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Fix It Fast

Have a squeaky, leaky faucet? Get savvy with sure-fire solutions to this and more annoying problems.

Annoying labels. Clothing labels on the back of your neck can drive you batty, especially if you're a kid. If you cut them off, shorter remaining pieces might be even more irritating. Solution: cut a patch of iron-on facing and iron it down over the label.

Stuck zippers. When a zipper won't glide smoothly, try rubbing its teeth with a candle, a lead pencil, or bar of soap. This should help the teeth slip down the track more smoothly.

No-time iron. The carpool's waiting and you just noticed ugly wrinkles in your collar. Aim your hand-held hair dryer at the wrinkle (a few inches away) and flick on high heat. Pull the collar smooth with your other hand until wrinkle disappears. Turn off dryer and continue to hold until fabric is cool and wrinkle is gone.

Leaky toilets. Leaky toilets can waste 50 gallons of water a day. Drop some dye in the tank. If you don't flush and the dye appears in the bowl, you have a leak.

Cloudy vases. If the water in a vase of cut flowers turns cloudy, add a teaspoon of household bleach to a quart of water to keep the water clear. Add bleach every time you change water.

Chipped porcelain cup. Don't fix a chipped cup — reuse it! Create an original mosaic. Or, turn it into a flowerpot for a small plant on the windowsill, with the chipped edge away from the viewer.

Squeaky faucets. Your faucet handle needs a lube job if it squeaks when you turn the water on. Take the handle off and remove the stem, then apply petroleum jelly to both sets of threads. The faucet will be squeak-free and even turn on easier.

By Diane, SC Johnson home care expert

Courtesy of Right@Home™

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