DIY: Can You Solve These Common Household Problems?

About this Quiz

So you think you're pretty handy around the house? But how many of these common household problems can you truly solve? Are you an electrical whiz? Or would the first power outage trip you up? Are you an amateur plumber? Or do your waterpipes laugh in your face? Is home improvement really your jam? Or is it better for everyone if you call in professional help? Only a true DIY-er will ace this quiz! 

What are you waiting for? Get out your toolbox, put on your safety goggles, and let's get to work! 

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1. Why did your wood split when using a screwdriver?

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  1. You didn't make a pilot hole
  2. You didn't sharpen your screwdriver
Using screws in wood is not always the easiest thing. There is a chance that it may split the wood. Pilot holes ensure that this will not happen.
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2. Is your window jammed ?

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  1. Check if dried paint has sealed the window shut
  2. Break it open with a hammer
If your window has been sealed shut with dried paint, use a razor blade along the edge of the window's frame. Check the exterior of the window, too! 
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3. If your drain is clogged, it's most likely due to:

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  1. Sand
  2. Grease or hair
Other than grease and hair, common causes of clogged drains include: food waste, mineral build-up, toilet paper, and tree roots.
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4. Can you fix cracks in your driveway without re-paving it?

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  1. Yes, remove excess dirt and use crack filler
  2. No, cracked driveways always need re-paving
Never try to fix a dirty crack. To clean it, first remove the excess dirt. After that is done, the crack filler should be added.
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5. While waiting for a plumber, quick fixes for small pipe bursts include:

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  1. Duct tape
  2. Nail polish remover
If the leak is really small, you can wrap some duct tape around the pipe, while purchasing the necessary equipment or calling a plumber for a more permanent solution.
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6. If someone's drawn on your walls, clean them with:

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  1. Turpentine and car oil
  2. Vinegar and water
Mix a solution of 50/50 vinegar and water. Then, use a sponge to scrub the spots. Rinse the walls with just water. You should have clean walls! 
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7. What should you always assume when working with an electrical device?

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  1. It's safe
  2. It's live
It's always best to start a job assuming that all wires are live. This mindset will help you stay cautious and can prevent unnecessary accidents.
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8. No hot water? First check:

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  1. If your neighbor's water is cold, too
  2. If your water supply is getting gas
You're in real trouble when the upper thermostat on your electric water heater isn't working. If the lower one is broken, it's not as bad. Your water will heat, but it might not get hot enough.
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9. Which pantry item can help you effectively clean your sofa?

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  1. Baking powder
  2. Ranch dressing
To remove odors and non-stubborn stains from your couch cushions: sprinkle a generous amount of baking powder on the parts you're cleaning. Wait 30 minutes. Vaccum it or scrub it gently out with water. 
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10. Which kitchen supply can confirm whether or not your toilet is leaking?

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  1. Food coloring
  2. Milk
First, put a drop of food coloring into the tank. Wait a little bit. If your toilet is leaking, you should see food coloring in your toilet bowl. 
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11. Why should you use a water softener?

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  1. To improve the lifespan of your home appliances
  2. To make your water taste like sugar
If your potable water is "hard" -- in other words, if it has a high mineral content -- you may consider installing a water softener. Water softeners remove hard minerals, which can, in turn, prolong the lifespan of both your pipes and home appliances!
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12. You know you should re-caulk your bathtub when:

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  1. Your caulk turns yellow
  2. Your existing caulk is cracked or peeling
Caulk dries really quickly. In fact, you can touch it an hour after applying it. That said, it needs a full day to cure. Signs you need to re-caulk include: mold or mildew, cracks or peels in existing caulk, and missing caulk.
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13. Is it possible to get this wine stain out?

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  1. No, you'll have to dye the entire carpet red
  2. Yes, with baking soda, salt, and dishwashing detergent
It sure is! Pour a small amount of cold water onto the stain. Make a baking soda paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Rub the paste into your wine stain. Let it dry, and then vacuum it. Apply some dishwashing detergent to remove any leftover spots.  
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14. What kind of shoes should you wear when working with electricity?

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  1. Rubber-soled shoes
  2. Cowboy boots
Rubber boots can protect you from being electrocuted on the job because electrical charges can't flow through them.
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15. How can you unclog a sink without corrosive chemicals?

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  1. With freezing cold water
  2. With baking soda and vinegar
If a plunger -- or snake -- doesn't work by itself, try pouring baking soda and vinegar down the sink. When all else fails, you can resort to a chemical clog remover.
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16. Clean your old paintbrush with:

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  1. Olive oil
  2. Mild soap and water
Using a mild soap with some water is the best way to clean a paintbrush. Want a bit of extra help? Cheap paintbrush combs can help speed up the process.
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17. When should you "bleed" your pipes?

