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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Maintenance Tips

Got a loose screw? Dip it in glue or putty before you screw it back on. A wooden match can also be placed in the hole to provide more grip for the screw. You can also wrap a few strands of steel wool around the threads before you put the screw back in.
If you've got a rusted bolt, try applying a cloth soaked in any carbonated beverage, or use a couple of drops of ammonia to loosen it. Make sure you coat it with petroleum jelly to prevent more rusting before you screw it back on.
To prevent rust on your tools, place chalk, charcoal or a few mothballs in your toolbox to attract the moisture.
If you need an occasional special tool that you can't borrow from someone else, rent it rather than buy it.
Get a good home repair manual. Even, if you still decide not to do it yourself, you'll be better prepared when you negotiate with the contractor.
Unless the task is dangerous, try to do minor repairs and maintenance yourself first.
Don't buy appliance service contracts or extended warranties (that applies to cars too). Sales persons usually get a commission for it so don't be surprised if they try to give you a sales pitch. 
Don't assume that just because an appliance is broken, it must be replaced. Sometimes all it needs is a minor repair or a new part.
Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.
If your paint brushes have hardened, simmer in full-strength vinegar and remove the softened paint with a wire comb or brush. After cleaning your paint brush, a few drops of oil worked into the bristles will leave the brush soft and ready to use. 
Punch a few holes on the rim of the paint can to stop paint from dripping on the outside of the can. When the brush is wiped on the edge, the paint goes back into the can. Once the lid is put back on, it will cover the holes to prevent it from drying.
Make a note of your paint color name and number, and the date when you painted the room and tape it to the back of your switch plate. When it's time to repaint, you'll have an easy reference to match the same paint color.
To remove oil or enamel paint from your hands, rub on paste floor wax and then wash with soap and warm water. It's easier on the skin than paint remover and there is no odor.
Use toothpaste to fill up those small nail holes in your drywall.
Keep instructions, receipts, warranty cards, etc. for appliances and equipment in a file folder specified for that purpose.
When disassembling something with many small parts, use an empty egg carton to put the parts in. Number each compartment in the order you place the parts in and when it's time to put it back together, just go in reverse order.
To prevent a paint can from tipping over, cut out a circle on the side of an old cereal box and place the paint can inside. This will also catch your paint drippings.
Put petroleum jelly on your glue cap to prevent it from sticking to the bottle when you put the cap back on.
Use old cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls to store reuseable plastic bags.
Save your UPC codes from empty packages of food and mark the name of the product on the back. Next time there's a contest that requires a proof of purchase, you've got it on hand.
Wear your old clothes for painting or other renovation projects. Then when it's no longer wearable, cut it up and use the scraps. Good for wiping dirty hands, buffing your shoes, polishing, etc.
Use your own body to make measurement estimates when you don't have a measuring tape handy. i.e., Measure your hands and use that span to establish your measurements.
If you have several wires or cables all in one place, label them with color codes or something similar so that you'll know which to disconnect and reconnect.
To quickly sharpen a dull shear, cut through a folded piece of fine sandpaper (rough side out) a few times.

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