Quick Fixes for Your Home

Check out these quick fixes by HGTV.

Say Goodbye to Garbage Disposal Stink

If you’ve cleaned your sink and it still smells like something died in there, your garbage disposal is the most likely culprit. While your disposal is off, dump a cup or two of ice into it. Then turn on the water and run the disposal. This should dislodge gunk that has stuck to the blades. After the ice has disintegrated, turn the disposal back off and turn off the water. Then dump half a cup of baking soda into the disposal and follow with a cup of vinegar. You should absolutely get the “science project effect,” but that pop and fizz will help clear out any remaining particulates in the disposal. Finally, after the science project has been washed down the drain by some nice hot water, grind a cut-up citrus fruit down the disposal (if you want to eat the fruit, even just the rind will do). The citrus acidity will chew away anything that dared remain, but the real upside is how nice a smell-turnaround your disposal will have made!

Give Your Toilet Flush More Gush

When your toilet and gravity don’t seem to get along, it can be stressful for everyone in the household. 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.

Remove Rust From Stainless Steel Sink

Leave a cookie sheet or cast-iron pan in a stainless steel sink for even a couple of days and you’ll soon discover your cleaning tasks will go well beyond dirty dishes. While they don’t have the dangers of chipping that porcelain sinks bring with them, the damp environment up against other metals means rust can be a real issue. Fortunately, it’s not as scary as it looks. All it really takes to conquer this eyesore is some vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease. Mix the vinegar and baking soda until you get a paste-like consistency. Spread the mix onto the rust spots and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then scrub it off with water and a scrub pad. Repeat as necessary, leaving the paste on for longer if it didn’t get the job done the first time.

Fix Flush Arm on Toilet

When the toilet isn’t working, it’s an urgent household matter. And there’s no reason to wait for a repair worker on something like a broken flush arm: you can do it yourself! Remove the tank lid and unhood the lift chain. You'll need a crescent wrench to remove the nut inside the tank that holds the old handle in place. Once you’ve removed the old handle, take it with you to the home improvement store to make sure you get a new one that will work with your toilet. Then attach the new flush arm according to the directions in the package … but you should be a pro by now, since you already took out the previous one, and it’s just the reverse process! Just make sure you do some test flushes so you know the chain isn’t too loose (keeping the tank from fully draining) or too tight (causing leaks). Once you get it properly adjusted, put your tank lid back on, and you are ready to flush in style!

Fight Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

Stainless steel refrigerators are sleek-looking and stylish, but they’re also a magnet for fingerprints. To remove fingerprints, start with a soft cloth — microfiber cloths work very well for this — and wipe down the appliance to remove any food or other particulates that might have snuck onto the surface. Next, spray a window cleaner on the surface. These work well removing fingerprints and streaks from stainless steel appliances. If you’re really committed to fingerprint-free fridges, however, you can take it one step further: wax on, my friend. That’s right: a gentle car wax over a perfect stainless finish can keep your refrigerator fingerprint-free and shiny for longer than just a regular cleaning.

Silence Squeaky Doors

When anything metal in a house starts squeaking, most people probably reach for their WD-40. And while it’s a great option, you might not always have it around when the baby is crying and you need that door to stop its noise now. Did you know there are many household items you can use to lubricate squealing door hinges? Next time you’re in a squeaky-door bind, try reaching for petroleum jelly, cooking oil, a paraffin candle, a bar of soap or even a stick of butter! To use these effectively, you’ll need to pull the actual hinge pin out of the door, coat it in the lubricant, then replace, but they should smooth the motion enough to give you some peaceful door use for a while!

Learn more here: HGTV

Home Repairs

Our Preferred Providers

Ready to help you with your home improvement project.

Learn more