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Life Hacks

Make Your Own Car Upholstery Cleaner

Simple DIY Car Upholstery Cleaner That Works

By | Automotive, Life Hacks | No Comments

As we become a lot more conscious of the ingredients in household products many of us are looking for more ways to keep toxins out of our lives. You can find a variety of recipes for homemade cleaning solutions online and while some are more effective than others they’re easy to whip up and frequently cost less than store-bought cleaners.

From harsh winters to outdoorsy summers, my floor mats take a beating so I was happy to stumble upon this “tough on stains” recipe where most if not all the ingredients are already in your supply closet. And if you have messy passengers, it works great on cloth upholstery too.

DIY Car Upholstery Cleaner

  • 3-6 Tbsp soap flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Borax
  • 2 cups boiling water

Use a cheese grater to make 3-6 tablespoons of flakes from a bar of soap. Then add Borax which typically runs $7-$12 at the store depending on size. But with all the uses you’ll get you’re only really spending a few cents on this concoction, which is a steal compared to store-bought cleaners!

In a large bowl, slowly add boiling water to the soap flake and Borax mixture and stir until it’s dissolved. Let it cool a bit and then whip it to a foamy consistency. Use a bristle brush to scrub down mats and upholstery and then wipe off the mixture with a wet rag that you can keep rinsing in a bucket of water.

Before and after cleaning upholstery

Photo: Creative Savings

Kalyn Brooke, who came up with the recipe at Creative Savings says she couldn’t be more happy with the results, and the savings!

Use a CD spindle to store cuting and grinding discs.

Store Cutting & Grinding Discs in a CD Spindle

By | Life Hacks | No Comments

There’s no real good way to store your collection of cutting, grinding and sanding discs in your toolbox. They either end up mixed in with your tools or tossed together in a drawer. In either case, it’s a pain to sort through them every time you have to switch to a different disc.

As it turns out, 4″ discs fit rather nicely into CD spindles! If you don’t already have one at home you can find them for about $2 online. A medium-sized spindle like the one in the photo can hold about 20 to 30 discs depending on type. Just group your discs with the type you use the most on top, or use a separate spindle for each type if you have a lot of discs. The best part is that you’ve now freed up space in your toolbox for even more tools!

Grinding and cutting discs stacked inside CD spindle.

Photo: dewanm | Grinder Disc Storage | Instructables

Check out more photos: dewanm | Grinder Disc Storage | Instructables

Lock a Door with a Dinner Fork

By | Life Hacks | No Comments

This hack will have you channeling your inner MacGyver because you never know when you’ll find yourself having dinner alone in a seedy motel while hiding out from “the bad guys”, and then suddenly having to improvise a lock for the bathroom door to hold them off while you escape out the window!

In real life, a fork lock could come in handy for broken restroom door locks, closets or while staying in a guest room. If you don’t want to use your own fork you could pick one up for cheap at a yard sale or thrift shop. Phil Crockett only paid a quarter for his! A good fork for this hack should have long prongs, anywhere between 1 3/4″ and 2″ long. The handle should be flat and taper so that it’s narrow near the fork’s head and wider at the tail.

Measure the depth of the latch hole.

Phil Crockett | Youtube

Stick the fork into the latch hole and mark the prongs with a marker so you know how deep it is. Then clamp the fork by its prongs in a vice and line it up to the mark. With a hammer, tap on the prongs to bend them to a 90-degree angle at the mark. Then cut the handle off with a saw.

Cutting the fork handle.

Phil Crockett | Youtube

The handle piece should slide into any of the slots in the fork head. If it doesn’t, use a file or grinder to flatten the high spots that are preventing the handle from fitting into the slot. Once you can fit the handle into the slot your fork lock is ready to use.

Testing out the fork door lock.

Phil Crockett | Youtube

Insert the fork head with the bent prongs into the latch hole, close the door to secure it in place, and slide the handle into one of the exposed prong slots. It should span the length from the door handle to the door frame. When someone tries to open the door, it will immediately hit the handle, pressing it firming into the fork head which is lodged into the latch hole.

Of course, it’s not meant to withstand brute force but at least it will buy you time to let the intruder know that the restroom is occupied or get out of bed when you hear the noise. Phil says he uses his most often for public bathrooms that have broken locks.

Organize your drill bits with a styrofoam block.

Easy Grab Pin Cushion for Pointy Tools

By | Home, Life Hacks | No Comments

Trying to finish a project but keep losing track of your bits and small tools as soon as you put them down? Put a stop to this all too familiar disappearing act with this gearhead version of a pin cushion by The Family Handyman. It makes a convenient storage place for the immediate things you need while getting the job done.

To make your own pointy-tool pin cushion, glue a piece of 1 1/2-inch thick high-density styrofoam onto a 1/2-inch thick piece of plywood. Leave about an inch of wood for a border around the foam. Make sure to use a foam-compatible adhesive like PL 500 and let it dry for a few hours. Then screw your pin cushion assembly to your shop wall, near your workbench or clamp it down to a tabletop.

Once mounted, load it up with router bits, drill bits, small screwdrivers, pencils, Allen wrenches, hole saws and more!

Photo credit: The Family Handyman

Use Toilet Paper Rolls to Organize Cables and Cords

Organize Unruly Cables with Toilet Paper Rolls

By | Life Hacks | No Comments

With all the digital devices piling up in our lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the web of miscellaneous cables they leave behind. Rather than throwing them in a bin or drawer where they’ll get tangled up, Instructables user berserk, developed a practical and wallet-friendly system using left-over toilet paper rolls. Bundle each cable with both ends facing the same direction so you can identify it easily and tuck it into a roll. The rolls can even be glued together as an assembly to keep them from shifting around. This may not be the most attractive system but the price more than makes up for it!

TP Roll Organizer Box | Instructables

Use a Pool Noodle to Protect Your Car Doors from Hitting Your Garage Walls

Protect Your Car Door From Hitting the Garage Wall with a Pool Noodle

By | Automotive, Home, Life Hacks | No Comments

In a typical one-car garage, there’s usually not enough room to open your car door all the way to get out. Like a leaf gliding in the wind, you must gracefully slide out of your car through a narrowly cracked door holding it against you so it doesn’t hit the wall.

For worry-free door operation, Pinterest user C. Murphy used half of a swimming pool noodle bought at the dollar store, cut it in half and used bolts to attach it to the wall. In a small garage, you’re going to be parking in roughly the same spot every time so position the bolts so they’re clear of where the door usually hits.

Photo: C. Murphy