50 Amazing DIY Hacks That Will Make You Feel Like a Total Genius
Unleash your inner MacGyver.
Short of a magic lamp (or massive Amazon order), your life isn’t likely to get a whole lot neater, easier, or more organized on its own. Luckily, with these easy do-it-yourself solutions, you can tackle your seemingly endless to-do list while saving yourself some serious cash (and sanity) along the way. From getting marks off of clothes and furniture to keeping your AC clean, read on to discover these DIY hacks you’ll wish you knew earlier.
Remove a deodorant stain with pantyhose.
If you have an unsightly deodorant mark on your clothes, don’t rub your garment with a standard cloth and risk pilling. Instead, use a pair of pantyhose to gently rub the deodorant mark and watch it disappear with ease.
Remove sticker residue with cooking oil.
Peeled a label off a jar only to find paper and residue left behind? Using a cotton pad and some cooking oil, rub the residue and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the oil has sunk in, it’ll wipe away easily.
Use toothpaste to erase permanent marker messes.
If you accidentally got permanent marker on a piece of furniture, don’t lose hope just yet. Using a small dab of non-gel toothpaste, rub the marker stain in a circular motion with a soft cloth and it should buff right out.
Get rid of crayon marks with a hair dryer.
If your kids have gotten creative with their crayons and your walls, there’s an easy fix. Simply heat the offending portion of the wall with a hair dryer for a few seconds to soften the crayon’s wax and wipe away with a soft cloth.
Or remove a stuck wine cork with one!
Looking forward to enjoying that bottle of Malbec, but don’t have a corkscrew handy? If the wine’s room temperature, you can ease that cork out by heating the neck of the bottle with a hair dryer. Just make sure you’re not doing this with sparkling wine or wine that’s been refrigerated or you could break the bottle or cause the cork to forcefully eject.
Make a fabric refresher with leftover vodka.
If you’ve got a little vodka at the bottom of that bottle, but not quite enough for a cocktail, put it to good use. Combine one part vodka to three parts water, add a few drops of essential oil, and you’ve got a fabric refresher spray without the chemical smells.
Clean your toilet bowl with mouthwash.
If your toilet bowl could use a cleaning but you’re out of traditional cleaner, use mouthwash instead. Pour a capful of the stuff into your toilet bowl and let it sit for half an hour. When you’re ready to give the bowl a scrub, any grime will come off easily.
Use a pencil eraser to replace a lost earring back.
Rushing out of the house only to discover you’ve dropped your earring back? Look no further than your desk drawer for a replacement. Just snip off the eraser end of a pencil and you have a back that will last until you can find a proper replacement.
Protect your furniture from pet scratches with aluminum foil.
If your cats won’t leave part of your furniture alone, cover the area with aluminum foil. The sensation of the foil against their claws will be unpleasant enough to deter them in the future.
And line the bottom of your fireplace with aluminum foil, too.
It’s always a pleasure to curl up in front of a crackling fire on a cold night. Less enjoyable, however, is having to clean up after that fire afterward. If you want to make this often onerous task easier, put some aluminum foil in the bottom of your fireplace before you lay down your logs, and when you’re done, you can simply gather the foil and toss it out instead of having to sweep those messy ashes away.
Rid your clothing of wrinkles using your shower.
No steamer? No problem! If you want to get wrinkles out of your clothing, simply turn the shower on full blast at high temperature, hang your garment from the curtain rod or towel hook, and voila! A wrinkle-free outfit in no time.
Use a piece of bread to soften brown sugar.
That rock-hard brown sugar won’t do you much good when you’re trying to make your famous gingerbread recipe. If you know you’ll need to bake with brown sugar soon and it’s too hard to use, stick a piece of bread in with the sugar overnight and leave the two in a sealed plastic bag. By morning, the bread should have absorbed the moisture that’s causing the sugar to stick.
Freshen up your plastic shower curtain with a Magic Eraser.
If your shower curtain or liner is looking less than clean, spruce it up with a Magic Eraser. A few passes with this handy sponge will help you wipe away mildew and soap scum in no time.
Or give your dirty sneakers a refresh with one!
If your shoes have seen better days, give them new life with a Magic Eraser, too! Simply dampen the sponge and wipe off that grime.
Make your own body scrub using Epsom salt.
If your skin is feeling a bit rough but you don’t feel like taking a trip to the drugstore, you can make your own scrub right at home. Simply combine Epsom salt, olive oil, and the essential oil of your choice and you’ll have a sweetly-scented scrub ready to go in seconds.
