Home & Garden

Quick fixes anyone can perform

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It’s a common misconception that you need at least some skill with your hands to improve your home. This simply isn’t the case. Here are some quick fixes anyone can perform, all of which come with little fuss and plenty of satisfaction.
Door hinges
One of the most irritating things in life is a squeaky door hinge. Simply spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forth to make sure the liquid is worked in, and you should be set. No WD-40? No worries, rubbing petroleum jelly in can also do the trick.
Squeaky floor
Although only a temporary solution, you’d be surprised what a little talcum powder can do when it comes to silencing creaking floorboards.
Worn caning
Over time, the caning on chairs is likely to sag. You can easily tighten this up with a sponge and warm water, rub the water in and allow to dry overnight, repeating if necessary.
Stained tub
Mix equal measures of cream of tartar with baking soda and enough lemon juice so that a paste forms. Rub this into the stain with a cloth, allow around half an hour for it to sit, and then rinse thoroughly with water.
Jammed sliding windows and doors
Use silicone spray lubricant, available from all good hardware stores, applied to a rag. Wipe the rag along the tracks, and soon you’ll have smooth runnings again. This works whether the tracks are metal, wood or plastic.
Old decals
Spray the decal with WD-40, and if possible try to work at the edges and get the liquid underneath a little. Allow to sit for a few minutes then gently begin to scrape from the edges using a credit card, ideally old just in case it snaps. If you need to degrease the surface afterwards use washing up liquid.
Tired cushions
Place the offending cushion(s) outside in the midday sun for a few hours, turning them over as you would a piece of meat halfway through. Thanks to the evaporation of any moisture stored inside the cushions should start plumping up, providing there’s some life in the old pillow yet.
Linoleum scuffs
Rub the scuff with white toothpaste, using a dry cloth. Alternatively, you can use a pencil eraser. Or, if you have some to hand, our old friend WD-40 can work just as well. Once you’re done degrease with washing up liquid and water.

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