6 Household Hacks Inspired by MacGyver Tricks

Alka Seltzer by sink to help with clogs | MacGyver Tricks Unclog a drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Yikes, the drain is clogged! Quick, what are some MacGyver tricks our favorite secret agent would use?

This month marks the 27th anniversary of the most influential DIY show ever. Nope we’re not talking about This Old House (which debuted in 1978). We’re referring to MacGyver, the action-adventure series that taught us any sticky situation could be fixed with a few mundane items.

To note this occasion, we asked four DIY experts to share their favorite MacGyver-inspired household hacks and tips. 

Expert: MoneyCrashers.com

This penny-pinching site known for doling out smart budgeting advice came up with two quick fixes; one clears clogs while the second neatens up floors.

1. Unclog a drain

Solution: Next time one of your drains is being a pain, drop three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the sink followed by a cup of white vinegar.

We’re not 100% sure about the science behind this, but we heard when combined together, these ingredients will dissolve grease and other funky things. After about 15 minutes, you can clear the drain with boiling water. 

Do not attempt this trick immediately after using a commercial drain opener like Drano or Liquid-Plumr.

FYI, you can also use this exact same solution to clean and freshen up toilet bowls.

Fun MacGyver fact: He mixed it with baking soda to create a smoke screen.

2. Fix scuffed floors

Give scuffmarks on tile and linoleum floors the boot using a tennis ball fitted on the end of a broom handle. When rubbed against the floor, the ball will remove scuffmarks.

What, you don’t have a tennis ball? Use a sneaker. The bottom of most clean sneakers can easily buff floors.

Fun MacGyver fact: He once made a missile out of a broom handle.

Expert: Domestic Imperfection

Ashley, the blogger behind this site, knows a thing or two about being crafty. Just like MacGyver, she likes hacking common office items.

3. Create more pantry space

Small office organizers like the ones used for pencils and pens can turn wasted wall space into room for spice storage.

Look at the photo to see how small desk organizers instantly became mini-spice racks when placed in front of pantry shelves.


Credit: DomesticImperfection.com

Don’t own a few of these clever storage finds? Organizers like these can be found easily at most dollar stores.

Fun MacGyver fact: He once hotwired a truck using a bunch of office supplies including a paper clip, a ballpoint pen, and a rubber band.

Expert: It’s Overflowing

Aimee, the woman who creates all the great content on this site, is no stranger to dirty jobs. So how does she keep her hands so clean?

4. Keep your fingernails clean when doing dirty jobs


Credit: ItsOverflowing.com

Simply pack clean soap under your talons by rubbing them across a bar a few times. When the dirty work is done, quickly scrub it all out with a nailbrush.

Fun MacGyver fact: He was always armed with a Swiss army knife, which included a nail file, tweezers, and a few other grooming tools.

Expert: Jimmy DiResta

Like MacGyver, one of our favorite TV DIY guys, Jimmy D. (co-host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Money) is no stranger to sticky situations. Here are a few of his great glue tricks


Credit: VintageAndFlea.com

5. Fix a wall crack

Just add a little baking soda to Crazy Glue when filling a small wall crack and ta-da — it becomes a hard plastic you can easily sand or file down.

6. Undo glue joints or remove a pesky sticker

Turn a can of air duster cleaning spray upside down and spray your target. Doing so will “freeze” the glue, making it easy to undo the joint or pull the sticker off.

Fun MacGyver fact: He was always working with sticky stuff. Check this clip where he makes homemade Russian Crazy Glue.

Have a household hack worthy of our favorite spy guy? Share in the comments below.