From Fail To Fix

Ever have those days where you think just one more thing will put you over the edge? Yeah, we all do. Sometimes you come home to find your furniture coated (not lightly sprinkled but coated) in pet hair, or maybe you’re finally catching up on laundry only to find out your missing lipstick was in your jeans pocket and has now painted the inside of your dryer. If you’re struggling with obstacles at home, there are some simple hacks to get you through. The same goes for beauty.

We’ve got you covered right here.

I managed to do my laundry today, but my lipstickwas in one of the pockets.

Good news: Lipstick stains look scary, but you’re not as screwed as you may think.

Step one will be to pick up some WD-40 or Goo Gone, apply to a rag and wipe out any lipstick still in the dryer so your next load of laundry isn’t defiled, too.

Step two: Assess the enemy. Lipstick stains are two-dimensional, so you’ll need to treat for dye and grease. In most cases, dye will come out with some pre-wash stain remover and a cold wash cycle (try dry cleaning fluid if this isn’t effective). Next, apply a bleach-free detergent directly onto the fabric on the reverse side of the stain. Let sit for up to 30 minutes, then launder in the hottest water possible for that fabric.

Note: Make sure all the dye is gone before treating for grease. Otherwise, that hot cycle will set the dye stain permanently.


There’s rust in my (apparently not so) stainless steel sink.

Sinks are damp, and many kitchen pans and utensils are metal. Put two and two together and stainless steel sinks seem made to create rust. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult problem to remedy. Grab your trusty vinegar and baking soda and mix to create a paste. Apply the mixture onto rusty spots and let sit for five to 10 minutes. Scrub off with a sponge, and, if it didn’t remove all the rust the first time, repeat.


I overplucked my eyebrows.

If your reflection looks like an early 2000s throwback, here’s the drill: Overplucked eyebrows will take three to four weeks to fully regrow, and thinner brows may take up to three months. Let’s disguise them now, and work on regrowth long term.

If you’re not into spending time on makeup, pick up a brow tint or fiber gel. They brush through the hairs like mascara to darken and volumize barely there brows. (This writer loves Benefit’s Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $24, If you’re feeling daring, use a pencil and spoolie to draw small strokes, which look like natural hairs, and blend out. See the technique in action by searching YouTube for a tutorial.

And how, pray tell, can you rebuild a trusting relationship with your battered brows? Show some remorse by coating them in a growth serum—Lena Dunham swears by RevitaBrow, for instance, available for $54 on While it’s unproven, many women online say massaging a small amount of castor oil into their eyebrows each day for a month made a significant difference. Olive oil or vitamin E oil may be helpful, too.



The garbage disposal smells like, well, garbage.

Have you ever thought about cleaning a garbage disposal? It’s one of the most overlooked areas of the house, but one that sees the most action. Here’s how we get the stench out:

1. Dump one or two cups of ice down the drain and flip on the disposal and the water. Grating the ice will knock any food pieces or other gunk off the disposal blades. When the ice is pulverized, turn off both.

2. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the disposal. Let it fizz for a while to dissolve remaining disposal goo, and then rinse away.

3. Lastly, slice up a lemon or other citrus fruit, and, turning on the disposal and water, toss it in slice by slice. The acidity helps remove the last of the old food particles and leaves the disposal smelling better than new.


My cat won’t stop marking territory inside the house.

The best way to ensure cats don’t spray indoors is to spay or neuter before they’re 6 months old. If Kitty is spraying anyway, here’s what you need to do.

Thoroughly clean the sprayed spot to remove the smell. Products like OdorLogic CleanAway ($5.99, are designed to permanently eliminate scent and discourage re-marking, as harshly scented products may entice them to just spray again.

Next, identify the problem. If your cat spies another feline out the window, he may feel the need to mark territory inside. Close blinds when possible, and move your cat’s favorite furniture away from windows or purchase a cat tree for a corner to encourage him to relocate and stop creeping on the neighbor’s cat.

