Don't Give Up! Try These Home Rescue Remedies

Reader Intelligence Report

Now and then, situations can crop up around the house that have you suffering along in silence. Living with a smelly fridge, a scratched toilet or a sofa-shredding pet is no fun — we all know that it's the small annoyances that can get to you if you don't deal with them head on. Happily, our wise readers have shared their rescue remedies to these common issues so you'll be ready when and if it's your turn to deal...How To Live with Both a Cat and an Unshredded Sofa:
My strategy involved staying a whole weekend sitting on the couch and giving him a very authoritative "no" every time he approached the couch. Did this for 48 hours and it works still. Other people have tried to encourage him to go on the couch and he doesn't dare unless there's some sort of fabric on top of it, or jumps directly on them, without touching the leather. - mpasso
My cat responded well to plain old water in a spray bottle, and eventually all I had to do was make the psssst noise and she would stop. I also got her a little cat house, took her to it, put her paws on it and showed her to scratch THAT. Each time she would attempt to scratch something, I'd make the pssst noise, grab her, put her on the house and now that's ALL she scratches. -seventy7seconds
I use softpaws. Nothing in my home is scratched up. The cat doesn't mind the claw covers. It's a win win situation. - niteflytes
Softpaws are wonderful. However, I find that telling my cats NO, and being consistent is good enough. They're happy to cooperate when it's clear what the rules are. There are places they can scratch, and places they can't. - LaBelle Provence
Try putting low tack, double-sided tape on all the areas the cat likes to scratch. It like setting a booby trap, the tape catches on its paws and freaks it out. After a few times, the kitty associates the couch with bad memories and learns to stay away. - needtherapy
I cured my cat of scratching using a technique my brother-in-law told me about. Whenever I saw her start to scratch something she wasn't supposed to be: I gently picked her up, brought her to the scratching post and physically held her paws and moved them in a scratching motion on the post until she started to struggle. Then, simply let her go of her paws, let her run away and wait until the next time she started scratching the couch again. It worked like a miracle. But, it did require patience and took more than a few weeks of working with her on it. Eventually she stopped scratching anything but the post altogether. - sailingfms
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How To Remove Seemingly Unremovable Metal Scratches on Toilets and Tubs:

I had the problem of scratches from the auger I used to unblock the toilet. Ajax powder removed some marks but not others. I figured the black marks are caused by metal rubbing off the auger which should dissolve in acid, so I tried white vinegar straight from the bottle. I soaked up the water from the bowl with a sponge and left the vinegar in the bowl for 30 min. No more marks! - Bob Charlesworth
I had scratches on my toilet also. I took Bob Charlesworth's advice. Like him, Ajax didn't do much. So after draining the water; in went about 3/4 gallon of vineger. After 5min. there was a big improvement. After 1hr. scratches were gone. Thanks Bob.- Matt V
I had aluminum scratches on my shower tile. I read the above ideas and tried rubbing with white vinegar, which took off some of the marks. I then switched to rubbing with Lime Away, which removed all the other marks or lightened them until they were unnoticable. Thanks for the ideas! - Mary Smith
Just wanted to say that I used white vinegar and a Mr. Clean eraser and within 2 minutes had gotten all of the grey marks that a plumber's snake had left in our porcelain toilet. It really works! Thanks for the help! - the5hojos
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How to Destink a Smelly Fridge:

A teaspoon of vanilla extract on a cottonball/pad (from Martha Stewart and it works great) - Lady J
Coffee grinds also work! - Nevis
2nd the coffee grinds tip. They work great! - katie
Squeeze some lemons into a bowl of water and vinegar and leave it in the fridge over night. Also works great to microwave it slightly to loosen stuck ons in your microwave, and will also rid microwaves odor...and then afterward I leave it sitting under the sink (where i sometime store the trash bin) to absorb the odor down there. So just one mixed bowl...you can use it in fridge, then move it to use in microwave, and then transfer it to undersink areas like kitchen or bathroom or rid odors there, too. Very efficient, very "green," very economic, and very multi-task! - callbob
Newspaper! wad some up and leave for a day or so...should work great!! - Marcee-ah
I've also heard charcoal briquettes work. Put some in an open container and leave in the fridge for a few days, then throw away. - splim
Banana peels! Just throw one or two in the refrigerator and they will get rid of bad odor. - yellotabby
White vinegar -- wipe down whatever surfaces there are and if funky scent persists, a small open bowl of white vinegar left overnight should do it. - thedivingbelle

Have any advice to add? A problem that has you stumped? Let us know in the comments...

Images: Laure Joliet, Stuart Conner on Flickr licensed under Creative Commons, Emma Christensen for The Kitchn

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