Easy Fixes for 7 Common Household Glitches

By Barbara Pronin

household annoyances, like a window that sticks, can ruin your sense of
peace and quiet. From California handyman Jim Peterson come these seven
easy fixes for banishing some minor but common problems around the

Stained tub - Combine equal amounts of cream of tartar
and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture
into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half
hour, then rinse well with water.

Stuck sliding windows – A little silicone spray
lubricant (sold at hardware stores) will grease the skids. Spray it onto
a rag, then wipe along the tracks, whether they’re metal, wood, or

Furniture imprints in the carpet - Remove ‘carpet
craters’ left behind by heavy furniture by placing an ice cube on top of
the imprint and letting it set for a while. As the ice melts, the
moistened carpet strands float back to their original stand-up

Drafty doors and windows – Install weather stripping
around the edges of the door and window frames to stop drafts from
coming in and improve energy efficiency by keeping the warm air inside.

Remove kitchen odors – If the odor of last night’s
dinner is lingering in your kitchen, boil a pot of water with lemons,
apples and/or a stick or two of cinnamon. As steam forms from the
boiling water, the good smells travel upward and throughout your home.

Stubborn lock and key – If your key sticks in the front door lock, solve the problem by rubbing the key with dry soap or graphite.

Dusty artificial trees or flower arrangements – Get them looking new again by blowing them clean using the cold setting of a hair dryer.