housekeeping tips

German detergents…

Every time I live abroad, I take notice of the local tastes in things.  This morning, as I was scrubbing the toilets and wiping the surfaces in our bathrooms, it occurred to me that Germans have different tastes in what cleaning products should smell like.  When we first moved into our house, I asked Bill to pick up some toilet cleaner and bathroom spray.  I thought he’d get them at the commissary and I’d be using the same Lysol products I usually use.  But no, it was more convenient to get the stuff at the local Real, which is sort of like Germany’s version of Wal-Mart (only it’s way nicer and less irritating).

So he brought home two bottles of Zekol for the two bathrooms and two cans of WC Fix (now that’s a pretty cut and dried product name, don’t you think?) for the toilets.  First off, let’s look at the WC Fix.  Now, one can purchase toilet cleaner in Germany that is like what we have in the United States.  It comes in a plastic bottle with a curved neck for easier aiming under the rim of the toilet bowl.

But for some reason, Bill bought two cans of spray that foam up like Scrubbing Bubbles or shaving cream.  So instead of the blue syrup I get with Lysol toilet cleaners, I get whipped cream in my toilet. And I guess if there’s anything in there that wasn’t scrubbed away before I sprayed, that will just add to my imaginary toilet sundae.

I could have some serious fun with this toilet cleaner if I tried…


What’s even more interesting about this foamy German toilet cleaner are the available scents.  The yellow can pictured below smells kind of lemony, which I guess makes sense.  American products that smell lemony are usually furniture cleaners, but I can see why Germans would want their bathrooms to smell like citrus fruit.  It beats the alternative, right?  Americans seem to favor the “fresh chemical scent”, based on what I’ve seen back home.  Most of my bathroom cleaners at home in America smell like industrial strength germ cleaner.  The other can of WC Fix Bill bought smells like lavender.  I don’t think I’ve ever run into lavender scented toilet cleaner before I moved back to Germany.  It’s not unpleasant, just different to this American.

Eau de cheap men’s cologne…  It even says “bad” on the label.  😉

Now, the Zekol bathroom cleaner is even more interesting.  It’s a good product and does a good job cleaning the sink and especially the glass enclosure of the shower stall.  But the scents are really something else.  The bottle pictured is the “Classic” formula and it smells like really strong cheap men’s cologne.  It’s kind of sweet and cloying and I don’t like it that much.

The other bottle, which is pictured below, has a scent called “Purple Rain”.  Given that  I am a child of the 80s, that name immediately cracks me up.  Yes, I’ve seen Prince’s screen debut many times.  But then I think about it some more.  “Purple Rain” is written in English on packaging that is otherwise in German.  And what’s so clean about purple rain, anyway?  I think if I saw purple rain falling from the sky, I’d be afraid we were having some kind of nuclear attack or something.  Even more interesting is the way this product smells.  It doesn’t smell purple.  It smells like strawberries.  Yes, I’ve always wanted a strawberry scented shitter in my house!

Purple Rain, Purple Rain… Purple Rain, Purple Rain… come on, you know you want to sing it too!


Wouldn’t it have made more sense to make the product smell like something purple, like grapes?  How about eggplant?  If you’re going to make a toilet smell fruity, I would think eggplant might work.

This isn’t the first time I’ve used products I thought were funny in some way.  When I lived in Armenia back in the 1990s, I used to buy an Iranian laundry detergent called Barf.  I’m not kidding.  It does exist and many other people have blogged about it.  Apparently “Barf” is the Farsi word for snow.

This appears to be somewhat new packaging.  In my day, Barf was sold in boxes with Russian letters.  That made it even funnier.


This is a very silly post, but it’s put me in a good mood.  Now I’m going to spoil it with a rant on my other blog.


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