Everyone likes to feel clever. And if that cleverness creates a solution to one of life’s problems, even better. That’s the approach that Dial has taken with their new Power Scrub Power Garage, which is over-engineered to be much more than a soap and body wash. Along the same lines, you can do some over-engineering of your own by using little tricks to solve camping, lawn care and home improvement hangups. And there’s a bonus effect: You’ll stand out as a rock star father. Read on for some of our favorite dad hacks.
1. Easy Camping Lantern
Need a lantern for seeing in a dark tent? Strap your headlamp to the side of a full gallon jug of water, facing inward. It creates ambient light that fills the whole tent.
2. Instant Campfire Starter
Put a dozen charcoal briquettes in an old egg carton and make that the base of the campfire. Then just light the carton to get it going.
3. Campground Coffee
Put a scoop of coffee grounds in a coffee filter, tie it off with dental floss, and place it in a mug of boiling water like a tea bag. Pack several of these ahead of time and you’ve got instant java.
4. Homemade Fish Attractant
Mix vegetable oil with the minced garlic that comes in a jar. The longer it sits, the more attractive the smell to fish. Then dip worms, jigs and lures into the concoction before going after the big one.
5. Wall Patch Trick
Hole in the wall? Cut a piece of wire screen about two inches bigger than the hole. Now tie string to a pencil, put it behind the screen, and put them both in the hole. Pull on the string to draw the pencil and screen tight to the wall, and patch the hole with wall compound. Now cut off the string flush with the wall. When the compound dries, it will shrink, so you can patch it one more time to cover up the string hole.
6. Touchup Paint Saver
Of course, now you need to paint over that hole. To make touchups for holes, scratches or other wall problems easier later on, put a little extra paint from the paint gallon in a baby food jar at the same time you paint the room. Write the room name on the lid to make it easy to remember.
7. No-Mess Painting Trick
Another painting pain is having to paint around things like toilets, sinks and other fixtures. Glad’s Press ’n’ Seal wrap sticks well to porcelain and is a lot easier than having to seal everything off with masking tape.
8. DIY Tooth Saver
Avoid having a mouthful of nails when hanging pictures and doing other household jobs. Instead, glue a round rare-earth magnet to the bottom of your hammer to hold those nails in place without using your teeth. You can do the same with a screwdriver for screws.
9. Safe Broken Bulb Removal
Have you ever broken a burned-out light bulb when trying to change it? Cut a potato in half, and carefully press it into what’s remaining of the bulb shaft. Now simply twist to remove it without shredding your hand.
10. Dripping Faucet Quick Fix
If a dripping faucet keeps up at night, tie a string around the end of the faucet and set it in the sink, so the drip runs down the string rather than drip, drip, dripping all night. Then call a plumber when you have some dough.
11. Scratch-Free Wrench
It’s tough to loosen fixtures like bathtub spouts or shower arms without scratching them. Try cutting the fingers off an old pair of textured work gloves and putting them over the jaws of the wrench first. Then you can loosen scratch-free.
12. Stripped Screw Solver
Nothing’s more frustrating than a stripped-out screw head. If you put a rubber band over the head and jam the driver bit tightly into it, you can often get enough purchase on the screw to back it out.
13. Instant Floating Shelves
Want to make your own floating shelves? Buy a cheap hollow core door and cut off one edge. This creates a hollow opening, and you can cut a wood cleat that fits inside it. Now simply screw the cleat you just made to wall studs, and attach the door to the cleat with construction adhesive and brads. Paint the new shelf, and you’re done.
14. Improved Fuel Economy
We’re all looking for ways to save money on gas. As it turns out, one of the easiest tips is to buy gas in the mornings or evenings when it’s cooler outside. Gas is denser when it’s cold out, so you get more bang for your buck.
15. Slippery Snow Shovel
Shoveling snow already sucks, but it’s worse when all that heavy snow sticks to the shovel. Solve that problem by spraying the blade of the shovel with silicone lubricant. The snow will slide right off.
16. Better Bed Liner
The home centers want you to buy an expensive roll of landscape fabric before mulching a flower bed. Instead, cover the bed with old newspapers, then mulch. The newspaper keeps out grass and weeds and naturally decomposes, unlike the fabric.
17. Slug Obstructer
If slugs or snails are getting to your plants, start keeping eggshells in a container in the fridge. When you have enough, crunch them up and sprinkle them around flowers, veggies and the like. The sharp edges keep pests away, and the added calcium helps the soil.
18. Natural Weed Killer
Tired of dousing your yard with chemicals to kill weeds? Try one cup of vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle. It kills weeds as well as any home center chemical can.
Top-notch tools on the brain? A stocked industrial workbench is just one of several awesome prizes Dial For Men’s Power Scrub Power Garage is giving away daily, now through August. Other prizes include bottles of Power Scrub, the mother of all BBQ grills, a monster riding mower and a souped-up Ford Mustang full of Power Scrub! Get more details and enter to win on the Power Scrub Power Garage section of the Dial For Men Facebook page!