Fix These Household Problems Without Spending a Dime

We realize you don't always need us when it comes to quick fixes around your home, but when you do our Special Projects Division can help you wrap up those small projects quickly. For now, here are a few quick tips that will help you with every day items.

Squeaky Door

If you've got: a squeaky door

Ideal solution: Marine grease—thick enough to adhere to a hinge without running and has enough lubrication to silence the noise
In-a-pinch fix: Bar soap
How it works: Rubbing soap onto the hinges and pins provides a layer of lubricant that stays put. The result: a hinge that doesn't make a peep.

Slow Drain

If you've got: a slow drain

Ideal solution: A plumbing snake that breaks up the debris causing the clog
In-a-pinch fix: Baking soda and vinegar
How it works: When you pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar and then hot water, the chemical reaction forms a powerful foam that may cut through the gunk in your pipes.

Tarnished Copper

If you've got: tarnished copper

Ideal solution: Copper cleaner containing citric or oxalic acid, or a mild abrasive, such as fine red jeweler's rouge
In-a-pinch fix: Lemon juice mixed with rock salt
How it works: Air causes copper to oxidize and turn color. The acid from the lemon eats away at the oxidation, while the coarse salt provides a hefty dose of scouring power.

Creaky Floor

If you've got: a creaky floor

Ideal solution: Graphite powder, which provides a soft, microfine layer of lubricating particles
In-a-pinch fix: Talcum powder
How it works: Sprinkled into the grooves of your floor, talc can dampen the squeak of two boards rubbing together. The loose boards still slide, just more quietly.

Stuck Window

If you've got: a stuck window

Ideal solution: Silicone spray, which provides a slick, long-lasting coating for window tracks
In-a-pinch fix: A candle
How it works: Rub the stub of a paraffin or beeswax candle along the tracks to leave a trail of waxy residue. This will help the window slide with less friction, so it won't stick.

Grimy Vent Filter

If you've got: a grimy vent filter

Ideal solution: Chemical degreasers, which contain solvents that cut through grime in range-hood filters
In-a-pinch fix: Rubbing alcohol
How it works: Alcohol dissolves greasy muck, making it easier to remove, but is also flammable, so clean the filter in the sink and rinse well.