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  1. When you hear sputtering noises
  2. Every 2 weeks
Consider bleeding your pipes -- or releasing extra air in a pipe by opening a valve -- in order to rid yourself of sputtering noises and uneven water flow.
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18. Door hinges too squeaky? Use:

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  1. Paint remover
  2. Olive oil
If you don't have olive oil, bar soap or petroleum jelly can also work. Apply to the top of the squeaky hinge and wipe away any that drips on the door or to the floor. 
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19. No sandpaper? Try this beauty product instead.

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  1. Powder brush
  2. Emery board nail file
Emery boards are strips of cardboard with small grains of sand stuck to them, making them, in fact, interchangeable with sandpaper. Try to go gentle on your nails!
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20. Time to clean your dirty shower head? Use:

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  1. Vinegar
  2. Sea water
Do you know how to clean a shower head with vinegar? Take the shower head off of the shower, and clean it. Then, soak a toothbrush in vinegar and scrub it. Finally, soak all the parts of the showerhead in vinegar overnight.
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21. Pick the sign that your roof might be leaking:

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  1. Brown stains on your ceiling
  2. The house feels more humid
Water stains -- which often resemble brown puddles on the ceiling -- are classic signs of a leaky roof. Mold, moisture, and drips also point to a leaky roof.  
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22. Why should you change your furnace filter every 3 months?

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  1. To reduce allergens circulating through your home
  2. To make it look like new
A home's furnace filters should be replaced every three months. Their job is to protect a blower fan from all the hair and dust pulled in by the return duct.
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23. Add petroleum jelly to THIS to unclog your shower drain:

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  1. Your fingers
  2. The plunger
Adding petroleum jelly to the suction pad of your plunger improves the seal of the plunger, increasing your chances of success!
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24. How can you guard against pipes bursting in the winter?

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  1. Always keep your water running, a little
  2. Always keep your front door open
Running water continuously helps prevent your pipes from freezing during particularly cold winters! You can also avoid burst pipes by not lowering the temperature in your house at night.
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25. If the dishwasher doesn't properly wash your dishes, it's probably:

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  1. A blockage
  2. Pests
If your dishwasher isn't washing your dishes properly, you are probably dealing with a build-up of food or broken glass stuck in the pump. How can you solve this problem? Remove the bottom tray, find and remove the filter, disconnect the pipe behind the dishwasher, and remove any food.
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26. What is the #1 cause of houseplant death?

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  1. Not enough fresh air
  2. Overwatering
Overwatering is the number one cause of houseplant death. How can you avoid it? Don't let your plant's saucer fill with water, make sure your plant's soil can drain and is dry before you water it again, and water the root of the plant.
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27. How do you fix a toilet that won't stop running?

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  1. Change your flapper
  2. With a drip bucket
You're not doomed to pay a high water bill, just change your flapper. Worn flappers are usually the reason why toilets leak and never fill up the way they should.
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28. Dog chewed through your cables? Fix them yourself with:

anatoly_liyasov / Shutterstock.com
  1. A wire stripper and electrical tape
  2. Masking tape
An electrical cord is relatively simple to fix if you have the right tools! A wire stripper and electrical tape is about what you need. But we'll leave it to YouTube to teach you how!
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29. Wrinkled clothes out of the dryer...

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  1. Hang them in the garage
  2. Hang them in the bathroom while you shower
Hang them in the bathroom while you're showering! The steam will de-wrinkle the majority of your clothes for you! 
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30. Fix water stains on your wall:

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com
  1. With a well-placed plant
  2. With bleach and water
Don't stress! First, find a spray bottle. Then, fill the spray bottle with a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach, and finally spray the spot and wait for up to 48 hours.
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31. Which of these problems can plumber's putty solve?

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  1. A loose sink fixture
  2. A loose door frame
A loose sink fixture! Get yourself some plumber’s putty to seal joints between fixtures and metal pieces. Why use it? It's watertight, but not adhesive, meaning that you can still remove a fixture or drain part when you need to replace it.
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32. Why should you work with only one hand when working with electricity?

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  1. To improve your coordination
  2. So electrical currents don't travel through your entire body
Working with one hand reduces the risk of being shocked in a harmful way. The shock will only travel down one hand to the ground. Working with two hands puts you at greater risk because electrical currents can travel through your entire body.
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33. Oven won't bake your cookies all the way through?

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  1. You might have to replace your heating elements
  2. Take more cooking lessons
Change the heating elements! Make sure you buy the right replacement from the hardware store, and then disconnect the oven from the power, remove screws holding the old heating elements in place, and replace the heating elements.
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34. Which toiletry item can help you hang your pictures straight?

