Wednesday, January 22, 2020

How Blu Tack Saved Me Over $50 and Lots of Time

So a few months ago I shared how one of my plain toilet seats that came with my house broke, and I used the chance to update my toilet seats to something that is in line with the color scheme that I have for my bathrooms. I mentioned, though, that after they arrived I realized just how impossible it was for me to actually install it myself, due to the shape and size of one of the bathrooms, and my lack of dexterity for another.

I started installing the toilet seat in my bathroom, the one bathroom where my body actually fit, but because of my clumsiness and the need to get the different parts aligned exactly a specific way, I was having lots of problems.

I've included an image of instructions on how I was supposed to put it together.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it may seem pretty simple, but it was much more complicated than it sounded, specifically because I was working against gravity, and only had to do everything one handed because of the angle. I needed to somehow get piece number 2 to stay up while I put on the bolt, and oh, it doesn't show you the washer that needs to be there too. And that you need this "key" type thing to screw the bolt in under the toilet. And while I was fumbling around the first time, piece number one got lost, as did piece number two, falling into a crack between my toilet pipes and tiles, irretrievable unless I the tile to retrieve it.

But somehow I managed, sort of. I ended up adding an additional washer and using a piece from the toilet seat I just removed to get one of the screws on, and then was stuck with the other screw and hired a professional to come do it, and because he was already coming to my house to do something else, he ended up charging me $40 per toilet. But had he done just one, he would have charged more, because he takes a minimum charge per home visit.

Anyhow, I thought my toilet seat issues were done, but unfortunately the job I did screwing that one side in, with the missing pieces, really caused issues. It wasn't tight enough and it caused the bolt to slide around so much that it no longer held the toilet seat in place. The toilet seat refused to stay on the toilet, even though I kept hooking it back into the hooks. And then because of all the sliding around, different pieces from the seat broke off, and the lid separated from the seat. I had a fix it guy come to my house to fix something else and I asked him to take a look at my toilet seat and see how it can be fixed, and he told me that because too many pieces were missing, it wasn't fixable. (I finally found out what happened to the missing pieces- one of my kids flushed them down the toilet when they fell in.)  

Basically, every single time I'd use the toilet I'd get really irritated, because the seat had no cover and was floating on nothing and my bathroom became a source of frustration.

I decided to buy myself a new seat, found one that looked better quality than the one I had before, and today I arrived.

I nearly hired a professional to install it, and then I had an epiphany. Recently when shopping, I decided to pick up some Blu Tack aka sticky tack. Today, I realized that with some tack I could install the toilet seat myself, clumsy me, one handed and all!

And it worked!

First I attempted to use the tack to attach piece 2 and the washer to the underside of the toilet already on the screw, while I was screwing on the nut. Didn't work.

So then, after I put the nut in the "key" meant to assist installing it, I simply used tack to first attach the washer and then piece 2 to the key, thereby allowing me to get all the pieces on the screw at the same time, without using two hands, without worrying about them falling off and into the unreachable hole underneath my toilet, as happened to the last pieces.

Basically, a few cents worth of tack, allowed me to install the toilet seat myself, instead of last time's 2 1/2 hours of attempting to install it before finally hiring a professional to install it.

Doesn't it look great?

And this time, I made sure to store the key in a safe place so I won't lose it, and if it ever needs tightening, I know where it is, so the toilet seat won't break.

I'm really proud of myself that with a little bit of thinking I was able to solve this problem and save both time and money.

Have you come up with any cool money and time saving hacks recently? What were they?


  1. There may or may not be some blue tack in my shower faucet. I could find no other way to keep the plate aligned so I could screw it in - I needed a third hand. Where the blue tack had to go to hold it is inaccessible without taking the plate back off, so it's still there. But it's not interfering with anything, and my shower no longer drips. The fix cost me nothing because the replacement part was free - lifetime guarantee on the fixture, and the blue tack saved me from having to call a plumber. I didn't even need to spend money on it - we already had some so my kids could hang up their art work in their room.

  2. This is brilliant. I'll pick up some blue tack today.


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