Share this article

print logo

The Super Handyman: Keeping the paint off the brush handle

I don’t really enjoy cleaning paintbrushes. But if I buy a good one, I like to use it more than one time, so it’s necessary. If there’s a way to keep it cleaner during my projects, I’ll also do that to cut down on cleaning time. The last time I was painting, I grabbed a scrunchie to tie my hair up and slipped it around the brush handle so it would be there when I was ready to use it. I never got around to using it on my hair, but it sure did keep the drips off the paintbrush handle (and off my hands, too). Just as I planned, right?


Q: I am having a real issue with my toilet. It makes a loud screeching noise when it is flushed. What in the world is going on, and how can I stop it? - L.K.

A: This sounds like it might be a restriction in the water line, probably at the valve just under the toilet tank. Sometimes you can dislodge the mineral deposits that build up in these valves just by gently tapping on them. If that doesn’t work, shut off the water supply to the house and clean the valve with vinegar.

Tips for readers

I like the look of rusty metal, and have collected some great decorative pieces around my home. To prevent the rust from getting on my hands or the carpet or anything else, I clean the surface of all dust and then spray it with a coating of matte-finish, clear paint. This still shows the rust, but seals the surface so the rust doesn’t flake off on everybody and everything. – F.H.


Well, I’ve been doing my best to keep the fleas under control, but with four dogs, it’s a never-ending chore. I was just about finished spraying down the backyard and patio when I ran out of the spray I was using. In an effort to avoid going to the hardware store again, I tried another method. I mixed up some of their flea shampoo and sprayed it on the patio and doghouses. It seems to have worked just fine. I’ve not seen any fleas anywhere in the yard or near the doghouses. I’ve restocked the spray now, but the shampoo seemed to do an adequate job. – R.V.

A super hint

Lamps that are outdoors or in other challenging positions go through a lot of standard light bulbs, which can be hard to change out, not to mention costly. That’s why they make “hard service” bulbs. These are made with superior parts and built to withstand harsher conditions.

SuperHandy mom tip

A Tip From the Super HandyMom - When my day is done, I hang up my tool belt. I actually hang it up on my pegboard storage wall. The reason why I do it is to make sure my tools are handy to get to without having to dig through my tool belt or toolbox to find them. It also helps keep me organized.


Power screwdrivers are the norm now, and we all have them. But for small projects like computers and cellphones, you don’t have a lot of choices for a power screwdriver. I’ve tried the General Tools Power Precision Screwdriver and found it perfect for those tiny projects. One model has a good LED light built in, and all of them have a good variety of bits available to use. It runs on two AAA batteries and an exclusive micro-torque drive that will generate 100-plus RPM. It’s small, strong and always will be ready to tackle the job, no matter how small it is! These are available at Home Depot.

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit