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Your kitchen first aid kit

Common kitchen problems and how to solve them

Our kitchens are a hive of activity. From making your morning cuppa to loading the dishwasher late at night, it’s one of the hardest working rooms in the house. Naturally, the more we use our kitchen, the more likely we’ll end up with scuffs, stains and loose screws.

Luckily for you, we’ve got the antidote to all of these common kitchen problems. We’ll show you how to do it yourself with B&Q products and home remedies, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to call in a professional. Roll up your sleeves and give your kitchen some TLC with our expert tips and tools.

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How to fix a dripping tap

Drip. Drip. Drip. It’s annoying isn’t it? Don’t let a leaking tap get on your nerves any longer. It’s easy to fix yourself, which means you won’t need to splash out on a plumber. Watch our video to find out how to fix a dripping tap yourself.

How to clear a blocked sink

If your kitchen sink isn’t draining properly, then it’s more than likely you’ve got a blockage somewhere in the pipes. Read our step-by-step guide for detailed advice on how to clear a blocked kitchen sink.

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How to fix loose hinges on cabinet doors

It can be extremely irritating when your cabinet door doesn’t close properly, or when it squeaks every time you touch it. You can easily rectify a squeaky door with a few sprays of WD-40. In fact, we suggest lubricating and tightening your screws yearly to prevent loose hinges.

Fixing loose hinges on kitchen cabinets is easy to do – we’ll show you how.

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Step 1

Open your door and push it up to the position it should be in. Ask someone to help hold it in place whilst you tighten the screws on the hinges with a screwdriver.

Step 2

Let go of the door to check that it is now hanging properly. Open and close the door several times to check the door doesn’t droop again.

Step 3

If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to remove the screws and take the hinge off to check underneath. If the holes have become too big for the screws, fill them in with toothpicks or a wooden dowel (depending on the size of the hole) and liquid glue.

Step 4

Once this is dry, you can put the hinges back in their original position and drill the screws back into place.

How to remove stains and scratches from a kitchen worktop

Our kitchen worktops are stain-resistant against most household items – however, if a spillage is left too long then it can become difficult to remove. To prevent stains and scratches, make sure you place hot pans on a trivet, and always use a chopping board to cut food. Before removing a scratch or stain, make sure you clean your surface with warm soapy water and allow to dry.

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Remove stains from laminate worktops

If you have a light scratch or stain, apply bicarbonate of soda over the area and buff gently with a damp cloth. If the scratches are deeper, use a laminate filler to repair chips and scratches. Make sure you pick a shade that most closely resembles the colour of your worktop.

Remove stains from wooden worktops

Get rid of pale stains by rubbing some lemon juice and olive oil with fine steel wool. If the stain is tougher to remove, gently rub the area with fine sandpaper – make sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain.

Remove stains from marble or granite worktops

To remove oil-based stains from granite or marble surfaces, apply a paste of bicarbonate of soda mixed with water. Cover with cling film and leave the paste overnight to work it’s magic. For water-based stains, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight. Repeat the process if necessary.

If your stain or scratch still won’t budge – consider covering your worktops with sticky back plastic. Not only will it cover unsightly marks, but it also allows you to switch up the look in your kitchen. Sticky back plastic is water resistant and heat resistant up to 75°C.

How to clean a dirty oven

We use our ovens multiple times a day, yet it can often be the last thing we think to clean. Grime and grease can build up quickly and if left for too long, removing it can be a real struggle. Use a professional oven and grill cleaner to soften and dissolve carbons and grease. Simply spray on the affected areas, leave for one hour and wipe clean with a paper towel. Your oven will look as good as new in no time.

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How to clean burnt pans

No matter how hard you try, sometimes the build up of grime on frying and saucepans just won’t budge. With some insider know-how and a lot of elbow grease, we’ll show you how to make your pans sparkle yet again.

How to clean a cast iron pan

Wipe your pan with a few tablespoons of oil, then use either bicarbonate of soda or salt to scrub the pan with a cloth. Rub for a few minutes and then rinse under warm water and pat dry. If the burnt food still hasn’t gone, then fill your pan with 2-3 centimetres water, place on the hob and bring to a boil. Use a wooden or plastic spatula to scrape away burnt food (don’t use metal, as this could scratch the surface). Pour away the water and pat dry with a paper towel. Coat your cast iron pan with a small layer of oil before storing away.

Store your cast iron pan somewhere clean and dry. Cast iron can rust quickly, so ensure it stays away from moisture.

How to clean a stainless-steel pan

Fill your pan with water, add a cup of vinegar and bring to boil. Once it has begun boiling, remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda – leave it to fizz for a couple of minutes. Pour the solution away and use a scourer to remove any stubborn bits. Rinse the pan with washing up liquid and pat dry with a tea towel.

Maintain your stainless steel pan by regularly using a stainless steel cleaner to prevent smears and marks.

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How to remove and replace a broken tile

A cracked tile can ruin the whole look of your kitchen. Fortunately for you, it’s easy to replace a broken tile without interfering with the rest of the tiled wall. You can do it yourself with just a few tools. Read our guide and find out how to replace a broken kitchen tile.

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