What Would MacGyver Do? | Home Repair Tips

Macgyver Home Repair Tips
Photography by Charles Williams

If you grew up in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, you probably remember watching secret agent Angus MacGyver get himself out of some very sticky situations using nothing more than whatever materials he could find around him at that given moment, some duct tape, and a Swiss Army Knife. Let’s take a look at how MacGyver would use regular household products to solve the random challenges that homeowners face on a daily basis.

The Paper Clip is Mightier Than the Sword

Throughout his many missions, MacGyver used paper clips for everything from picking padlocks to disarming missiles. Around the home you can use the mighty paper clip to replace broken zippers, unclog shakers and spray bottles, hang lightweight items, and pick the small locks on a bathroom door or jewelry box.

When in Doubt, Reach for the Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the most versatile tools in any homeowner’s arsenal, and MacGyver carried it with him everywhere due to its durability and strong adhesion to most surfaces. Are your windows leaking? Use duct tape to seal the glass until you can get the window replaced. Do you have a hole in your dryer hose? Wrap it with duct tape. Do you need to insulate one surface from another? Copious layers of duct tape will do the trick.

Toothpaste: It’s Not Just for Teeth

While it’s best used for keeping your teeth clean and healthy, toothpaste is somewhat of a miracle substance that has many uses around the home. If you have tack or nail holes in your walls, try smoothing some toothpaste into the hole with a putty knife. If you have kids, you can use a gritty or non-gel toothpaste to scrub crayon and other marks off of your walls. Simply apply it to a cloth and rub it in circles over the markings as needed.

Other Hacks MacGyver Would Be Proud of

Unclogging a Drain with Seltzer – If you have a drain that you can’t seem to get un-clogged and you don’t have a bottle of drain cleaner handy, you can try dropping in three or four seltzer tablets followed by a cup of vinegar. After about 15 or 20 minutes, rinse the drain with a kettle’s worth of boiling water.

A Tennis Ball to Wipe Out Scuffs – Homeowners with tile or linoleum floors are used to seeing scuff marks around. Use a tennis ball to buff the floor and the scuff marks will disappear.

Crazy Glue for Wall Cracks – If you see a small crack in one of your walls, it’s worth fixing it before it grows in size. Fill the crack with crazy glue and add some baking soda to it. The mixture will become a hardened plastic-like substance that can be sanded flat.

As a homeowner, sometimes you need to make a quick repair with whatever you have handy. With the list above and your own ingenuity, you’ll easily handle the next home maintenance issue you come across.