40 Common Household Repairs You Can Fix Yourself

Trista - January 16, 2022
Share

DIY (or Do It Yourself) is the latest craze in owning a home. From refinishing furniture to completely renovating a bathroom, people are tackling projects in their homes to save money. Sometimes, though, DIYing isn’t about the aesthetics; it’s about fixing problem areas in the house. Learning how to handle some simple home repairs yourself can save you some time and money. After all, you will understand quickly when you are a homeowner that it is not the same as renting. You don’t have a landlord to rely on to fix things around your place — whether minor or major. Instead, you will have to be a handyman, repair guru, or whatever DIY fixer you want to call yourself. To save yourself a lot of stress, let’s look at some solutions to everyday household problems. That way, you can fix common household problems on your own with these simple repairs.

 

Shutterstock

40. Let’s get rid of holes in the wall with an easy DIY household repair.

If you don’t have spackle, you don’t need to make a run to the closest home improvement store just yet. Mix some baking soda and super glue together to create a paste, then use your mixture to fill in cracks and holes in the wall carefully. It’ll harden into a plastic-like substance that you can then file down with sandpaper. The mixture will be whitish, so this is best used over lighter walls unless you plan to repaint (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

39. Goodbye to sticky drawers with quick DIY repairs! 

Few things are annoying as a drawer that jams when it opens or closes. There’s genuinely no reason for it, and sometimes the fix is so much easier than wrestling with it each time and then muttering in frustration as you walk away. Rub a bar of soap on the sides of your problem drawer to make it pull in and out easier. Problem solved (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

38. No screwdriver? No problem — just use a veggie peeler. 

When we’re working on household fixes, we may not have all our tools within reach. If you aren’t able to locate your trusty Phillips screwdriver or if it has somehow broken, you could use the tip of the vegetable peeler as a temporary replacement. The metal curve should replicate the angle of the screw and get you through your fix with enough time to order a new one (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

37. Get rid of unsightly driveway stains with this unexpected household item.

No matter how meticulous we are inside the home, sometimes we can’t control what happens outside. Our cars have a mind of their own, and oil stains are not the most attractive thing on a driveway. Unless you plan to power wash every oil stain away, you need an easy solution to get rid of them, and we have one. Sprinkle kitty litter over the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes before crushing it up, then scrub it away with some eco-friendly detergent. No more stain! (via Shareably)

Shutterstock

36. Eliminate the squeaky sound from your door with this household repair.

If you want to sneak out of your room for a midnight snack but know you’ll get caught because that darn door squeaks every time you crack it open, we have a way you can easily handle it and get to that delicious treat. Rub some petroleum jelly on the door hinges and test it out – they should be silent now! Squeaks usually indicate a need for lubrication, and a petroleum jelly is an excellent option for that (via Shareably). 

Shutterstock

35. Unclog a toilet with this common household item.

Clogs happen when there’s a – ahem – blockage that won’t move past a particular spot. To help that process along, pour a half cup of liquid soap (aka dish soap) into your toilet and let it sit. The soap will help gravity work on the clog without placing the expensive call to the plumber! Keep reading for more helpful DIY household repairs that will save you time and money (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

34. Make that cabinet door close, once and for all. 

If you have a pesky cabinet door that will just not stay shut, there might be a few reasons why. The roller latch may be worn, or the spring may be too old. Alternatively, it could have paint on it and can’t shut. No matter the reason, if you can’t address that issue, you can still close the door by installing a heavy-duty magnet catch. It’s as permanent as you want it to be, and it’ll cost you less than $10! (via Shareably)

Shutterstock

33. Ensure your sliding doors actually slide open.

If you and your sliding doors wrestle daily and you find it easier just to avoid going outside at this point, there is a better way to live. When this happens, it is most likely due to debris in the wheels. Remove the door by turning the screws at the bottom. The next step is to clean the wheels and the track; so, spray silicone lubricant on both, and then replace the door and screw the door back in place. It should now glide majestically and make you want to marvel at your home improvement skills (via Shareably). 