Soften a sweater with your hair conditioner.
Is that new wool sweater making you warm, but itchy? To make that wool softer, soak it in lukewarm water with a few tablespoons of conditioner mixed in. After 15 minutes, drain the water, and dry the sweater by rolling it up in a clean towel until it’s damp, then leave it flat on a rack to dry.
Pick up small toys using a lint roller.
Have your kids or grandkids left tiny toys all over the floor that you’re bound to step on and break if they’re not cleaned up quickly? Simply use a lint roller and you can get them out from underfoot in seconds.
Use a magnetic strip to keep your beauty tools organized.
If you find yourself forever misplacing your tweezers, nail files, or manicure scissors, there’s an easy way to keep them all organized. Simply stick some magnetic tape to your wall or on the inside of your hard-sided makeup kit and they’ll stay put.
Prevent overcrowding in a pot with toilet paper rolls.
Want to keep your garden organized without buying dividers at the hardware store? Fill a planter with as many toilet paper rolls as you can fit (without squishing them), put some dirt and seeds in each one, and water them regularly. This will keep your plants neatly organized in a confined space, and those cardboard tubes will eventually disintegrate into the soil over time.
And use a toilet paper tube to keep your wrapping paper in order, too.
If your wrapping paper tends to unroll itself, there’s an easy solution. Just take a toilet paper roll and put it over the wrapping paper roll—that way, the end won’t have room to unravel.
Clean your HVAC vent registers in the dishwasher.
Those grimy HVAC registers are easily cleaned—in your dishwasher! Just pop them off, run them through a quick rinse cycle, and dry them thoroughly before reinstalling.
And use your vacuum’s precision attachments to clean your AC filters.
If your air conditioner’s filters are tough to clean, let your vacuum do the hard work for you. Simply attach the crevice tool and vacuum up all that lint and dirt you’d otherwise have to rinse off, risking a drain clog in the process.
Clean your car’s AC vents with a pipe cleaner.
Those AC vents on your car are so small, they’re almost impossible to get dust-free. Fortunately, a pipe cleaner can quickly remove all that dust in seconds, getting into areas traditional dusters can’t reach.
Clean your baseboard heaters with compressed air.
If your baseboard heaters are screaming “clean me” but your back is saying “forget about it,” there’s an easy solution: compressed air. Simply aim the can at the offending heater and that dust will come off in seconds.
Use a squeegee to rid your furniture of pet hair.
Finding that your lint rollers are doing little to combat your pet hair problems? Take out that squeegee you typically use to clean off your car windshield and the hair will come up with ease.
Use ice cubes to remove candle wax.
If you’ve spilled candle wax on a piece of furniture, don’t risk ruining the finish by trying to scrape it up. Simply fill a plastic bag with ice cubes, put it over the wax, and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the wax has sufficiently cooled and hardened, you can pick it up easily.
Or remove wax from carpet with a steam iron.
If you’ve accidentally dripped candle wax onto your carpet, there is hope yet. First, put a paper bag down over the wax, then lightly go over the affected area with a steam iron. The steam will help lift the wax from the carpet and allow it to cling to the bag instead.
Use suspenders to keep a fitted sheet in place.
If you find your fitted sheets slipping off the corners of your bed, look no further than your closet for an easy fix. Just use a pair of elastic suspenders, clipping one end to each corner under the mattress, and your sheet will stay put.
Keep dust at bay with a dryer sheet.
You can cut your dusting time in half with one common household item: a dryer sheet. Simply swipe it over your baseboards and its anti-static properties will keep dust from sticking while making your home smell fresh.
Use Alka Seltzer tablets to clean a pan.
Is that mess from dinner not budging from your pan? Fill it with hot water, drop in an Alka Seltzer tablet, and let it sit. In about 15 minutes, that mess should wipe up easily.
Shred chicken with a stand mixer.
Don’t feel like shredding chicken by hand for a recipe? Simply drop pieces of cooked chicken into the bowl part of your stand mixer, attach the dough hook, and turn it on for up to 15 seconds at a time until the chicken is thoroughly shredded.
And use a plastic lid to keep hand mixer splatter to a minimum.
The most frustrating thing about using a hand mixer? The splatter around your kitchen you’re left to clean up afterward. To keep those messes to a minimum, poke two holes in the lid of a reusable container that’s lost its mate (we all have them!), stick the beaters through it, and it should keep that splatter contained.
Use a pool noodle to keep your car doors from denting.
If you find yourself hitting the walls of your garage or carport with your car door on a regular basis, there’s a simple fix. Use a nail gun to attach a pool noodle to your wall to prevent scrapes!