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  1. Contact lens solution
  2. Toothpaste
To hang a photo yourself, all you need is toothpaste! Dab your toothpaste on the upper corners of your picture frame, and press it to the wall. Now you'll know where to hammer the nails! 
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35. If your key won't open your door properly, try:

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  1. Lubricating spray
  2. Kicking the door in
A lubricating spray (like WD40) may be all you need. If you don't have one in your car trunk, run to the hardware store.
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36. How can you repair a minor scratch on your wood floor?

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  1. With a mixture of apple cider vinegar & olive oil
  2. With a mixture of honey & salt
First, clean the spot thoroughly. Then mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil and dab it into the scratch. Let rest for 24 hours. 
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37. Clogged sink? Try using a:

Narin Eungsuwat / Shutterstock.com
  1. Snake
  2. Cow
Mary's using a device called a "snake" to unclog the drain. If you have a clogged sink, consider using one yourself!
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38. What should you do if your smoke detector won't stop "chirping"?

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  1. Tape a pillow over it
  2. Clean it and change the battery
It might be your battery. Check the type of battery and its use-by-date. Disconnect and reconnect the battery to make sure that it is properly installed. Your sensing chamber may be dirty, too. Vacuum the dust out. 
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39. What color is the grounding wire in your electrical outlet?

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  1. The red wire
  2. The green wire
Do you know the saying when it comes to ground wires? It goes, "green is the ground, the world around..."
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40. Repair a torn window screen with the help of THIS beauty product:

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  1. Eyeshadow
  2. Nail polish
Like tears in your nylons, small holes in window screens can be fixed with the help of clear nail polish. Simply apply to the torn area and let dry. 
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41. What household product can you use to silence creaky floors?

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  1. Baby powder
  2. Aspirin
First, sprinkle baby powder into cracks between your floorboards. Cover boards with a towel or cloth. Walk over the floor until you don't see any baby powder on the surface. Voila! 
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42. If the leaves on your houseplant are brown, it means:

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  1. You're not talking to it enough
  2. Inconsistent watering
If the leaves on your houseplant have turned brown, you're probably watering it inconsistently. Make sure to water when -- and only when -- your plant really needs it. Don't overcompensate if you forgot to water it for several days. 
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43. How can you fix a loose shower head?

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  1. With expanding foam
  2. With Play-Doh
If your shower head is a little loose (because, for example, the hole drilled for its water pipe is too big), all you need is a squirt of expanding foam to keep it in place.
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44. You can fix small cracks in your floor tiles with:

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  1. Watercolor paints
  2. Wood glue and nail polish
Nail polish works well on glazed tiles, but for other finishes, you may need to find another solution: First, fill the crack with wood glue and wait for it to dry. Then, paint it over with a nail polish color that matches your tile. 
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45. Trash bag leaking onto the bottom of your trash can?

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  1. Always clean the can with a garden hose
  2. Layer newspapers below it to absorb leaks
Dirty trash cans are no fun, but messes are easily avoided. Simply layer old newspapers -- or paper bags -- on the bottom of your trash can and avoid any unpleasant leaks and smells. 
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46. What should you check if your clothes come out of your dryer wet?

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  1. The dryer vent
  2. The humidity level in the air
Your problem may be as simple as a clogged dryer vent! Careful, that's also a big fire hazard! Locate the duct at the back of your dryer, disconnect the aluminum pipe, and clean! 
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47. Time for a new coat of paint? When should you use primer?

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  1. When you want to keep the same color
  2. When changing from a light to dark color
Isn't life wonderful? Use primer when your surface is porous, when changing from light to dark colors, or when your surface is stained. Primer can be used on walls that have never been painted before, as well as walls that have already been painted.
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48. If your ceiling is sagging, you may need to repair your:

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  1. Door joints
  2. Ceiling joists
Ceiling joists are a necessary part of every home. They are attached to the tops of load-bearing walls and help support the roof. If your ceiling is sagging, they may be damaged and unable to hold the ceiling's weight.
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49. What should you do to make sure your radiators heat up in the winter?

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  1. Wrap them in a blanket
  2. Turn on your heating in the summer to clear blockages
Turn on your heating in the summer to clear blockages. If, during the winter, they still don't heat properly, bleed them by turning the radiator/vent key.  
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50. Forever Teddy's? Or can you un-shrink a wool sweater?

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  1. No, it belongs to Teddy now
  2. Yes, with lukewarm water and fabric softener
Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and a dab of fabric softener. Then, soak the sweater for two hours. After, drain all the liquid and then slowly stretch the wet sweater out with your hands.  
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