Shutterstock

32. Your doors can stop swinging on their own with these simple household repairs.

If your door slowly swings open or slowly shuts itself, there’s a 98% chance it is not a ghost. While we can’t help you with the remaining 2%, try these tips before calling your local Ghostbusters chapter. Pull the hinge pins and lay them on a flat surface, then hit the middle of them with a hammer and reinsert the pin. That should stop the door from moving on its own. However, if the hinge pin itself was haunted, you just hit it with a hammer, so there’s no telling what will happen now (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

31. Do your windows rattle too much? Before painting them shut, try this DIY fix. 

It’s extremely difficult to save time, money, and effort with window repairs – they’re notoriously expensive. But some issues call for a DIY fix. If a window rattles, it may be because the sash lock’s cam mechanism is broken or not correctly aligned. To eliminate this problem, remove the center latch and install two new ones at equal intervals along the length of the windowsill.  Keep reading for more common household repairs you can fix yourself (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

30. Stop your gutter from becoming your home’s main water feature.

If your gutter is turning into more of a waterfall, your downspout might be clogged. First, flush it with high-pressure water, then use something to dislodge debris. You can use a wire coat hanger since that has a long reach and is thin enough but malleable enough to avoid actually damaging your downspout (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

29. “Freeze” your driveway cracks in their tracks.

Cold temperatures can sometimes cause driveways to crack because of water freezing and expanding. Fix these cracks by pouring cold-pour filler, then seal the entire driveway. Cold pour filler is a pourable asphalt crack sealant that doesn’t need to be heated as tar does. It does need time to cure, though, so make sure you read the instructions on the sealant (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

28. Bring life back to your lawn with this DIY tip. 

Usually, if your lawn is brown, that means it is thirsty! Knowing when to water your yard can be tricky, especially if you are trying to conserve water. To ensure it is getting enough water before it turns brown without overwatering it, look at it through polarized lenses. It is time to water if you see a blue-grey lawn instead of a green lawn (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

27. Prevent any water in the basement with this extra step. 

Water accumulating in the basement is never, ever a good thing unless that’s where you’ve decided to build your indoor pool. If you find water in your basement after rain, it might mean that your gutter’s downspout is emptying out too close to your foundation. To avoid this, add a spout extension, which will move the water away from your home and protect your basement from additional water damage (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

26. Refresh your butcher block with this cheap fix.

Wood butcher blocks are beautiful to look at, but they can often start to smell like the different foods we cut on them. To keep them sanitary, wash them with a teaspoon of bleach diluted with a quart of water, then scrub it with coarse salt and a half of a lemon. Each of these different ingredients has its own disinfecting qualities, so your butcher block will be back to smelling like new (via Shareably). 

Shutterstock

25. Fix scuffed floors with a tennis ball.

Use a tennis ball to buff out scuffs or other marks on your tile or linoleum floors. If you don’t want to spend the day on your hands and knees like Cinderella, try securing the tennis ball to a broom or other long handle for better leverage. Tennis balls are safe for all types of floors, and they are a great fun treat for Fido once you’re done (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

24. Get dents out of your carpet with a “cool” trick. 

Don’t stress if you’ve been remodeling and notice those unsightly divots where your furniture was seated. You can get the dents out by letting the ice melt on those spots! Allow the divot to be fully saturated, then blot it with a sponge and smooth the carpet fibers out with a spoon or your fingers. Allow them to air dry or place a box fan nearby to speed the process up (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

23. Use a pencil to fix a sticky door lock.

Is your door lock sticking? Don’t waste your time and money calling a locksmith when you can fix this common household problem yourself. Using a pencil tip, rub the teeth of a key until the surface is covered with graphite. Repeat this until you have a thick coat, then insert the key into the lock, which should deposit some of the excess graphite into the lock itself. If necessary, repeat this step until the key smoothly glides in and unlocks (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