Keep your clothing smelling fresh with bar soap.
If you want to keep your clothing smelling fresh while you travel, there’s no need for fabric refresher spray—just pack some soap. Nestled between your clothing (with or without its wrapper or box), bar soap will keep your clothes smelling fresh.
Use a metal wine rack to store your hair tools.
Those curling and straightening irons may make your hair look like a million bucks, but their heat can easily melt or burn pretty much anything you leave them to cool on. Fortunately, with a metal wine rack, you can easily store those tools without the risk of singeing anything in your bathroom.
Use a label maker to keep your cords organized.
Want to ensure you don’t accidentally turn out the lights when you go to unplug something? Use your label maker to create flags that identify each appliance by name, making it easy to unplug the right one every time.
Keep your jewelry from tangling with plastic wrap.
Need to keep your jewelry from tangling while you travel? Place it on a sheet of press-and-seal plastic wrap and put another sheet on top. Press between the individual pieces of jewelry with your fingers to seal each item in its own compartment without the need for a bulky jewelry case.
Use a clothespin to hold a nail in place.
If you end up with smashed fingers every time you try to hammer a nail, a clothespin can help. Simply hold the nail in place with the clothespin for the first few swings, then take it away when you’re ready to finish the job.
Make a fruit fly trap with an old jar and some vinegar.
Finding fruit flies around your kitchen in the summertime? Instead of hanging unsightly fly paper, take a cup, fill it with an inch of red wine vinegar, seal the top with plastic wrap, and poke a few small holes in it with a pen. The flies will be attracted to the scent of the vinegar, but won’t be able to get out.
Use a shower caddy to keep your kids entertained on long car trips.
Want to keep your kids’ toys contained on a long car trip? Before you leave, fill a shower caddy with toys, books, and snacks—it’s an easy way to keep everything in one place and the handle makes it easy for your kids to carry them out when you arrive at your destination.
Remove scuffs on suede with a nail file.
If your suede shoes (blue or otherwise) are looking worse for wear, don’t turn to your local cobbler—turn to your manicure kit. A few gentle passes with a nail file can help dislodge stains without ruining the texture of the suede.
Get fingerprints off your wall with chalk.
If you have greasy fingerprints on your doorframes or walls, there’s a simple fix. Just rub a piece of chalk gently over them, let it sit for 10 minutes, and the chalk will absorb the oil, allowing it to easily wipe away.
And turn an old windowpane into a chalkboard.
If you’re having new windows put into your home, save one of the old ones to create a fun project. Just paint those panes with a little chalkboard paint and you’ve got an easy chalkboard that will infuse any room with a bit of rustic charm.
Keep paint rollers fresh with a damp towel.
If you’ve finished painting for the evening, but plan to get right back at it in the morning, there’s an easy way to keep your roller from drying out. Cover the paint-dampened roller with a wet dish towel, pop it in a plastic bag, seal it, and when you need to paint again, it will still be perfectly soft.
And save paint for touch-ups in baby food jars.
Have a little paint left in that can, but not enough to warrant keeping that whole huge container around? Just pour it into a washed and dried baby food jar and keep it tightly sealed for touch-ups.
Use a magazine rack to store your reusable container lids.
If you’re forever losing the lids to your reusable containers, there’s an easy way to keep them all in place (and from falling out of your cabinet). Use a magazine rack to keep them contained and you’ll never find yourself searching high and low for a lost lid again.
Clip flowers to a pants hanger to dry them.
Want to dry out flowers quickly and easily? Just use the clips on a pants hanger to hold the stems of your flowers so they’re hanging bulb down, and leave them in a cool, dry place to dehydrate.
And use one to keep Christmas lights from tangling, too!
Instead of spending hours untangling your Christmas lights every year, simply wrap them around the bar portion of a pants hanger and clip each end—they’ll remain untangled all year.
Repurpose chipped teacups as succulent planters.
Those tea cups you inherited from your great aunt have seen better days, but you don’t feel good about throwing them away—so what should you do? Drill a drainage hole in the bottom, fill them with dirt, and use them to plant succulents, of course!
Keep track of your house keys with the last of your nail polish.
If you’ve got just a tiny bit of nail polish left in the bottle—and not enough for a full manicure—put it to good use. Paint the top of your keys to identify them instead of paying good money for those key caps that weigh down your key ring and always end up breaking. And for more great tips, check out these 30 Amazing Cleaning Hacks You’ll wish You Knew Sooner.
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