Consumer Reports: Fast home fixes

Consumer Reports

(WSYR-TV) — You may have a list of DIY projects you haven’t gotten to, but don’t worry, the experts at Consumer Reports compiled a list of home fixes you can do in under two hours — whether you’re working from home or have a free weekend.

“As the weather starts to get a little bit cooler, it’s a good time to pay some attention to those indoor projects you may have been neglecting,” said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports home editor. “The good news is a lot of them are easy to tackle yourself.”

Check the water hoses on the back of your washer. These should be replaced every five years. If they look brittle, buy a braided stainless steel version and swap them out.

And once a year, deep clean your dryer by cleaning out the air duct and port in the back with a vacuum and a brush made for dryer ducts.

“Cleaning the lint out of your dryer can actually help the appliance run more efficiently and dry better and cleaning the duct work in particular can help prevent a dryer fire,” said Hope.

Deal with doors too! Check for loose hinges and tighten the screws on any that are loose. If the screws are just spinning in their holes, remove the screws and try this contractor tip — coat two to three tooth pick with wood glue. Then push them into the screw hole. You can break off the ends that stick out. Allow the toothpicks to dry, then fasten the screws again.

Spruce up your shower! A clogged shower head is most likely the result of hard water mineral build up. To declog and shine, remove the shower head and let it sit on a bowl of distilled vinegar for an hour. Then wipe it clean with a sponge.

For grimy group and caulk, try using a bleach pen. Apply it along the grout and caulk. Rub it in with the tip of the pen. Then rinse or wipe clean.

If you find that bleach doesn’t get out all the stubborn stains from your bathroom, it may be time to re-caulk or even re-grout between the tiles. Caulking is an easy job you can do yourself in an hour or two. While re-grouting between tiles is usually a job best left to the pros.

Paul Hope — Consumer Reports Home Editor

Consumer Reports said to be sure to check your window manufacturers’ website for cleaning instructions before cleaning.

CR tests found some windows can stain and streak if you use the wrong type of cleaner — even some ammonia based formulas and some Windex products.

Digital extra: Fast home fixes

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