8 Handy DIY Tips You Need To Know

Swap Ideas DayToday’s date, September 10th, is unlikely to mean that much to any of you. In-fact it is likely that it’s just another Wednesday, meaning you’re halfway through your working week and nearer to the weekend. However, September 10th is more than this; it’s also “swap ideas day” – and at BuySpares we think that this day is one worth celebrating.

Regular visitors to our Facebook page will be familiar with our range of tips and tricks which we share on a weekly basis, and are designed to save you money on cleaning and / or repairing appliances and other items around the house, as well as a few DIY tips and tricks.

One such tip is to create your own all-purpose cleaner using three simple ingredients, orange peel, vinegar water and warm water. By infusing the orange peel in vinegar water for two days before adding one cup of the solution to a spray bottle with an equal amount of warm water, and hey-presto an all-purpose cleaner.

To coincide with today being “swap ideas day”, we’ve compiled 8 handy tips which will save you time and money, whilst also giving your home and various areas within it a new lease of life.

Old Step-Ladders Make Great Shelves:

Finding the right shelving units for your bathroom can often be a difficult task, as you need something which is big enough to store towels and the many cleaning products on offer; but small enough not to take up the vital space within the bathroom.

Various stores have a number of options available, and one such option is the ladder wall shelf available from IKEA. However, at £69 this is a bit pricey especially when you consider that if you have an old wooden step-ladder you can achieve the same effect with little outlay, simply by placing the ladders at an angle against the wall and then using baskets between the steps and the wall to store your bathroom essentials.

Remove Squeaks Using Talcum Powder:

Have you noticed a squeak from your stairs every time you step on a certain step? This squeak can be easily eradicated with a sprinkle of talcum powder.

Locate the offending step, and sprinkle talcum powder between the tread and the riser; and repeat whenever the powder has left the joint. If you don’t have talcum powder within the home, the issue can be fixed in a similar way, using graphite from pencil lead.

Whilst we’re talking about flooring…..

Wax Those Heel Marks Away:

Wooden floors seem to go through phases of being fashionable and unfashionable when it comes to home decor. If you’re one of those who’ve opted for wooden floors, there’s a good chance you did so because they are often more durable than their carpeted counterparts.

Unfortunately, high-heels can take their toll on wooden floors and leave unsightly marks – and you may have thought you’ve used everything possible to remove such marks, but have you tried wax?

In the offending areas, apply a small amount of wax with fine wire wool, rub it in to the mark, before buffing with a cloth; and wave goodbye to heel marks.

WD40 Away Crayon Stains:

In the same way that heel marks can make wooden floors look unsightly, crayon marks on painted walls is not something you’re likely to find on Grand Designs; but if you’ve noticed such marks on your walls, utilise the power of WD40.

Simply spray the area with WD40 and rub with a soft cloth.

It’s not just your internal walls however which can become stained, your external brickwork can too; and this can have an impact on the value of your property if you’re looking to sell, whilst it can also impact the aesthetics of your home.

How do you get rid of such stains? With our help of course….

No More Brickwork Stains:

To remove stubborn stains from your bricks, you’ll need to make up a little concoction of ground chalk and white spirit.

Simply wipe the white spirit over the stain, before placing a plastic food bag packed with the ground chalk over the area. Tape the food bag to the brickwork, ensuring all edges are sealed to prevent it from drying out. Leave for a few days, and the stain should be drawn out.

Hot Water, Not Weed Killer:

Whilst we’re outside, have a look at your paths and driveways, are they suffering from weeds? If the answer is yes, put down that weed killer and save yourself some money, by using boiling water instead.

By pouring boiling water over the weeds growing between your slabs will remove them, but don’t just boil the kettle especially for this task. Next time your boiling vegetables or cooking pasta, drain this water over the weeds. It’s a simple and cost effective solution.

Step Away from Stains:

Outside surfaces, such as your patio steps are just as susceptible to becoming stained as flooring inside your home; and just because it is outside, it doesn’t mean that the stains don’t matter – they do.

Thankfully, they can be easily remove by sprinkling some dry cement over the stain and letting it sit for an hour to absorb, before sweeping it away with a dustpan and brush. Alternatively, if you don’t have any cement, consider plain sand or even cat litter for the same effect.

No Need for the Plunger:

OK, so this may not be a new tip or trick, in-fact many of you will no doubt already have heard about it and use it; but we’re included it in the list, because it really does work and can save you time and effort.

If one of the plugs appears blocked, whether it’s in the kitchen sink, bath or bathroom sink there’s no need to automatically turn to the plunger. Instead, using a funnel and bicarbonate of soda can do just as good a job.

Funnel eight tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda down the drain, followed by 500ml of boiling water. Fifteen minutes later, flush it through with hot water, and the blockage should (fingers crossed) be gone!

So there we go, 8 handy BuySpares ideas which can rid your home of unsightly stains, and upcycle various objects to make the most out of them at the same time as giving areas of your home a new lease of life. But in the spirit of “swap ideas day” why not share some of your own DIY ideas, tips and tricks with us via the comments below, or on our social media pages?

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