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9 Home Improvements You Can Do in 10 Minutes or LessJune 18th, 2020 by
Do you have a list of small home improvements that need your attention? From loose cabinet doors to squeaky floors, every house can use a little TLC. If the thought of making minor home improvements intimidates you, we encourage you to keep reading. We’ve put together a list of 9 home improvements you can make in 10 minutes or less to keep your home in top shape.
1. Check Electrical Outlets
About once every three months, inspect your electrical outlets for any frayed wires or the dreaded outlet overload. Most homeowners don’t think twice about plugging in a new lamp or small appliance, but there are risks if you have too many things plugged in to one outlet.
Scan each room, looking for busy outlets and add a power strip to handle the extra load. Invest in one with surge protection for your electronics, such as televisions or computers, to prevent storm-related losses.
2. Inspect Toilet Flappers
There aren’t many things more annoying in a home than having a toilet that runs constantly. Typically, you can fix this problem yourself by replacing the flapper.
Check to make sure a worn-out flapper is the problem by adding a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. If it bleeds into the bowl, the flapper is to blame. If it doesn’t bleed into the bowl, find a plumber in your area to help you diagnose the problem.
3. Test and Replace Light Bulbs
Perhaps you’ve already switched to LED or CFL light bulbs, but the white light doesn’t have the same warm feel in your home. In a matter of minutes, change them out for yellow-toned CFL bulbs that mimic the glow of incandescent lights, but with better energy efficiency.
Enjoy a softer light in spaces like bedrooms or living rooms, and save the white or bluer light for workspaces, such as your kitchen.
4. Remove Carpet Dents
Carpeting and furniture look great together until you move something and have a divot in the carpet. Make your carpet look as good as new with a simple technique that takes almost no time or energy.
Pop an ice cube or two on those sunken carpet spots and let them slowly melt into the dent. After a few hours, go back and fluff up the fibers with the back of a spoon or a gift card or smooth it out with your fingers.
5. Clean Driveway Stains
Cement garage floors and driveways can act as sponges, absorbing the oil or other fluids that may leak from your car’s undercarriage. Those oil stains are a cinch to remove.
Spread unused clay-based kitty litter on the oil spots and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Crush the litter into the stain before rinsing the litter away with water. If needed, scrub with a bit of dish detergent or repeat the process until the oil stain fades or disappears.
6. Stop Floor Creaks and Squeaks
Both hardwood and carpeted floors can make quite a ruckus, squeaking when you walk across them. Try these methods to quiet them:
- Sprinkle talcum powder on the floorboards and rub it into the spaces or walk across the boards to stop them from rubbing against each other. The talcum powder reduces the friction between the floorboards.
- On a carpeted surface, use a stud finder to identify the floor joists. Drive trim-head screws into the subflooring, straight through the pile, until the squeak is gone.
7. Clean Ceiling Water Spots
Small water stains on the ceiling are easy to mend without repainting the entire room. Before you do anything else, make sure you address and repair the cause of the stain — whether a leak from a bathroom or the roof.
After you complete the larger repairs and the ceiling is dry, use a diluted bleach solution in a water bottle to spray those spots to kill any mold or mildew and fade the stain. It works on both textured and smooth surfaces, and it may take more than one application.
8. Clean Faucet Aerators
If your faucet has slowed to a trickle, a dirty aerator screen may be the culprit. Sediment particles and hard water mineral deposits can stop up the screen, causing a less water to get through. You can easily remove it either with pliers or by hand, flush it clean, and put it back in place. Test it to see if your water flow is back to its normal strength and you’ll be back in business.
9. Refresh Your Dishwasher
It’s hard to tell the dishes are clean when there’s a foul odor emanating from your dishwasher. The answer is in your pantry: white vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes odors and cuts grease in your dishwasher, without having to scrub anything.
Place one cup of vinegar in a cup or bowl on the top shelf of your empty dishwasher and run the hottest cycle you can to let it work its magic. You may have to repeat a few times if the odor is particularly strong. After the dishwasher has cooled, go back over the seals to wipe away any buildup. Try this trick for your microwave too!