November Home Maintenance To-Do List

Cleaning the water line filters on a clothes washer.
Cleaning a water line filter on a clothes washer.

To-Do #3: Clean Clothes Washer Water Line Filters

Water lines on washing machines have filters to prevent sediment from getting into the machine. If it seems like your washer is taking longer to fill up, clogged filters may be the culprit. It may be a little awkward to get to the washer water inlets; but once you do, cleaning water filters is quick and easy, here’s how.

To Clean Washer Water Line Filters:

  • Turn off the water supply valves, located in the supply box behind or beside your washer.
  • If possible, pull the washer out from the wall so that you can get behind it. If this isn’t feasible, you’ll need to reach over or behind the washer to get to the inlet lines.
  • Unscrew the supply lines from the washer, and locate the filters on the machine inlets.
  • Use a spray bottle and small, stiff brush to scrub away any dirt or debris on the filters.
  • Reconnect the water hoses, making sure the hot and cold lines are attached to the correct intakes.
  • Turn the water valves back on and check for leaks.

Watch our video on How To Clean Washer Water Filters to see how it’s done.

Squirting powdered graphite in a deadbolt door lock to lubricate it.
Squirting powdered graphite in a deadbolt door lock to lubricate it.

To-Do #4: Lubricate Door Locks

When you’re busy and on the go during the holidays, sticky door locks can really slow you down. Fortunately, the solution is quick and easy.

Pick up a small tube or bottle of graphite at your home center or hardware store, making sure to choose one with a narrow tip for easy application. Graphite is a dry powder, which makes it the perfect lubricant for door locks, since it doesn’t attract dust or dirt.

Put down a piece of newspaper or plastic to protect the floor under the door lock, and squirt a small amount of powdered graphite into the keyhole. Insert the key and turn it a few times to distribute the lubricant throughout the lock mechanism, and you’re done!

Watch our video on How to Fix a Sticky Door Lock to find out more.

Lubricating a door hinge pin with machine oil to stop it from squeaking.
Lubricating a door hinge pin with machine oil to stop it from squeaking.

To-Do #5: Fix Squeaky Door Hinges

While you’re at it, give some attention to those squeaky door hinges as well. It won’t be long before Christmas is here, and you wouldn’t want a squeaky hinge calling attention to any sneaky elves!

You can use powdered graphite for door hinges, but the black powder can sift down and stain your floors. For better results, pick up a small container of white lithium grease or machine oil.

To Lubricate Door Hinges:

  • Close and latch the door.
  • Use a hammer and nail, or a nail set, to tap out the hinge pin.
  • Coat the hinge pin with a small amount of white lithium grease or machine oil. A little goes a long way!
  • Tap the hinge pin back in the hinge.
  • Open and close the door a few times to distribute the lubricate.
  • Use a rag to wipe up any extra grease or oil that squeezes out of the hinge.

Watch How to Fix Squeaky Door Hinges to see how it’s done.


  1. Love your show and website!!

    Please see what you can do about fixing the website, so that when you select a video, it doesn’t take you back to the first set of videos to select.

    Keep up the great work. I’ve actually taken care of somethings around the house on my own.

    Sara in Abilene

  2. Have you ever seen a squirrel eat wood framing on a home? I have one eating the decorative trim around my front door near the entrance. I filled in the hole he chewed last year but he’s returned again this year to eat the same area again. We’ve tried pepper sprays and preparations put on the wood. Help! Why is he eating the wood?

  3. I’ve used this for unclogging the disposal when necessary, but never thought of refreshing or cleaning it with this method. Thanks

  4. This is actually a really good list! Very helpful, thank you. I always have done an old school trick I learned from my mother, which is put half a lemon in the garbage disposal and turn it on. It makes it smell great the whole day:).

  5. Love your show, it comes on in our area (Huntsville) VERY early but I do wake to see it every Saturday morning. Your knowledge and experience, and your very educational way to remedy problems around the home are very useful and believe me, we use them a LOT!! You give homeowners great and useful education, and the courage to tackle what they can and the knowledge to hire a professional if they cant! Would that we all be so handy or as in your daughter’s case, creative. Many good ideas from your daughter on decorating as well!!

  6. The tip about using dry graphite in a lock set is a great one. A lot of people use the good old spray lubricant, not knowing that it gums up any existing dust/dirt already in the lock thus making it more difficult over time to turn the key.

  7. In our Kitchen Sink Faucet the aerator is broken off in the spout. It is broken off even with spout and I can’t seem to get it out with pliers, etc.
    Can you give me a tip on how to get it out. I am going to replace it with
    a new one.


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