I refuse to stop mentioning my wife anya-heh

You know, oscillating fans, the little 12"-20" fans that rotate on a pedastil with three speeds, usually? As a relatively poor kid, the air conditioner in the bedroom is the first one I’ve ever owned in my life. I grew up around these rattly white plastic fan things. Three-blade, cheapo plastic, bought-from-walmart $20 specials. Usually Intertek branded in North America, because lol. ukkk For most of my life these goofy things have just been ambiently existing objects in my house, I’d dust em when needed. Recently though, one of the older ones, (mfd Oct 2013) a real generic 16" job with a garbo aluminium stand, started running really slow.

At first I assumed it just had electrical issues, y’know bad caps or a short or resistance, whatever. When I took it apart today though I noticed there was a ton of hair wrapped around the center shaft that turns the blade. (We both have extremely long hair) Cut it all away with a utility knife, but at that point, with the fan’s cage open and the blades off I got curious… phoenix-think

Unscrew the back of the cage from the front of the fan body, (where the motor is housed) look inside, turns out the entire thing is clogged with dust and hair, mostly cat hair. Got a duster can and blew it all out, the thing expelled a cloud of fuckin’ dust on my balcony niko-concern but when I got it back together, while it now ran fullspeed (wow!) it made a pretty painfully loud squeaking/scraping noise while spinning.

I wasn’t real sure what to do, but my wife suggested oil… not motor oil, we don’t have any since I’m not a gearhead, but like, canola oil or sunflower oil? Just applied with the hard end of a cotton bud along where the shaft connects to the motor, and it’ll trickle in??? I assumed canola oil would be conductive and this sounded like a really bad idea to me, I was sure it’d explode. I even put the fan outside, closed the balcony door and ran a cable inside to test, in case it magic-smoked itself.

Sure enough though, dumping food oil down the motor of a standing fan results in perfect silence…? kel-what

Reassembled the thing, buttoned it up and it was literally good as new. Oscillates smoothly, spins stronger than when I first got it, and is dead silent. We did it to our other two goofy canadian tire special fans the same way, and it’s been great for them too, somehow. Fucking canola oil…

I make this post mostly because I have never even heard the concept of repairing/servicing these standing fans entertained. It’s like toasters, or how non-techbrained people view computers: just a simple appliance. I knew about dusting them of course, but otherwise for my entire life whenever one crapped out, BANG instantly trashed! Another $20 down, unlimited disposable replacement upon standing fans! Turns out that curiosity and basic disassembly ability (all we used was a phillips head screwdriver, a duster can, the aforementioned oil, windex and paper towels) will probably let you keep these dumb things running for a lot longer than ten years. Whoda thunk it??? This does make sense, given that many oscillating fans are on 24/7 in the summer. Something like that easily earns a bit of maintenance, and this is gonna be a yearly check-up activity for us now!

So I guess the point is, if you’re not rich enough to air condition every room where you live, or even just have standing fans anyway, give em some love and they might benefit a lot ✨