21. Vinegar can fix a rusty screw situation. 

While solving a problem in the house, three others will pop up to distract you. For instance, what if you need to unscrew something, but the screws are rusted shut? There is an easy solution for this – some vinegar drops on the screw should dissolve that rust and make it easier to unscrew it without any further issue. Vinegar is usually safe for most surfaces, but if you are unsure, just place a paper towel around the screw to avoid contaminating the area (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

20. Water damage does not need to be an eyesore anymore thanks to this DIY household repair.

Even the nicest of homes may not be able to avoid water stains, but that doesn’t have to be an issue if you address them early on. If you are positive that there are no structural issues, but you still want to take care of the aesthetic aspect, just spray the ceiling water stains with some bleach, and they will disappear once everything has dried (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

19. Fix a rocky toilet with this handy trick. 

If a toilet seat doesn’t feel totally stable, your experience may not be as satisfying as you need it to be. That could be solved by quickly tightening the bolts at the toilet’s base. If that doesn’t fix the issue, adding some shims under the toilet for added stability could fix the problem. Once you’ve measured how far the shims need to go, cut off the excess, so you don’t have unsightly bathrooms (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

18. Finally, get your stainless steel gleaming with this DIY idea.

Stainless steel may sound like a godsend, but it actually is quite challenging to clean once the grime of a few years builds up. Instead of spending a fortune on stainless steel cleaners that may or may not work, try WD-40 instead. Just spray it on and wipe off the excess; it should remove fingerprints and keep water off too (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

17. Get your grout nice and shiny again.

Stained grout may be one of those things that we become unaware of until we clean, and then we vow never to let it become stained again. You can remove stains on the grout by bleaching with a grout pen, but that might cause the color to be uneven. If that happens, hide the issue by darkening all the grout with a grout colorant in a soft gray or beige color (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

16. Fix that maddening drip from the faucet with this simple household repair.

If a constantly dripping faucet is driving you insane, turn the water off and remove the faucet from the sink. Smear a little petroleum jelly around the O-ring, then replace the entire spout setup. It should fix the problem temporarily until you can buy a new O-ring or new faucet but note that this is a temporary fix (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

15. If your radiator isn’t getting hot, this may be an easy DIY fix.

Radiators are tricky but oh so wonderful in the cold of winter. If yours isn’t getting hot, it might have rust or paint freezing the bleeder valve. Try working the valve back and forth with a radiator key until you can get it open, which should release the pent-up air inside and allow the radiator to fill up with hot water again (via Shareably). 

Shutterstock

14. Tighten up those loose switch covers.

If your switch covers feel loose, then it might just be a matter of replacing the screws in them. Using longer screws will add a better grip to the cover plate and take out that irksome jiggle when you turn your lights on or off. Are these DIY repair tips helpful? Keep reading for more common household repairs you can fix yourself (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

13. Quiet down those banging water pipes by doing this simple household repair.

Water pipes can sometimes make so much noise, but there is also an easy solution. Secure the loose section of pipes with pipe hangers and be sure to wrap the pipes in insulation where they come through walls or flooring to avoid damage! Now you won’t hear that annoying banging when running your washing machine or dishwasher (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

12. Beautify your battered baseboards.

Our poor baseboards seldom get attention, especially with daily life being so busy. Thankfully, wood putty is a thing that exists, and you can use it to fix pretty much anything in the house. Use it to cover up minor scratches on your baseboards and sand it down after it dries. No one will ever tell once you touch it up with a bit of paint (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

11. Speed up the slow-draining sink in the bathroom.

We don’t really think about drains doing their job until one gets clogged or slows down, then it becomes the bane of our existence. Fix a slow-draining bathroom sink with a mix of vinegar and baking soda. Unscrew your drain cover, pour in a half cup of baking soda first, then follow it with a half cup of vinegar. You’ll experience the magic the next time you use the sink! Keep reading for the top ten household repairs you can do yourself to save time and money (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

