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Home Care

20 Common Home Maintenance Problems and How to Solve Them

Scratches, creaks, and cracks? Learn how to fix common home dilemmas without having to call a handyman.

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Original Article: Arlene Sanchez Maslog Photography: Hans Fausto | Pexels (Main Photos)

Maintenance problems are common occurrences at home, but they don’t have to be difficult or expensive to handle. Here are 20 easy solutions you can do to address minor upkeep issues in your space.

Creaky floors


Fix creaky wood flooring by pouring a generous amount of baby powder over the affected spot then sweeping it with a broom or a brush. Do this until the powder is no longer visible and has gotten into the cracks between the floorboards.

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No more paint spills


It is best to deal with paint spills while these are still wet and easier to manage. Using a dry paintbrush, pick up as much of the spilled paint and throw it away, then wash the area with warm, soapy water.

Cigarette smoke smell

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You can get rid of cigarette smoke odors from upholstered sofas or chairs by letting the loose cushions sit under the sun for several hours. Afterwards, vacuum these with a brush attachment to loosen the tobacco smell still stuck in the foam fibers.

Glass scratches

Is your glass tabletop or shelf marred by scratches? Clean the glass thoroughly then dry with a lint-free cloth. Fill in scratches with toothpaste using your fingertips. When the toothpaste dries, buff the area with cloth.

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Deal with those wall cracks

Apply mixed epoxy adhesive on the crack on your tiles using a fine paintbrush. Once the epoxy has dried, wipe off the excess with a rag. You may also paint over sealed cracks to conceal any markings.

Clean up shower door scum

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De-scum your shower door by rubbing it with a cloth soaked in Old English Lemon Oil (available in True Value). Use a soft brush to brush off the scum. Afterwards, wipe the door dry, then, using another cloth, coat the door again with the oil to prevent future buildup.


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Make your own door stopper

You can seal the space between your door and the floor using a repurposed knee-high stocking. Make a dual-purpose draft and light stopper by filling the stocking with rice or mung beans (munggo), then seal it by tying the open end with a string.

Same old, brand new kitchen cabinets

Make your kitchen cabinets look new again by wiping them with soapy lukewarm water. Go over them with a damp rag then dry later with a soft cloth.


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Go organic with pest repellants

For a non-toxic rat repellant, soak cotton balls with 100% peppermint oil (available at aromatherapy and scent stores) and place them in rat-prone areas like pipe and drain entrances.

Fix that door hinge

To fix a loose door hinge, remove the screw hinges. Make new pegs out of wood and place them in the old holes the screws of the hinge bear into. Using a drill, create new holes on which to re-attach the screws of the hinge.

Close that sticky door

Use Velcro strips for doors that refuse to remain closed. Simply attach the Velcro with heavy-duty double-sided tape on cabinet doors and on jambs to keep them shut.

Keep doorknobs and other hardware free from paint

When repainting a door, use aluminum foil to cover the knob and avoid spilling paint on it. This is easier to use than masking tape and newspaper.

Control your cords

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Keep your extension cords in sight, untangled, and dust- or pest-free by placing them in reusable takeout containers.


Keep your wallpaper from peeling

To fix peeling wallpaper, pull on the seam of the loose end until you feel some resistance. With a four-inch paintbrush, apply wallpaper adhesive onto the back of the wallpaper. Press the wallpaper into place with your palm. Wipe the area with a damp sponge, then seal further with a wallpaper roller.

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Fix that lightbulb



Faced with a stubborn bulb? Make sure that the receptacle is unplugged. Begin by making a loop with a foot-long piece of duct tape by attaching its two ends together. Ring the duct tape around the bulb and attach the bulb to one side. Using the tape, turn the bulb counterclockwise to remove the bulb.

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Keep copper shiny

Wipe clean brass or copper fixtures thoroughly, then wash with warm, soapy water and dry. Use a commercial cleaner and wipe the fixture, then buff. You may also use a combination of toothpaste and Worcestershire sauce to clean such pieces.

Don't let varnish fade

To revive faded varnish on old furniture, start by cleaning them with a microfiber cloth. Spray Pledge Orange Oil on a cleaning cloth and rub this onto the wooden furniture.

Deep-clean your carpet

Flood the area with a generous amount of room-temperature water. Allow the water to penetrate the stain for about 15 minutes. Gently push the water back and forth with your fingers until the stain is dispersed. Repeat if necessary, then vacuum.


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De-clog the drain

Did you know that you can use Alka-Seltzer to de-clog your drain? Alka-Seltzer is an antacid that helps relieve heartburn. Drop three tablets down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the combination fizz and stand for 15 minutes, then pour a pan of boiling water into the drain to further loosen the gunk.

Be careful with the chandelier

First dust the arms of the chandelier with a feather duster. Then, mix one part isopropyl alcohol with three parts water. Using a pair of cotton gloves, soak one in the alcohol solution and keep the other dry. Wear the gloves, and then, using the glove soaked in the alcohol solution, carefully wipe the crystals. Use the other glove to dry the crystals immediately after.

This story is based on a previously uploaded article.

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