Classic DIY Hacks That Still Work

A magnetic screwdriver with screws attached to the end.
  • 1-40 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-8,000

Thanks to Pinterest, HGTV, and the many other venues that inspire us and help us through all of our DIY needs, we’re able to do some pretty amazing things around our homes. From new and exciting projects to complex and in-depth tutorials, it’s possible to do it all! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tried and true DIY tips and tricks that have been in many of our back pockets for years. We’re here to remind or inform you of some of these hacks. These tricks prove to be handy in a range of projects, so they’re great to store in your memory bank!

Classic Woodworking Hacks

Forget Dropped Screws

Magnetize your screwdriver to get rid of the issue of dropped screws that have you scrambling on the ground! Rub a magnet along the shaft of your screwdriver roughly a dozen times in the same direction. After a few seconds, your screwdriver will be magnetic and will keep the small items from falling.

Ensure Your Level Is Level

A close-up image of the bubble on a level.

Levels aren’t that useful if they’re not actually, you know, level! To ensure that yours is working correctly, set it up on your workbench or a flat surface, and slip a shim under the low end until the bubble ends up centered. Flip the tool around, and test the same thing on the other end. If the bubble doesn’t end up centered again, your level is off.

Drill the Perfect Hole Every Time

You don’t need fancy tools to drill the perfect hole every time! Instead, use a couple of scraps of wood that are screwed together. Leverage the corner created where the scraps meet to steer the bit in straight.

Don’t Let Your Bit Wander

Drills can sometimes cause your bit to wander, especially on slippery material like metal or glass. To avoid this issue, use a softer material—like thin and flexible cardboard from a cereal box—to give your bit a place to start. Use tape to hold the cardboard in place and your bit will be steadier than ever!

Classic Plumbing Hacks

Silence Creaky Pipes

Creaky pipes can be an annoyance! To shush them, simply wrap them in adhesive-backed felt and they’ll be as quiet as a mouse.

Clear Your Garbage Disposal

Ice in a stainless steel sink.

Don’t let a garbage disposal clog get you down! To clear yours of debris, freeze white vinegar in an old ice tray. Then, pour the cubes into the sink on top of your disposal. Let them melt for 30 minutes, and the vinegar will do its work to remove light debris. Wash the remainder down with cold running water. Do this weekly to prevent major clogs!

Determine if Your Toilet Has a Leak

If you suspect a leaky toilet, there’s an easy way to figure out if your suspicions hold true. Simply add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. 30 minutes later, check the bowl. If any color appears, you have a leak.

Improve Water Pressure

Low water pressure is a bummer, but this tried and true tip may be an easy fix. Fill a sandwich bag with vinegar and secure it around your shower head, leaving it there overnight so the fixture is soaking in the vinegar. The vinegar will eat away at any buildup on the showerhead, possibly improving water pressure.

Classic Home Improvement Hacks

Cover Furniture Scratches

Covering a furniture scratch may be as easy as going into your little one’s craft bin! Use a crayon that matches the shade of the piece of furniture that requires repair. Slightly soften the crayon with a hairdryer before coloring over the scratch and finishing by buffing the area with a rag.

Shorten Paint Drying Times

A paint roller with a ladder in the background.

There are several ways to shorten paint drying times after you’ve spruced up your space. First, open your windows to help circulate the air better. Next, paint only one wall at a time before moving onto the next so that each one can completely dry quicker. This way, you can work more efficiently when it comes to multiple coats. Finally, use foam rollers as they are more absorbent and allow you to apply a thinner layer of paint.

Clean Suede With an Eraser

If you have anything suede in your home that ends up with an unsightly mark on it, just gently rub an eraser on it to remove minor stains and marks. Whether it’s an armchair, couch, or piece of fabric, this is a tried and true fix!

Silence a Squeaky Staircase

Don’t let a night owl disturb your sleep because of a squeaky staircase. Scrape pencil lead into the flat part of where the step and back of the stair meet. This will muffle a squeak and is an easy fix!

Classic Cleanup Hacks

Clean Light Fixtures With Ease

Chandeliers and certain light fixtures can have intricate designs that make them tough to clean. To reduce the hassle, simply put on a pair of white cotton gloves and run your hand over the entirety of the fixture. If necessary, spray one glove with a cleaning solution and leave the other for drying.

Clean With a Lemon

A bowl of water with a lemon slice in it being put into a microwave.

Lemons are an inexpensive and easy way to get some cleaning done! Rub a lemon sliced in half on a metal faucet to get rid of buildup or steam lemon water in your microwave to make it easier to wipe the interior down and make it sparkling clean.

Disinfect a Mattress

Spritz a light layer of vodka on your bare mattress to kill odors and bacteria. Let the mattress dry completely before you make the bed.

Clean Your Oven

Cleaning your oven can prove to be a pain! Make it a breeze by leaving half a cup of ammonia sitting in your oven overnight. This will cause anything baked onto your oven’s walls to fall away, leaving you with only the task of wiping it down the next day.

These hacks are small but mighty in the world of DIY! Simplify your life by following them and make any project or home improvement quest a breeze.