R+C Furniture University

25 Weird DIY Tips That Actually Work

25 Weird DIY Tips That Work
Photo: Alison Conklin

Here are 25 unusual solutions to common household problems using stuff you probably have sitting around the house.

  1. Put pantyhose over the vacuum hose to locate tiny things without sucking them up.
  2. Rub a walnut on damaged furniture to cover up dings.
  3. Kool-Aid cleans dishwasher pipes. Put it in the detergent compartment and run a cycle. (It will also clean a toilet.)
  4. Make ice cubes out of vinegar or lemon juice and feed them down the garbage disposal. After grinding, run cold water through the drain and your disposal will stay smelling fresh.
  5. Pam cooking spray will remove paint and grease from your hands.
  6. Use a hanging shoe rack (the kind that hangs off a door) to hold cleaning supplies in your pantry.
  7. Remove pet hair from your upholstery with a damp dishwashing glove. Run your hand over the hair-covered upholstery and the hair will cling to the glove, not your sofa.
  8. Pour Morton salt onto wine stains and watch the wine get absorbed into the salt.
  9. Remove wax stains by placing a paper towel over the stain and ironing it.
  10. Use hand sanitizer to help remove stubborn glue residue from labels.
  11. Make your shower curtain glide back and forth without sticking by rubbing a piece of waxed paper along the curtain rod.
  12. Place waxed paper on top of your kitchen's upper cabinets where dust and grease gathers. Switch out the paper every few months with a fresh sheet to keep cabinets clean without much work.
  13. Every time you eat oranges or lemons, pitch the peel in the garbage disposal for a natural deodorizer.
  14. Use Listerine to clean dirty grout.
  15. Get rid of lime buildup with a paste of 1 tsp vinegar and 2 tbsp salt. Apply to fixture and rub with a cloth.
  16. Keep flowers fresh a little longer by adding 2 aspirin to the water, or just use 7-Up instead of water.
  17. Use a window squeegee to remove pet hair from carpet.
  18. Smelly fireplace? Crumple old newspapers and sprinkle ground coffee on top. Light the paper and allow it to burn. The coffee aroma will clear the sooty odor.
  19. Use a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to clean cooked-on gunk from a stovetop.
  20. Use a can opener to open those impossible clamshell plastic blister packs.
  21. When removing a nail, criss-cross a couple of rubber bands over the top of the hammer before using the hammer's claw. The bands will protect the surface from being scratched by the hammer.
  22. Use hot sauce to shine copper.
  23. Use whitening toothpaste to remove tarnish from silver without removing all the beautiful patina.
  24. Make your house smell amazing by putting two tbsp vanilla extract in an over-safe bowl and baking it at 300 degrees for one hour.
  25. Put a penny in the water to keep tulips standing tall.
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