28 September 2020

7 Home Hacks That Make Maintenance Easier

No one ever said maintenance had to be fun. But can’t it be just a little bit easier?

Here are seven home hacks to take a bit of the drudgery out of your honey-do list:

#1 Tuck Chalk in Your Toolbox to Stop Rust

You can keep the metal tools and hardware in your toolbox rust-free with blackboard chalk. How so? Chalk is a moisture-sucking material that traps dampness. When you place several pieces throughout your toolbox, its porous nature will protect items prone to rusting. 

Bonus tip: Got a musty closet? Fill up a small muslin or cheesecloth bag with chalk and then hang it inside. It will absorb the dampness and stinky odor.

Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

#2 Spray Your Mower’s Blades to Keep Clippings From Sticking

Most Popular Home Maintenance Tips

    17 Things to Never, Ever, EVER Do to Your House

    Home Maintenance Tips

    Keep the vintage wallpaper, but upgrade that time- and money-draining retro thermostat to programmable.

    You Only Think It’s True: 10 Myths Costing You Time and Money

    Home Maintenance Tips

    Save your cash for more important things, like, you know, your mortgage.

    5 Tricks to Keep Your Pipes from Exploding This Winter

    Home Maintenance Tips

    Even if you think they’ve already started to freeze.

    Spot the 9 Problems With This House (Advice for New Homeowners)

    Home Maintenance Tips

    Telltale signs you’re flubbing homeowner maintenance, like parking on grass.

    12 Questions You’ll Wish You Asked Before You Moved In

    Home Maintenance Tips

    Avoid regrets by knowing what questions to ask a REALTOR® or owner before you commit to a new home.

If you have a lawn, mowing is one of those must-do drudgeries. Fortunately, cooking spray can make the chore problem-free. When applied to a mower’s undercarriage and blades, it can help prevent grass clippings from sticking. 

Bonus tip: You can prevent ice from building up in your freezer with cooking spray. Just spray a thick layer over spots prone to icing, and let it sit for five minutes. Afterward, use a towel to wipe up the oil.

Related: Season-by-Season Lawn Care Maintenance

#3 Toss in a Tennis Ball to Clean Your Pool Water

Image: Sophie Heppell

Suntan lotions, moisturizers, and body oils will leave a greasy slick on pool water. To clean, toss in a fresh tennis ball. Its fuzzy surface will soak up the oils your guests left behind.

Bonus tip: A tennis ball will buff scuff marks off floors. To avoid stooping while cleaning, cut an X into the ball and place on the end of a mop or broom handle.

Popular Reads

    Simple 5-Step Guide to Concrete Painting

    Painting & Lighting

    Painting concrete surfaces requires more skill, tools, and time than throwing a coat on drywall. Here’s how to do it right.

    10 Clever Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

    Cleaning & Decluttering

    Non-toxic. Low-cost. Hydrogen peroxide is your cleaning arsenal’s secret weapon.

    5 Reasons You’ll Regret Painting Your Brick House

    Painting & Lighting

    Case in point: Removing paint from brick is almost impossible.

#4 Use Painter’s Tape for a Perfect Caulk Job

Image: Stephanie Strickland

To many DIYers (myself included), applying caulk in clean, straight lines seems like an impossible task. But it’s actually very easy if you use painter’s tape. You’ll need to thoroughly clean the area you’re caulking first. When it’s dry, apply medium adhesion painter’s tape, such as Frog Tape, above and below the area you’ll be caulking and then caulk. Be sure to peel off the tape while the caulk is still wet.

Related: How to Remove Old Caulk

#5 Grab a Makeup Sponge to Repair Drywall Holes

Image: Libby Walker for HouseLogic

Typically mesh or paper tape is used to fill small holes in drywall. But a cosmetic sponge will get the job done, too. Just stuff it into the hole (you may need to cut it down to size) and spackle. You’ll find the entire tutorial here.

Bonus tip: A little baking soda added to a dollop of strong, fast-acting glue, such as Krazy Glue, will fix a small wall crack. When the mixture is dry, it forms a hard plastic that can easily be sanded down to a smooth surface.

Related: How to Patch a Drywall Hole

#6 Use Your Drill to Clean a Grimy Tub

Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

It takes a lot of elbow grease to deep clean a dirty bathtub — unless you use a cordless drill with a foam ball polishing attachment (found in the automotive section of most big box stores). Attachments like these were designed to be tough on grime without scratching surfaces.

Bonus tip: Another automotive store item that saves cleaning time is rain repellent windshield sealant. Apply it to clean glass shower doors to reduce soap scum buildup.

#7 Apply Nail Polish to Fill a Hole in Your Window

Found a tiny hole in your glass window? Repair it with clear nail polish. Apply a coat then wait for it dry. Repeat those steps until the layers of clear nail polish are flush with the glass surface.

Bonus tip: Clear nail polish can also fix torn window screens. You’ll need to apply multiple layers until you create a substantial barrier. You’ll find the tutorial here.

Related:  Home Maintenance for People With Better Things to Do


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *