13 Clever Fixes For The Most Annoying Household Problems

Pro Service Mechanical / Three Roses

I've never been a handyman, and always relied on other people to fix even the simplest jobs around my home.

But relying on other people can be expensive and time consuming.

If you have a household to-do list that seems to get longer by the day, these simple jobs are a good starting point.

Once you know the easy tricks to fix them for good, most of these annoying problems just take a few minutes to solve.

1. My faucet won't stop dripping

Max Pixel

How can such a small sound be so annoying? I swear, I can hear my leaky faucet from the next room.

The cause of the leak is almost always a worn washer, or an o-ring, in your faucet.

Take the handle apart and replace the washer, following these simple instructions.

If you have separate hot and cold handles, you'll need to turn them off one by one to check where the leak is.

2. My washing machine is just plain noisy

U.S. Department of Energy

Most people assume the noise is coming from inside their washer.

Actually, it's probably coming from underneath the machine.

When the adjustable legs on your washer are at the wrong height, they clatter and clang.

Most legs adjust by hand, with a nut in the center that tightens them in place. Some models even have self-adjusting legs that move as you lift the machine.

If your machine has a bad habit of "walking" during the wash cycle, this will also fix it.

3. My lawn turns brown every summer

Scot Nelson - Flickr

You don't need a green thumb to keep your lawn in good condition, just some a few helpful tips.

The biggest mistake homeowners make is under-watering their lawn - it takes more than you think to keep it emerald green all summer.

Here's a handy tip: check your lawn through a pair of polarized sunglasses.

In direct sunlight, the grass should still look green.

If it's blue or gray, you need to water the lawn again.

4. My wood floors won't stop squeaking

Three Roses

Squeaking starts when the wooden boards separate from the under-flooring below them, which happens naturally over time.

You can quiet the noise with just a little talcum powder.

Pour out the powder on the squeakiest area of your floor, then sweep it between the boards.

Sadly, if that doesn't do the trick you have a more intensive project in store to fix your floors.

5. My home stinks


Don't be ashamed to admit it, we all deal with a smelly home once in a while.

Before we tackle them, identify the culprit behind the foul odors: is it your carpet? Your pantry? Your fridge?

We have all kinds of handy smell-busting tricks, but for overall impressions start with your vents.

A scented dryer sheet pinned to your vents, or even directly to your AC unit, will fill your home with a sweet smell.

6. My screen door is shredded


Some careless person knocked a hole in your screen door and now you have to stare at it every day.

Depending on the size of the tear, there are a few options available to you:

Clear fingernail polish is great for knitting together small holes in the screen, or a flapping corner.

For bigger jobs, there is now special screen repair tape on the market.

7. My water pressure is unbearably low

Steve Depolo - Flickr

The cure for this annoying household problem is one of those solutions that makes you smack your head in frustration.

You probably just need to adjust the water pressure valve for your home.

Near the main water line, there should be a bell-shaped pressure valve with a bolt.

Cranking the bolt half a turn clockwise should give you noticeably stronger water pressure.

Visit this handy guide for more in-depth instructions.

8. My sink is clogged (or it drains very, very slowly)


The biggest mistake you can make in this situation is pouring harsh and expensive chemicals into your kitchen sink.

Baking soda, salt, and even dish soap will naturally break up a clog. Check out this full list of natural cures for clogged drains.

Affordable tools like a plumber's snake, or even your wet-dry vacuum, can do the trick too.

9. My carpet has dents from furniture legs


This is one of those household problems that everyone forgets about - until they rearrange the furniture.

When your carpet has been compressed for months, or years, it  can be a pain to fluff it back up and remove unsightly marks.

Try this: moisten the dented carpet with a clean rag (white or light colored, so it doesn't stain) then blow dry the spot.

While you're heating it, rake a spoon across the surface of the dent.

Usually, after just a few minutes, the dent will pop back out.

10. My stainless steel appliances are covered in finger marks

Making Lemonade

So annoying, and so embarrassing when guests pop over unexpectedly.

But the solution to this problem might surprise you. The appliances need a protective coating of oil to keep prints, water marks, and stains off.

You can spray them with WD-40, then rub off the excess oil with a cloth. Olive oil will also do the trick, but it's usually more expensive.

11. My wooden table has water marks on the surface

Michaels Land - YouTube

We've explained how to wipe away water marks using mayonnaise, and a small amount of denatured alcohol will also do the trick.

But if you're careful, you can actually iron out these unsightly marks.

Put a cloth over the mark and keep the iron on medium heat or lower. Check your work after a few seconds and stop once the mark is no longer noticeable.

12. My toilet won't stop running

Pro Service Mechanical

Like a leaky faucet, there's usually just one culprit for a noisy toilet, a worn out flapper.

You can test the tank by adding a few drops of dye to the water inside, then waiting 15 minutes.

If the water in the bowl has changed color, your flapper is definitely worn.

You can buy a replacement at the hardware store and easily replace it on your own.

13. My door locks are sticking

Today's Homeowner

Most of the common tricks to fix a sticking lock are bad for the door.

Liquids and sprays - including WD-40 - can make the problem worse when they dry out.

Instead, try powdered graphite, which comes in a squeezable tube with a slim cap.

Squeeze the powder into the keyhole and the added traction will help it open easily.

Try these other handy home hacks: