Household Hints

This category contains questions relating to all the odd or unusual problems that occur during everyday life. These are primarily how-to's or fix it issues pertaining to household tasks.

2,802 Questions
Household Hints

How long should a roll of toilet paper last?

According to a new website called “How much toilet paper?” a standard pack of four rolls will last just about a month if you’re someone who makes two bathroom visits per day. Of course, this is just an estimate, and results will vary based on individual households and habits. Also keep in mind that these days, more people are staying home and thus using more of their house supply than they normally would.

Toilet paper manufacturer Georgia-Pacific LLC told TODAY in an email: “The average U.S. household (2.6 people) uses 409 equivalized regular rolls per year. Using our own calculations, staying at home 24-7 would result in ~140% increase vs. average daily usage.”

“Therefore, to last approximately 2 weeks, a 2-person household would need ~9 double rolls, or ~5 mega rolls. A 4-person household would need ~17 double rolls, or ~9 mega rolls to last approximately 2 weeks.”

Global Warming
Household Hints

What household items give off gas?

gas ranges, people, fire places & stoves

Household Hints

How do you get rid of bacon smell in a room?

-Spray air freshener

-Open all the windows

I live in Florida and have my air conditioner on all the time. Whenever that happens (I'm guilty of burning bacon a lot, lol), I take my air conditioner's filter and spray Febreze on it, then put it back into the air conditioner and let the air run. The fresh, clean, and pretty smells get through the whole house, getting rid of the burned bacon smell as it travels through the house. Doing it this way helps spread the nice smell all over instead of having to go from room to room spraying the smell away. Not to mention it lasts awhile too :)

Home & Garden
Household Hints

Toilet tissue roll placed over or under?

According to the patent for the toilet paper roll, the correct position is over. It seems to me, however, that an even better way would be to have it come out of an inverted box where pulling on one sheet would partially pull out the next sheet without the need for a roller - the way that some paper towel dispensers do.

Food & Cooking
Cooking Techniques
Household Hints

How do you clean a zester that has dried citrus zest on it?

The zester should be soaked in soapy water to soften the food residue, then cleaned with a stiff brush, such as a tooth brush.

Building and Carpentry
Household Hints

Is it safe to put nails in drywall?

Considering only safety, there is not much hazard. There may be electrical wires inside the wall, so keep that in mind. You would not want to cut into a wire with your nail.

A better question is if it's a good idea, and that depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to put in a very small nail to hang something lightweight, like a small picture, you can do that. Drywall is not very strong, but it can carry a little weight. If you want to hold something heavier, you will need to find a stud (the vertical wooden boards that form the structure of the house). A nail put through the drywall into the stud will be able to carry considerable weight. Since you may someday wish to remove this nail, I would suggest you use an appropriate screw instead.

Keep the nail or fastener to a reasonable length (appx. 1" more than the drywall thickness )and you should be OK. You could also get an inexpensive electronic stud finder with electrical wiring sensor if so inclined.

Household Hints
Acids and Bases

What will clean a bath tub that is old and refuses to come clean?

The process takes minimal effort, on your part, and gives amazing results for the time and effort spent. Do not try this on non-porcelain tubs. Plastic tends to be difficult to remove the paper towels from, and the bleach will begin to eat through the plastic very quickly.

Step 1:

Simply layer the tub with a roll of paper towel. Laying it out along the bottom and the sides would be the best idea, with a little overlap to ensure complete coverage. Then slowly pour the bleach straight from the bottle, on to the bottom layer of the paper towel. When you notice the bleach climbing the walls of the paper towel covered tub, pause to see where it ends, and make sure there is a vent or window open. Step out for a brief moment while it continues to climb, this will minimize your exposure to the bleach's caustic effects. Once you determine if more is needed continue to pour the bleach on to the dry areas until every part of the tub is saturated with the towel and bleach combination.

Step 2:

Once you have covered the entire tub, close the bathroom door, and occupy your self in another part of the home. Wait at least an hour to let the bleach strip the porcelain of the stains; however, do not let it go longer than 3 hours, as at that time you will find the paint being stripped as well. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pull the paper towel from the tub. As you do, the clean shiny tub will be revealed. Continue to pull the paper towel and dispose of it properly, until the tub is empty again. Get your cup and rinse the tub on all sides, thoroughly and wipe down with the cloth, to remove the remainder of the bleach.

When the process is complete, the dingy, ring around the tub, stains, and dirt will be lifted to reveal a beautiful tub.

Some users have suggested using Borax 12 or Bon Ami.

If the tub is very old, it may be made of cast iron and the cracked surface will be the cause of the stains. You cannot improve the look without re-enameling the tub.

Household Hints

Are fabric markers washable?

it should be, just test it in an inconspicuous place inside the garment somewhere. Do that every time because who knows how it will react to different fabrics ya know.

Building and Carpentry
Household Hints

What causes rattling pipes?

Rattling pipes happen when they're not properly strapped to the framing and the water pressure is not properly setup. I would call a plumber to fix such an issue. The only way to make sure they never rattle is to one open up the wall and strap the pipes to the framing or two from a basement or an attic try to reach the area where the rattling occurs and strap the pip to the framing.

Household Hints

How do you keep a fuzzy North Face always fuzzy?

I would try, if you are not a person who sweats a lot, not washing it as much as you do. Washing and drying the North Face makes the material less fuzzy as before. If you do sweat a lot and need to wash it, i would try to only wash it, but notdrying it using a dryer. I would air dry it, because the force of the dryer makes the plush material compact.

Household Hints

What causes the cold water pipes in your house to make a constant banging sound it seems to be coming from the main water valve in the front of the house?

Most of the time its caused by lose pipe supports and no expansion tank or air chamber. Most fast closing solenoid valves will be the start of the problem. Copper pipes are usually the loudest and if you can see your pipes just shake them and use extra supports and it should go away, or add air chambers to all of your solenoid valves like dishwashers, fridges, washer machines etc.

Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning
Home Electricity
Modification of Old Electrical Work
Household Hints

Are ceiling fans more cost effective and efficient than portable box pedestal room fans?

I bought a ceiling fan for my front room for $80 (live in Canada) and that old girl has been going for over 10 years! I wouldn't be without one. Go for the ceiling fan as heat rises and it really circulates the air. Also being as cheap as they are you could have one in almost any room you choose to have one in. Ceiling fans are much quieter than a floor or oscillating fan.

Have you heard of Vornado fans? They circulate the air nicely in the whole room and there's no cost for installation in the ceiling. Both costs are comparable, minus installation cost of ceiling fans.

You can also find programmable ceiling fans that will automatically move air with a certain temperature. Remember you can switch the air to downward (winter) and upward (summer) to bring the temperatures to where you want them.

Home Improvement
Household Hints

How do you fix your Martin Garage Door?

Fixing your Martin Garage Door may not be as complicated as you think.

After consulting with several dealers and some service people, at the Salt Lake City manufacturer, here are some common questions they help people resolve. As you will note, most of them deal with photos eyes, which is a problem fairly easy to resolve.

My remote does not work but my wall button does. What's wrong?

The battery in your remote is probably due for replacement.

My garage door does not work unless I hold down the button on the wall. What's wrong?

Have you replaced the battery in your remote recently?

Photo-eye light is flashing and wall button remote does not close or open the door. What's wrong?

The light flashing on the photo eye suggests your photo eyes are not properly aligned. When aligned properly one will have a steady green light and the other a red light. A flashing or blinking red sensor shows that it has been knocked out of alignment, or that the lens on your photo eyes may need to be cleaned.

My door isn't working. Why?

The first step is to check the photo eyes. Located near the floor on the sides of the door, one sensor should be green and the other red. A flashing or blinking red sensor shows that it has been knocked out of alignment, or that the lens on your photo eyes may need to be cleaned.

Why does my door stop going up, before it is completely open?

Are the sensors on your garage door on? Located near the floor, one sensor on one side of the door should be green, the other red. If the red sensor is flashing or blinking on or off, your sensors are probably out of alignment or the lens needs to be cleaned.

Check overhead to see if your spring is broken? If so you'll need to have it replaced by a professional.

Why won't the door go down? Or I've raised my door, but why can't I close it?

Check overhead to see if your spring is broken? If so you'll need to have it replaced by a professional.

The light on my garage door opener is flashing or blinking. What is wrong?

A blinking light usually signals some sort of problem with your photo eyes. Is something in the path of the two photo eyes, or has the alignment on your photo eyes been bumped or do the lens' on the photo eyes need to be cleaned. A cobweb or a speck of dust can affect the sensors and cause the blinking light to indicate there is a problem. The door also may have hit an object while going down.

What do I use to lubricate my garage door?

Martin manuals suggest a high-quality 10/40 motor oil on the hinges and other moving parts. Do not use a de-greaser like WD40. Oil yearly for a smooth operation. You may also want to rub candle wax on the jamb/wall where the door slides against.

How do I clean the parts on my garage door?

As needed, use a lightly oiled cloth to wipe galvanized parts to help retain a clean galvanized look. In damp, wet areas, galvanized parts the door may require painting to help prevent rust.

Home & Garden
Household Hints

Can you dye a cloth patio umbrella?

Yes, you can die a cloth patio umbrella.B It may be best not to use dark colors, such as black or brown. Light colors may not fade or "run" as much as dark colors.

Household Hints

How do you clean toothpaste out of material?

There are many horrible stains that can be very pesky to deal with on your favorite T-shirt. Luckily, toothpaste is not one of them. It is in fact one of the easier stains to remove. Generally, you can just throw the shirt into the washing machine and it will come out clean. The key is, as with all stains, to not let it set in, especially if it is a colored gel or whitening toothpaste.

In fact regular white toothpaste, not the gel kind, is recommended to use as a stain remover for certain kinds of oily makeup stains, fresh marker stains, crayon stains and more. In fact plain, cheap toothpaste is a multi-purpose stain remover for white T-shirts with stains of all kinds. If you are wearing a white T-shirt and happen to get a colored stain on it, many tipsters recommend covering up the stain with plain white toothpaste to help you get through the day if you can't deal with the stain right away. In addition to T-shirts, toothpaste is also suggested for cleaning carpet, shoes and more.

However, if you happen to get a glob of toothpaste on your T-shirt, it is in your best interest to scrape off the excess immediately and soak the T-shirt. This is especially true for dark T-shirts which have received a whitening toothpaste glob. Whitening toothpaste contains bleach and therefore can leave bleach marks on dark shirts, ruining the shirt irreparably. For this reason, getting to the stain as soon as possible is very important.

If you are getting ready for work and happen to get toothpaste splatters on your dark-colored T-shirt as you are brushing your teeth, you can attempt to get them out with a wet cloth. This sometimes works if the splatter is still wet. However, toothpaste really does need to be washed out with lots of soap and water typically. Therefore, your best bet, especially if you are crunched for time is to throw the T-shirt in soak and get another one.

Car Electronics and Lights
Home Electricity
Household Hints

How do you get cover of dome ceiling light fixture to change light bulb?

It depends on the fixture. I have 4 types. One has screws on the outside of the metal frame, so you unscrew those and hold the glass bowl. Another has two big metal clips INSIDE the glass bowl. I have to be brave and just pull to one side until the first side unclips - putting it back on is more nerve wracking! Another has a metal pole coming through the center of the dome. Hold on to the glass, but pull the metal piece a bit to one side and then unscrew it. The final one almost stumped me - an electrician purchased it and installed it this winter and I never thought about changing the bulb! There is no metal pole, no screws, just the frame and the dome. You have to TWIST the glass counterclockwise and it unscrews (there are three metal bumps on the INSIDE that hold it when you screw it back. hope this helps!

And I found a fifth: Hold metal frame and pull down on glass fixture. One side started coming out giving me confidence to pull more. I finally removed the glass and found three Spring Clips that hold the glass fixture. I strongly suggest that this is the last method you consider.

Energy Conservation
Household Hints

What’s the easiest way to cut energy costs?

There are dozens of ways to cut energy costs on a daily basis, but here are five of the most basic:

  1. Cook with something smaller than your oven. Whenever possible, use a microwave, air fryer, or other small appliance to cook. It’s usually quicker, and the heat is focused more on what’s being cooked, thus saving energy.
  2. Replace your HVAC filters regularly, and use your vents wisely. These filters often become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. How often you need to change your filters will depend on how much you run your heater and air conditioner, the amount of debris circulating through the rooms, and the type of filter you use, but in all cases, you should check on them every four to six weeks. Additionally, making sure your vents are closed in rooms you do not use and open and clean in rooms you do use will distribute temperature much more economically.
  3. Turn off lights and, since many electronic devices draw power even when they’re turned off, unplug appliances. These probably go without saying, but they can make a big impact on your energy bill.
  4. Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives reduces their electricity output by 25-80 percent.
  5. Weatherize and insulate your home to save on heating and cooling expenses.

Hobbies & Collectibles
Home & Garden
Household Hints

How do you repair acetone marks on plastic?

Depending on the color and type of plastic surface, you can wet sand the plastic with 1500-2000 grit sand paper. Sand real lightly, and sand enough to see the stains disappearing from the sanding area. Be sure to keep sand paper level with surface, do not used finger tips, will leave grooves. Now depending on the surface rather semi- or glossy, wipe with a degreaser, that does not contain acetone. Spray plastic surface with a clear coat finish, either semi or glossy. Works great on plastic headlights on vehicles.

Hobbies & Collectibles
Household Hints

How do you put sand in an hourglass?

u get the cap and open it pure it in and boom u got it!

Household Hints

How do you repair a pinhole in copper pipe?

Use a lead-free silver solder. It is the only thing that can handle the pressure and bond with the copper pipe.

Household Hints

How do you get rid of maggots in refrigerator?

First of all, Empty your fridge of everything, and throw the expired and other bad products away. Put some towels that you don't care about down, get some gloves, and anything else you would like to protect your clothes and body. Pour bleach in there. Wipe out everything and throw all the maggots in the trash. wash everything off and out with dish soap and a clean moist rag, if shelves and drawers come out wash them in the bath tub. Clean Any containers that DO NOT contain spoiled food in them that you plan on putting back in the fridge. From now on, clean your fridge out regularly and keep an eye on the food, if it spoils throw it out. Also make sure that the drip pan is clean as well as the area around the refrigerator.

Train Travel
Household Hints
India Train Travel

Indian railways goods train fares table?

Goods train tariff

Pest Control
Household Hints

What kind of store sells pure orange oil?

you could try your local health food store? also try a few different pharmacies.

Household Hints

Can you add kerosene to your home heating oil tank to help clean out the sludge?

I just had a service technician clean my burner in preparation for the winter. I showed him a product I had purchased at Home Depot called Hercules fuel oil sludge treat. It comes in a one quart container and you put a pint in for a 275 gallon tank just before a delivery. The technician said you would be better off adding one gallon of kerosene prior to the delivery. The kerosene burns hotter and is a higher grade of fuel than home heating oil. He said it would probably do a better job than the sludge treatment product and costs less.

Home Appliances
Household Hints

Are kitchenaid attachments dishwasher safe?

Most are. They might all be. To be sure, check the manual that came with the attachment. All attachments that come standard with the stand mixer are dishwasher safe.


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