Cats don’t like change, so they sometimes spray to cope with stress. Just redecorating a room or changing work hours could weird out your pet. If you know you have an anxious cat, consider a pheromone spray or diffuser to calm him down during stressful periods. Be sure to stick to his routine as much as possible and provide extra lovin’, too.


My pressed makeup powder broke.

We’re not supposed to cry over spilled milk, but a dropped, cracked eyeshadow palette?Tears are permitted in this case. But now you can take those busted blush and powder compacts out of the back of your makeup drawer and revive them in minutes.

1. Grab your isopropyl alcohol and some plastic wrap. Round up all the broken pieces into the bottom of the makeup pan, winding plastic wrap around the whole compact to keep them securely inside.

2. Using your fingers, gently crush the powder pieces into loose powder. Unwrap veeeery carefully.

3. Add a few drops of alcohol until the powder is saturated and malleable. Press it back into shape in the pan, and allow it to air dry completely before use. It should be good as new!


There are water rings on my table.

First, find the audacious fool who ignored the stack of coasters nearby. Once they’ve been lightly smacked about the head, consider your options and choose a removal method to try.

1. Break out the petroleum jelly. Apply it to water marks, and allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, the mark should wipe away with the jelly.

2. Mix a teaspoon of salt with drops of water until it becomes a paste. Work that paste into the water marks with a sponge or cloth until the mark disappears, and finish by polishing the wood.

3. Mix equal parts baking soda with white, non-gel toothpaste. Scrub the mixture into the wood following the grain. Wipe off, and polish.

4. Stir together equal parts vinegar and olive oil, and rub into wood, paralleling the grain. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away. 


My dog is shedding. Like, a lot.

According to a survey in 2010, shedding is the second biggest downside to having a pet (second only to death of the pet, mind you). Hair on your clothes, your floors, your car interior and, occasionally, your food. How can you bring the shedding level down a notch?

1. Bathe your dog weekly. Yes, weekly. Vets used to recommend only occasional bathing to prevent stripping pets’ skin of natural oils, but when gentle shampoos are used, more regular bathing helps rinse away loose hair without causing irritation. And of course, brush often!

2. Trying to get loose fur off of upholstery? Dampen a rubber glove and wipe—all the hairs will gather easily. Or, spray the fabric with liquid fabric softener and water before wiping. You can use a squeegee, too!

3. If your vacuum isn’t corralling your pets’ left-behind hairs, gently rub a pumice stone over the top of carpets. All the hairs will gather, and you can pick up the tumbleweed easily. Your dog’s hairbrush may also do the trick if the bristles are close enough together.


My nails are yellow from too much polish.

Mani/pedis at the salon are pricey, and they’re time-consuming at home, but if your nails have turned yellow from all the painting, they may force your hand. Don’t feel like you have to hide the yellow with more polish. Instead, banish it entirely.

First things first, always use a base coat. Not only does it extend the life of polish, but it protects nails from staining and yellowing. Next, decide which method of whitening works for you—you may already have the supplies at home.

Mix a few drops of lemon juice into 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Dip cotton balls into the solution, and rub onto nails until staining is gone.

Got baking soda and peroxide on hand? One tablespoon HP stirred in with 2 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda creates a cleaning paste. Cover each nail in the mixture, leave for three minutes and rinse. You can repeat this every six to eight weeks to keep nails looking naturally healthy. You can also simply buff nails using a store-bought buffing tool, and the stain will buff right off.


Dryer Sheets Do Everything

Battle many common household and hygiene troubles using something simple: dryer sheets.

Frizzy flyaways ruining your hair day? Tame them by rubbing them down with a dryer sheet. You can also do this to eliminate static cling from your clothing.

Clean your iron’s soleplate. Run the iron over a dryer sheet on low and watch the residue come right off.

Soap scum clouding up your glass shower doors? Lightly dampen a used dryer sheet, and use it to scrub right through and restore shine.

A used dryer sheet rubs deodorant marks off clothingwith just a little bit of elbow grease.

Posted in Marion Features

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