12 quick fixes for your household things

Real Simple

Fifteen-minute home projects that won't put a dent in your weekend.

Photo: Hallie Burton

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.

Photo: Hallie Burton

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Dry Cutting Board

Revive your board by gently warming a bottle of pure mineral oil (available at drugstores) in a bowl of hot water, then wiping the oil onto the surface with a soft cloth. Wipe off the excess four to six hours later.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Stuck Sliding Windows

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.

Photo: Hallie Burton

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.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Dirty Decanter

Fill the decanter halfway with hot water, a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a cup of uncooked rice. Swirl the rice around for a few minutes to remove the residue, rinse with hot water, and air-dry.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Tangled Extension Cords

Cowgirls and sailors alike know the benefits of storing ropes neatly coiled. Follow their lead and keep extension cords tangle-free and contained inside a large plastic bucket when they’re not in use.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Peeling Wallpaper

With a knife, smear wallpaper paste onto a piece of writing paper. Rub the paper against the underside of the peeling section. Press the wallpaper against the wall. Slide the writing paper out and smooth away bubbles with a clean cloth.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Worn Caning

A little sagging over time is natural but reversible. To tighten caning back up, use a sponge to wet the underside with warm water. Let dry slowly overnight. Repeat if necessary.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Dusty Chandelier

Allow the fixture to cool. Wear a pair of white cotton gloves―one dry, one dampened with glass cleaner. (For crystal, use one part rubbing alcohol to three parts distilled water.) Wipe each prism with the damp glove, then the dry one.

Photo: Hallie Burton

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 tub with liquid dishwashing soap.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Hard-to-Remove Light Bulb

Press the center of a foot-long strip of duct tape onto the middle of the bulb. Fold each loose end in half so it sticks onto itself. Gripping each end between your thumb and index finger, give a counterclockwise twist to loosen the bulb.

Photo: Hallie Burton

Stained Tub

Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

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