Readers offer their best tips for replacing broken zipper pulls, renewing and protecting the mag stripes on debit and credit cards, and freshening up your house with a quick DIY air freshener.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments, email it to tips at lifehacker.com, or share it over at our user-run blog, Hackerspace.
Replace a Broken Zipper Pull with Sugru
Fei shares a way to replace a broken zipper pull using Sugru:
I found a great use for Sugru: replacing a broken zipper pull. It’s easy to smooth into the shape you want and you can get colors to match pretty much any garment.
Renew and Protect Mag Stripes with Clear Nail Polish
Steve discovers a clever way to fix mag stripes on credit and debit cards that don’t swipe well anymore:
Like most men, I carry my cards in my wallet and sit on them all day! This, plus regular use, tends to scratch the mag stripe so that it won’t read on POS terminals.
I had a debit card that got so bad it wouldn’t read at all. I ordered a replacement but had not activated it yet. I had seen cashiers wrap a plastic bag over the card and then run them through and it usually worked.
I decided to try an experiment on my old card. I painted the mag stripe with clear nail polish. The next day, I went to a couple of stores and it worked like a brand new card! It also worked in the ATM. Now, I paint my new cards to help protect them as well!
Photo by StockMonkeys.com.
Clean Phone Camera Lenses with Tape and a Pen
Kevin sent us this quick tip for cleaning dusty lenses on phone cameras:
If the camera lens on your phone or tablet is dusty, but recessed, use some tape and a pen to get a quick cleaning.
We’d recommend using the blunt end of the pen (or maybe a cotton swab) to prevent scratching the lens and tape that doesn’t leave residue.
Photo by warrenski.
Create a DIY Air Freshener with Cotton Balls and Mouthwash
Jenny shares a clever tip for creating a simple air freshener:
I really don’t like the way most air fresheners smell. They are either too chemical-laden or have some awful fake scent. Instead, I soak cotton balls in mouthwash and tuck them away in small dishes. It’s subtle and won’t cover up a really smelly room, of course, but it does add a nice fresh odor. I love the smell of mint, but you could always use whatever you like.
Photo by Ross Elliott.