Spring cleaning often brings to attention those small repairs that you’ve been meaning to get around to. Stuck drawers, clogged drains, torn window screens – small household repairs can be an ordeal if you have painful hands from arthritis and a shortage of tools. But they don’t have to be. Nancy Ryan, an occupational therapist in New York City, suggests these simple shortcuts for doing common jobs with less pain and effort and with items you probably have on hand.
JOB: Sharpen Scissors
Stack and fold several sheets of aluminum foil together, then make several cuts with the scissors and they’ll be sharp again.
JOB: Hang Pictures
Use hooks with 3M removable adhesive backing. They’re larger and easier to handle than regular picture hooks, require no hammering or nail holes and can be removed easily without damaging the wall.
JOB: Fix a Sticky Wooden Drawer
Remove the drawer and rub a bar of soap along the drawer’s guides. It will go back in easily and glide smoothly.
JOB: Unclog a Drain
No need to thread a snake or wield a plunger. Simply drop in a few Alka-Seltzer tablets or a cup of baking soda followed by a bottle of white vinegar. Wait 15 minutes, then flush with hot water.
JOB: Repair a torn window screen
To stop window screen tears from getting larger, brush clear nail polish on the tear, let it dry and then add another coat.
JOB: Fill Nail Holes
Place a dab of white toothpaste over a small hole and rub gently with a damp cloth to smooth. Let dry overnight and paint.
JOB: Unstick a Door Lock
Stick the point of an ordinary No. 2 pencil in the key hole and turn the pencil several times to coat with graphite, the pencil’s “lead.” Keys will be easy to insert and the lock will turn smoothly.
JOB: Keep Shower Clean
To keep glass shower doors and tile clean, apply a rain repellent windshield sealant available at automotive stores. It deters soap scum buildup. Follow the product’s directions on how to apply it.
Author: Mary Anne Dunkin
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