15-Minute Home Repairs

A few cheap and quick tricks for fixing stuff around the house this weekend, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.

Hard-to-remove decals
Spray the decals and the surrounding areas with WD-40, lifting the edges to get underneath, if possible. Let sit, then gently scrape away the decal with the edge of a credit card. Degrease the area with liquid dishwashing soap

Stuck sliding windows
Solution: A little silicone spray lubricant (sold at hardware stores) will grease the skids. Spray it onto a rag, then wipe along the tracks, whether they’re metal, wood, or plastic.

Scuffed linoleum
Rub the spot with white toothpaste and a dry cloth or with an eraser. Or spray WD-40 on a towel and rub lightly, making sure to degrease the area afterward with liquid dishwashing soap and water.

Flattened down cushions
Put them outside in the sun for a few hours, flipping them halfway through. (Be careful — leaving them out too long may fade the fabric.) The sun will help evaporate the moisture that gets into the filling over time, and the cushions should plump up nicely.

Clear Nail Polish as Eyeglasses Fix
Keep a loose eyeglass screw in line. After tightening, dab polish across the top for a longer-lasting fix.


12 Quick Home Repairs [Real Simple via Frugal For Life]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hoss says:

    Why does Real Simple say WD-40 for the decals and linoleum but “silicon spray” for windows — don’t they know that WD-40 will solve ANYTHING? It’s the toolbox in a can!!

  2. Pfluffy says:

    WD 40 is great for things that don’t have a rubber or plastic component. WD 40 can weaken or dissolve rubber/plastic componets. Silicone spray won’t.

  3. phrygian says:

    My dad always says that either WD-40, duct tape or a hammer can fix anything…

  4. ElizabethD says:

    Who has actual *linoleum* in their house anymore? But anyway, these are kind of neat.

    My own trick is to use toothpaste (the creamy kind, not gel) to quickly polish small silver jewelry items, like earrings. Gunk the toothpaste on the piece of jewelry, smoosh and rub it around a lot with your fingers, if needed use an old toothbrush or small nail brush to get into the crevices, rinse thoroughly, dry with towel. Sparkle plenty!

  5. any such name says:

    also, re the eyeglasses screw – when the screw came out of my digital camera, they told me to put nail polish ON the screw threads, thus helping it hold together from the inside.

  6. Negative says:

    For lubrication silicon spray is much better than WD-40. WD-40 is good for short term lubrication not long term.

  7. VA_White says:

    Un-Du adhesive remover is MUCH better than WD40 at removing stickers and labels of all kinds. It also evaporates and does not leave any oily residue that must be cleaned off.


    The other bonus is that once it evaporates from the sticker, the adhesive is stil good and you can reuse the sticker somewhere else, if you so desire. And no, I don’t work for them. I just love this product.

  8. infinitysnake says:

    Mineral oil works just as well, and is cheaper. A lot of adhesive removers are just mineral oil with citrus oil for scent.

  9. I’ve also found that peanut butter works very well as an adhesive remover. I had one stupid label stuck to the bottom of a pizza pan that just wouldn’t come off; I tried a lot of household products to try and dissolve it, with no luck. I finally tried peanut butter, which seemed to be a silly suggestion, but it worked amazingly. Goop it on, let it sit for a while, then scrape/scrub it off carefully. May need to repeat a few times, but it can do the trick nicely.

  10. Linoleum is actually making a comeback as the technology has improved, and is actually in most cases, a ‘Green’product. I spec’d it for a project I did. Neat stuff.

    Because it is made of organic materials and is purportedly non-allergenic in nature, high quality linoleum is still in use in many places (especially in non-allergenic homes, hospitals and health care facilities). The design and inlaying of various colors to form patterns reflecting the shape and use of a room is a highly respected craft.


  11. pestie says:

    phrygian, your dad is absolutely right! If something’s moving and shouldn’t be, you duct-tape it. If it isn’t moving and should be, you spray it with WD-40. If it still doesn’t move, hit it with the hammer. If you break it, stick it back together with duct tape.

  12. Happy Homemaker says:

    I remember when my husband was on the submarines in the Navy they had a very frugal rule. If it moves and it shouldn’t – Duct Tape. If it doesn’t move and it should – WD-40. He used to be amazed the damn thing was still afloat. Same goes for some of the planes he worked in the past as a mechanic. He said after seeing the condition of half the planes he worked on passing inspection, he swore you’ll never catch him in one of those death traps ever again.

  13. infinitysnake says:

    Andrew, good one- I never thought of that..I do remember it was the go to remedy for bubblegum in the hair!