When you need to pick up a wet mess, a squeegee is a super tool to use. It can help you move the water in a hurry, too. But if you don’t have one and want to make one, try this: Just use a rake (or even a hoe) and a scrap of foam pipe insulation. Attach this foam over the blade or tines, and secure it with tape or a rubber band. Now you have your very own, personal squeegee. There will be no excuse for not cleaning up now!


Q: I have a problem: My kitchen food disposal keeps getting stuck. I can use the wrench that came with it to get it turning again, but it doesn’t go for long before it gets stuck again. Can you give me any clues about what might be causing this and how I might fix it? – P.J.

A: Remove the rubber guard from the sink drain and, making sure everything is cut off, clean the inside thoroughly just to make sure there isn’t something stuck in there that might be causing the problem. Another possibility is that it is just starting to wear out. If it’s more than 10 years old, it is possible that it might be time to replace it.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: I was looking for a good way to keep up with notes, receipts and other papers in my workshop. I tried a bulletin board, but it fell apart quickly. I finally hung a piece of sheet metal directly on the wall and use refrigerator magnets to hold these papers there. It’s great and it’s tougher than the corkboard and should last a lot longer. – J.S.


Dear Kelly: I have to do any decorating on a very tight budget. I have found the “oops” paint shelf at my home improvement center. These cans of paint were returned by customers or improperly mixed. It’s very inexpensive and, if you keep a good eye open, you can find workable colors. I’ve even mixed two cans together to get two cans of the same color. It’s very inexpensive and, if you are on a budget like I am, you still can redo a room when you want to. – D.R.


Dear Al: Here’s a tip for organizing rolls of tape in the workshop. I have a paper towel holder that used to sit on my kitchen counter. It’s just a round piece of wood with a dowel sticking up from the center to hold the roll of paper towels on your kitchen counter. Well, I bought one for my shop, too, and I keep all of my tape on this holder. Everything is right there when I need it and I don’t even have to remove them to get the tape off. – D.M.


Dear Carrells: I did some part-time work in my nephew’s greenhouse operation and learned a neat trick. When I had to water over my head, I folded the end of my work gloves up to catch the drips. The last time I found myself painting overhead, I did the same thing with my work gloves. Sure enough, those paint drips didn’t get to my arms like they used to. I thought it might be of interest to your readers. – R.J.

A Super hint

If numbers on your wrenches and pliers are stamped in but no longer easy to read, just rub some white paint over the numbers. It will get into the indentations and make them much easier to see.