10. No more creaky floorboards for you. 

Creaky floorboards are pretty annoying, but you can easily solve them with some baby powder or talcum powder. Sweep a thin layer of it over the squeaky area until it gets into the cracks. This will prevent the boards from rubbing together. Continue reading to discover easy DIY household repairs to save you time and money as a homeowner (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

9. Unstick a stuck window.

If you have a window that is stuck or painted shut, use a utility knife and hammer to undo what has been done. Use the knife to score a line between the windowsill and the frame and wiggle it loose. Another way to open it is to wedge a putty knife or other dull knife between the sill and frame and tap the blade very, very lightly with the hammer until the paint dislodges. Make sure you aren’t using too much force; this could compromise the window’s frame or even glass panel (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

8. Unclog your garbage disposal very carefully. 

Before you try to fix a garbage disposal, make sure it is turned off and unplugged! Remove any large blockage with tongs if possible, then use something to try to rotate the blades as a test. Once you’ve confirmed that you have removed all blockages, plug it back in and do a test run. You can also purchase garbage disposal products that leave pleasant aromas, as well as natural items (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

7. Give your toilet flush a little more oomph.

No one wants to flush multiple times, but some toilets just don’t have enough power in their flush. If that’s a problem that plagues your household, look behind your toilet for the water valve. Once you find it, turn it counterclockwise until you can’t turn it anymore. That means it is fully open, and that should allow your tank to fill to its maximum, which should give your flush a little more power (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

6. Make your washing machine actually smell clean.

Front loading washing machines can start to smell musty after a period of use. Avoid this by keeping the door open for a while after each wash; that can let the canister air out well and dry without letting mold grow. To eliminate an odor that has already formed, clean the door’s seal with water and vinegar at least once a month (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

5. Clean up any rusty stainless steel appliances you have.

If you’ve ever left a cast iron pan in the sink, you now have a rust ring in your sink too. If you want to tackle that or any other rust spots on stainless steel, mix up a concoction of vinegar and baking soda, then spread it on the stain and let it work its magic for about ten minutes before scrubbing it with a scrub pad. Voila! Shiny new sink (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

4. Remove your stripped screws with this trick.

If you need to remove a screw with a stripped top, it might feel like that thing is there to stay, but no worries! To unscrew it, place a rubber band over the top of the screwdriver, then insert it into the screw and proceed as usual. The rubber band will give the screwdriver something to grip and fill the gap between the screwdriver and the screw itself, making it move much more easily (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

3. Stop your doormat from sliding all over the place.

If you like having a doormat but don’t love how it migrates all over your front porch, try this easy hack. Use a hot glue gun to spread a few lines of glue along the bottom. There are two ways you can proceed. Either press the mat down while the hot glue is still ready, effectively gluing it down in place, or you can wait until the glue strips dry and use them more as extra traction – either way, it should stay in place (via Shareably)!

Shutterstock

2. Make your bathtub gleam like new again with this DIY household fix.

If you love taking baths but just can’t bring yourself to do it in your dingy, stained tub, you can get your tub back to life with a mixture of household ingredients. Add equal parts of cream of tartar and baking soda with a squeeze of lemon juice, then mix them together to form a paste. Rub the paste over the tub’s stains and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing (via Shareably).

Shutterstock

1. Update your ceilings by removing popcorn texture.

Popcorn ceilings are a thing of the past. Thankfully they are not a permanent feature, though they can be a bit of a pain to remove. To make their removal a bit easier, try taking a six-inch spackle knife and attaching it to the end of a shop vac or wet/dry vac using duct tape to create a DIY, McGuyver type of extension for the vacuum. Your new gadget will immediately vacuum up falling popcorn and dust particles as you push the blade along the ceiling. It may not be glamorous, but hey, it works (via Shareably)! 

Advertisement