Home Hacks You Won’t Believe You’ve Lived Without Knowing

a person holding a hair dryer

Reading time: 3 minutes

Maintaining a home can be hard. Between cleaning the appliances and mowing the lawn, you have a lot on your plate, and then of course, you break a light bulb in the socket. (We’ve all had that day.) Easily fix your bulb situation with a “home hack,” or a home improvement or maintenance tip that are easy to do.

Case in point: The potato in the socket 

Yes, this really works. Simply turn off the light switch (or even hit off the breaker to be super sure you’re safe), put on gloves and eye protection, and then with pliers, break away the remaining glass. Cut your fresh potato in half and press it against the socket, twisting it counterclockwise. The bulb should grip the potato and twist out.

Try these additional cleaning and home hacks that will make your life infinitely easier.

Lemon, the all-purpose cleaner 

sliced lemon in ice water (refreshing!)
When life gives you lemons…

Have a hard-water buildup in your kitchen faucet? Put a lemon in a bag and strap it to a faucet with the help of a rubber band. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then remove. Run the water for a few moments to completely dissolve the buildup.

Dirty microwave? Boil lemon and water in a coffee cup in the microwave for about a minute. Then let the steam sit for 10 minutes to loosen the grit and wipe away.

Stinky garbage disposal? Cut up some lemons, toss them down the disposal, and let the machine do its job. A lemony fresh home hack!

Pet hair meets its match—duct tape & a paint roller 

a paint roller on a white surface with a red handle
Just add duct tape.

Yes, we know this sounds hard to do since the sticky side of the tape must be facing outward, but using a roller is a quick method to get rid of a lot of pet hair quickly, especially on your furniture. If you can work the duct tape around the roller, then you’ll have a hair-free living room in no time.

Lights out, water bottle on 

a woman is frustrated in a blackout and uses candles to light her room
Shine a light on your home.

Cell phone lights work better than flashlights when the power goes out, but for maximum light, place your cell phone under a full bottle of water. The water distributes the light more evenly about the room and offers greater visibility. You just might want to have a battery around to recharge your phone. Our vipTIPS offer more quick tips to keep you safe and comfortable during a power outage.

Forget the books, reach for the cork 

corks in a clear vase
Fix your wobbly furniture.

Books fail to stabilize a wobbly table, no matter how many movies and TV shows present it as a viable fix. Instead, reach for a champagne cork, cut it down to size, and affix it to the table leg. This home hack is a great fix just in time for the holidays, in case you need extra room for food or don’t want to put gift money toward a new table.

Hook your garbage bag 

Don’t you just hate it when you’re throwing away raw chicken packaging and the trash bag slinks down? Instead of washing your hands quite a few times in the clean-up process, stop the bag from ever dropping by attaching an upside-down adhesive hook to the side of the garbage can. Looping the bag’s tie around the hook will keep the bag snug around the top of the garbage can.

(One of the best home hacks! In fact, Content Manager Susie does this in her kitchen!)

Got crayons? Get a hair dryer 

a child holds crayons to his or her stomach
A hair dryer can clean off crayons.

One of the home hacks every parent needs to know! After all, you know the horror that comes with crayon masterpieces on your lovely walls. Instead of getting fancy cleaners, reach for a hair dryer. A few moments of heat will soften the crayon marks, allowing you to wipe them away and restore your pristine walls (until your little artist creates his/her next masterpiece).

Looking for more home hacks?  

two cell phones in front of an affluent blue home with the vipHomeLink dashboard up on the screens
vipHomeLink can help!

Maintaining your home can be difficult, but with vipHomeLink, it doesn’t have to be. Our home management app has a growing library of expert-backed tips to help you know what to do and when to do it. Plus – our personalized reminders and recommendations help you improve the safety and value of your home. Our new property-specific weather alerts even help you ready your home for winter or other storms.  

Stay on top of home maintenance with the help of vipHomeLink. Subscribe today to get a monthly or annual membership. 

Originally published on December 11, 2019; updated on November 20, 2020

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