Quick Fixes to Make Around Your House

Fifteen-minute projects that won't put a dent in your weekend.
By Adam Bluestein

France RuffenachFrance Ruffenach
Squeaky Door Hinges

Spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forth to work in the lubricant. Or try rubbing the hinges with petroleum jelly. If these tricks don't work, lift the hinge pins about halfway and lubricate them with three-in-one oil, using a rag to catch drips.

Also See: Decorating With Door Accessories

Mark LundMark Lund
Squeaky Floor

For a temporary fix, sprinkle talcum powder over the noisy area and sweep it into the cracks. Be sure to remove any traces of powder if you're ever going to refinish the floor.

Also See: The Best Floor Cleaners

Hallie BurtonHallie Burton
Peeling Wallpaper

With a knife, smear wallpaper paste onto a piece of writing paper. Rub the paper against the underside of the peeling section. Press the wallpaper against the wall. Slide the writing paper out and smooth away bubbles with a clean cloth.

Also See: New Uses for Leftover Wallpaper

Hallie BurtonHallie Burton
Worn 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.

Also See: The Best Outdoor Chairs

Hallie BurtonHallie Burton
Dusty Chandelier

Allow the fixture to cool. Wear a pair of white cotton gloves―one dry, one dampened with glass cleaner. (For crystal, use one part rubbing alcohol to three parts distilled water.) Wipe each prism with the damp glove, then the dry one.

Also See: Expert Interior Lighting Tips

Hallie BurtonHallie Burton
Stained Tub

Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

Also See: 7 Little Bathtime Luxuries

Hallie BurtonHallie Burton
Stuck Sliding Windows

A little silicone spray lubricant (sold at hardware stores) will grease the skids. Spray it onto a rag, then wipe along the tracks, whether they're metal, wood, or plastic.

Also See: Your Guide to Curtains and Window Treatments

See More Quick DIY Household Repairs

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