It is dangerous to put a regular light bulb in a refrigerator, freezer, kitchen oven, microwave oven, or stove exhaust hood. All of these appliances need appliance light bulbs. Putting a regular light bulb in an oven is especially dangerous. It can start a fire in your kitchen or can give you an electric shock by touching the stove. As I said, putting regular light bulbs in appliances that get hot or cold is dangerous. Appliance light bulbs are designed to withstand both high and low temperatures and have rugged filaments designed to resist vibration, like the vibration created by opening or closing a refrigerator door. If you have a burned out appliance light bulb or if the bulb is just missing, come over to my chocolate room and get a replacement. I always have appliance light bulbs in stock, and they are free. Please, do not bring me burned out or broken light bulbs. There is nothing I can do with them. Ace Hardware and Home Depot stores will accept used light bulbs for recycling.


At the end of the school year in Berkeley and other college towns, a lot of furniture is dumped on streets, sidewalks, and lawns around the city. Never, never take street furniture into your home. That is the principle way that people get bedbugs, fleas, ticks, lice, and mold in their homes. For the same reason, never take in furniture from basements, outdoor sheds, unknown sources, or garages. Free furniture that you find on the street is not a bargain!

Street Furniture

Please, please do not bring home furniture that you find on the street! At the end of the school year, there is always a lot of furniture dumped on sidewalks and left at street corners in college towns. Bringing home furniture that you find on the street is dangerous! You don’t know where this stuff came from or what might be hiding inside. There are a lot of nasty things inside furniture left on the street, including bedbugs, fleas, lice, ticks, and mold. I know that most college students have very little money to spend on home furnishings, but bringing home furniture that you find on the street is not a money saver. You are endangering your health and the health of all your roommates by bringing home furniture that you find on the street. Don’t do it!

Things You Should Never Buy at a Garage Sale or Flea Market.

This is the time of year when college students are furnishing their new apartments. Understandably, they are looking for bargains. Most college students have very little money, if any at all, set aside for home furnishing budgets. Nevertheless, even if you have very little money to spend on home furnishings, there are some things that you should always buy new, never used. Here is a list of things that you should never buy at a garage sale, flea market, or off Craigslist.

  1. Mattresses. It is illegal to sell used mattresses at thrift stores in California. I think it should be illegal everywhere. You can get very sick from sleeping on a used mattress. Suppose the last person who on slept on this mattress had a contagious disease. You could get that disease yourself just by sleeping on that mattress. Also, the mattress could have parasites in it. When you bring a used mattress into your home, you could be bringing in a long list of undesirable critters that might be hiding inside it, including bedbugs, fleas, lice, ticks, and spiders. Finally, the mattress could have mold in it. Sleeping on a mattress with mold in it can make you very sick.
  2. Couches, sofabeds, pillows, and upholstered chairs. You don’t want these in your home either, and for the same reasons that you don’t want a used mattress.
  3. Sheets and blankets. Yes, you can wash used sheets and blankets in hot water, and that will kill most of the bad things that might be in them, but it may not wash everything out. For example, bedbug and spider eggs can survive washing in hot water.
  4. Hats and shoes. All used hats and shoes contain dried sweat, particles of hair, and dead skin from its previous owner.  If the last person who wore a pair of shoes or a hat before you had a contagious skin disease, you could catch that disease yourself just by wearing that person’s hat or shoes.
  5. Cookware. Don’t buy used cookware if it shows any sign or rust or other damage. Worn out nonstick cookware can leach chemicals into your food, and rust can leach toxic metals.