Frequently Asked Questions
Repair Cafe Mountain View
Don’t toss them, repair them!
What exactly is the Repair Café?
Repair Café Mountain View is a volunteer-driven organization patterned after the Repair Café movement that started in the Netherlands and now is flourishing worldwide. The aim of the Repair Café movement is to reduce the amount of “stuff” that ends up in the waste stream by helping you fix items that you might otherwise throw away.
What have been your experiences so far?
Hundreds of people have brought their broken household items to our events where repair volunteers worked with them to help restore their items to working order. Visitors and volunteers have worked on bicycles, sewing projects, lamps, jewelry & crafts, small household appliances like toasters, irons and vacuum cleaners, luggage, furniture, small mechanical things like lawnmowers and weed whacker, electrical appliances like clocks, dvd and cd players, and computers and computer-related items. Our fix it success rate runs at about 50% - 70%, depending on the item.
What do we pay for this service?
The events are free, and Repair Café doesn’t charge for repairs. If the purchase of repair parts is required, and they are available, you will be asked to pay for them at cost. Often Repair Café customers will run to the hardware store to procure specific generic items during Repair Café events. Of course, we encourage donations to help cover other expenses, like food for our volunteers miscellaneous supplies and spare parts that we keep on hand.
Can you tell me in advance if you can fix my broken item?
Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to know whether we can fix your broken item unless you bring it to the Repair Café.
Where and when is the next Repair Café?
See our Events page for the current schedule.
Events run from 11am to 3pm. Please arrive before 2:30pm, as this increases the likelihood of our having enough time to fix your item.
What should I expect if I come to the Repair Café?
If demand is high, do expect a wait; come equipped with reading material and be ready to enjoy the community spirit of the Repair Café.
Do you only service items for Mountain View residents?
Repair Café Mountain View is open to everyone. However, it just doesn’t make good ecological sense for you to drive a long way to repair your broken toaster. Please consider accessing one of the following resources if they are closer to you or let us know if you would be interested in starting a Repair Café in your hometown!
Fix It Clinic - https://www.facebook.com/FixitClinic/events?ref=page_internal
Santa Cruz - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831- 479-1055
Palo Ato — http://www.repaircafe-paloalto.org
Can I make an appointment for a set time?
We may introduce an appointment system in the future but do not have one at this time.
What if you cannot help me fix my broken item?
Often, if our volunteers can’t fix your item, they can offer advice on what you might need to fix it yourself. If an item is beyond repair, did you know that in Mountain View most broken items can go straight into your recycling bins? Check with your local waste hauler or city utilities department to see what to do with broken items.
How can I support the Repair Café movement?
Volunteer - Send us a note at our email address
Donate - The Repair Café Mountain View is working on becoming a California Non-profit corporation. We operate on the energy of our volunteers but some of what we do costs money. Contributions of any size would be greatly appreciated and will help us expand our efforts to fulfill our mission. Donations are accepted at events, or send us an email at at the email address on our Contact Us page.
Organize a Repair Café in your own hometown - We would love to see more Repair Cafés and will gladly help you get started.