod from falling down with your clothes. It is also a good idea to drive screws into the wall while you are doing this.
Turn plastic containers into a greenhouse.
The good news is that plastic can always be recycled. But this hack is a particularly nature-friendly way to make the most of these containers. Simply prepare a plastic container and drill a few holes. Next, fill it with potting soil and plant your seeds. Of course, remember to clean the container before adding soil, preferably with a cleaner that contains few chemicals.
After the seeds have germinated and been transferred to their special pots, the containers can be reused to plant other seeds or recycled with the rest of the plastic.