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Appliances 3 ways being a slob can kill you

Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Staff


Five ways being a slob can kill you

Living un-tidy is your business but when it comes to home appliance care, you’re putting yourself and your family at risk for a fatal accident if you don’t take care of a few basics.

1.       Lint-filled dryer venting.

Lint buildup + heat = fire. Every year, clothes dryers cause thousands of major residential fires in the U.S. and Canada. Most problems associated with dryers are caused by lint build up or blockage in the venting system. It causes a dangerous buildup of heat and an instant fire that spreads fast.

Yes, it really is that important to remove lint from the lint filter (a.k.a. lint trap) after every load.

And, once per year, you must clean out the entire venting system from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap.  Use our bestselling 20-foot cleaning brush to easily remove lint buildup from within the entire tube. If you don’t feel like tackling the job, hire a professional ventilation cleaning company to do it for you.

2.        A dirty oven.

If you don’t bother cleaning up spills and splatters at the bottom of your oven’s cavity: watch out.’s repair technicians gave me stern looks when I mentioned the piece of pepperoni that may or may not have been a tenant in my oven for a few weeks. Eventually, the pepperoni will smoke and then catch on fire, they told me. I have a spotless oven for life.

Not sure how to clean your oven? Check out our post Range Cleaning 101 by Ryan Huntley.

3.       A suffocated space heater.  

Due to their compact size, space heaters are vulnerable to tipping over, which can put them in contact with highly flammable textiles. Clothing, blankets, pet beds and toys should have proper storage locations – at least a yard (approximately one meter) away from the unit.

4.       A room that’s home to appliances and flammable chemicals.

You may have never thought about it but you likely own many chemicals– in the form of leftover paint, varnishes and other flammable chemicals used for painting, ice-melting salt and harsh cleaning solutions like bleach and ammonia. Many people make the mistake of storing rarely-used boxes of chemicals in a low-traffic area of a utility room or a basement – often in a low-traffic area such as right beside a furnace or a water heater. This is a fire waiting to happen.

5.      Disconnected or non-existent smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Never, ever live without properly-working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Regularly test them. Change the batteries when Daylight Savings changes. Don’t disconnect a smoke detector when there’s a smoky cooking mishap. Take care of it right away. If you don’t yet have a carbon monoxide detector, buy one. Better yet, buy two.

Anything you’d add to the list? Please let us know below.

Share this post with your untidy family members and friends. Or, if you’re a clean freak, share this with teasing friends to prove that your obsessive cleaning tendencies makes you actually, likely, a hero.

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author staff members enjoy dozens of daily conversations with RepairClinic’s customer community every day. We're inspired by our customers' stories of successful DIY repairs, major money savings and empowerment to tackle many repair projects on their own. Every day, our 2,200+ free how-to videos are viewed 60,000 times. Visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

One Response to Five ways being a slob can kill you

  1. Julie T says:

    I knew about keeping the dryer vent clean, but went I fixed my dryer with the help of I found 10 years worth of lint in the base of the dryer and on the motor. I didn’t even know the bottom panel easily opened for access. From now on I will not only clean the vent, I’ll also vacuum out the base.

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