7 quick kitchen fixes

Your kitchen suffers lots of use and abuse. Here are some tips to fix the little things.

7 quick kitchen fixes

1. Buff it with car wax

You see a scorch mark on your laminate countertop — don't reach for the abrasive cleanser; chances are you'll only remove the finish. If the burn isn't too deep, buff it out with car wax or a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda.

2. Nail polish solution

If the colour hasn't been altered, you can disguise dents and scratches on practically any kitchen surface — including wood, glass and even some types of tile — with clear nail polish. Brush on the polish in thin coats, letting it dry between applications. When you're done, smooth the polish with a piece of very fine grit sandpaper, then buff the area with a soft cloth.

3. Gasket check

If your frost-free refrigerator/freezer is more than five years old, inspect its rubber gaskets for leaks at least once a year. The easiest method is to place a bill of currency halfway inside, shut the door and tug on the bill. Repeat the process in several spots around the seal. The bill should hold firmly; if it's easy to pull out, the gasket needs to be repaired or replaced.

4. Maximum freeze-out

Freezers work at maximum efficiency only when they are at least two-thirds full. If you don't have enough food to freeze, add some bulk by filling a few plastic soda bottles or milk jugs with water and placing them in your freezer. You can easily remove the ice ballast when you get food to replace it.

5. Easy drawer fix

Most kitchen drawers work on a guide-and-track system. That is, rounded guides on the drawer keep it moving back and forth on tracks mounted inside the cabinet. Accumulations of dust and other impediments can slow down drawers or cause them to stick. Keep them moving freely by spraying the tracks and guides with a little multi-purpose lubricant once or twice a year.

6. Bandage solution

Don't like that your wooden cabinet doors always close with a bit of a bang? Soften the blow by sticking bumpers at each door's top and bottom corners. Inexpensive door bumpers are one solution, but perhaps a little too obvious for the creative do-it-yourselfer. Instead, try pressing small circular bandages (also called spot bandages) into service, testing to see if you need a double layer for each bumper to silence the bang.

7. Easy repairs

Many non-mechanical parts on kitchen appliances can be easily repaired for just pennies. For instance, a broken handle on a microwave oven or a cracked dishwasher arm can often be easily reattached with some two-part epoxy. Likewise, a little caulk can be used to patch a small crack in your refrigerator's rubber gasket, while a few strips of duct tape can usually mend a busted tab on a refrigerator door shelf. Remember: Replace only what you can't fix.

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