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5 Easy Fixes for Common Home Problems

Let’s face it. No home is perfect and sometimes floors get scratched, toilets break down and sinks leak. Before you hire a plumber or expert, here are some easy fixes for a handful of common household problems that you can take care of yourself.

Remove Foul Smells From Your Washer With Vinegar

Once a month, clear the door’s rubber seal with a half-and-half solution of water and vinegar. Then, run a cleansing cycle in the wash where you run it on the hottest cycle. Add a cup of baking soda in the drum and distilled white vinegar in the detergent dispenser. Don’t forget to drain the pump filter every few weeks.

To prevent foul-smelling washers:

Hide Scratches on Your Hardwood Floors

You’re not the only one who hates to see scrapes on an expensive hardwood floor. Basic scratches can be concealed with stain markers that match the color of your flooring.

If your hardwood floors have severe damage you might need to do a full refinishing, but for slightly deep scratches and gouges, you can try a paste wax. Rub some of a matching color into the scratch, then polish off the excess after it has dried.

You can also try an acrylic wood filler for gouges greater than a quarter inch deep, but you’d have to wait four hours between applications.

Remove Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

No need to grab a wet cloth. Instead, start with a dry soft cloth like a microfiber and wipe down the appliance to remove anything that might be stuck. Then spray a window cleaner on the surface. These work nicely when removing fingerprints and streaks for all stainless steel.

If you want to take it a step further, consider adding a gentle car wax over a perfect stainless finish to keep your fridge fingerprint-free and shiny.

Repair Your Toilet’s Flush Arm

Now this may seem like a major emergency, but you can repair a broken flush arm on your own — although it might require a visit to the hardware store.

All you have to do is remove the tank lid and unhook the lift chain. Get a wrench to remove the nut inside the tank that holds it in place. Once you remove it, take the piece with you to the hardware or home improvement store to make sure you get the right one for your toilet. Finally, attach the new flush arm. Test it out a few times to make sure the chain isn’t too loose or too tight. Put the tank lid back in place and you’re done!

Fix a Leaky Sink

Before you even think about getting a new faucet, do a Google search to see if you can find clues as to what might be wrong. The problem may be fixed by just finding a few spare parts at your local hardware store.