Common household fixes you can take care of yourself

When you’ve been a renter for eight years, you pick up a thing or two when it comes to fixing common household issues. There are plenty of instances in which it’s best to call your landlord and request a work order (you’re not going to be doing any plumbing work in an apartment complex.) But there are times when it’s faster for you to take matters into your own hands. Here are just a few fixes for some common household problems.

Broken light bulbs (Gloves, potato, knife)

Sometimes a pillow fight gets out of hand and, wouldn’t you know it, somebody’s gone and broken a light bulb on your favorite lamp or from a hanging fixture. Before you deal with the bulb, make sure there’s no power going to it. Either unplug your lamp or go to the circuit breaker and shut off all the fixtures in the room where the broken bulb is. Next, slice a potato in half. Get those gloves on and affix the exposed side of the potato firmly onto the broken bulb. Don’t cram it in too enthusiastically or you’ll have a laceration to deal with, too. Once the potato is on the broken bulb, twist it until it’s off. Now all that’s left is to replace and dispose of the broken bulb and clean up.

Dented appliances (plunger)

Let’s say you somehow slammed into your dryer or dishwasher and dented it. All you need to fix a light dent is a toilet plunger. Just press the plunger directly onto the area that’s dented and pull to create suction. With enough pressure, the plunger will pull the metal back into place and you’ll get to keep more of your security deposit. This also works with smaller dents on your car.

Miscellaneous (WD-40 and Magic Erasers)

You know how they say that with enough duct tape you can fix almost anything? Well, add WD-40 and Magic Erasers to the same list. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or house more than a couple of decades old, you’re likely familiar with that ear-splitting screech that your cupboards give off whenever you feel like a midnight snack. WD-40 gets rid of that banshee-like noise in addition to helping you rid your walls and floors of stickers that somehow wound up in your place. Magic Erasers are incredibly abrasive sponges that can tackle the toughest stains. Did somebody leave scuff marks on your wall? I’ve taken care of plenty of ‘em with a handy Magic Eraser.

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Eder Campuzano

Eder Campuzano

Eder is the Emerald's director of audience engagement. His work has appeared in The Oregonian, The Statesman Journal and the News-Register in McMinnville. He was also a founding member of the University of Oregon's competitive Pokémon league.