17.6.08

Men and their equipment


My 18-month-old son likes to play with equipment, both his own and that which sits in the cleaning cupboard. Well, according to yesterday’s Aftenposten, he’s right on trend. Apparently, men all over Norway, faced with their wives’ refusal to do more than their fair share of the household cleaning, are opening the door to the cleaning cupboard and tossing floor clothes, buckets and cleaning soaps out in disgust. Norwegian men are demanding better cleaning equipment, and Norwegian companies such as Lilleborg, which has 90% of the mop market in Norway – like everything, we don’t get much in the line of consumer choice here, mops being no exception – are making big bucks on the back of men’s yearning for perfect cleaning implements.

The administrative director of Lilleborg told Aftenposten that since men have taken more responsibility for house cleaning (code for since men have started doing what they are told), the company has put more thought into how they develop their products. How considerate. For example, the latest mops have more ‘technical refinement, something men like'. The company is also providing more combination choices in cleaning systems for their male target group.

It’s true. I’ve noticed that every shop here seems to stock mop handles with all sorts of varied heads and disposable attachments to go with them to help in the fight against dust and window grime. I’ve even bought some of them. Last summer, I took a wonderful window cleaning device to Ireland to use but didn’t in the end as I discovered that I could have every window, inside and outside, in the three-story house professionally cleaned for the price of a new mop in Norway. No kidding!

But back to this Norwegian cleaning trend. I think I may have been left behind on this one and clearly it's not that my husband hasn't got the right equipment. No, it's just that I've always got to make the first move, because he never takes the initiative to use it.
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10 comments:

Aidan said...

In my experience women can see dirt that men don't. When my mother-in-law was here a few weeks back she redid everything (hoovering, cleaning tables, works surfaces).
Maybe you have some special ultra-violet goggles for sale over there to help me out of those 'You missed some dirt - Where? - There - Where? - THERE! - But I don't see anything' conundra.

OSLO said...

Mmm, interesting defence Aidan. Please send your mother-in-law here and your UV goggles suggestion to Lilleborg's Product Development dept. I would imagine they'd be a runaway bestseller as the (wife's) ideal christmas gift. Then again, we'd be back to the 'having the equipment but not actually using it' problem, wouldn't we?

Michele said...

Hilarious post and adorable photo. I love the window-washing joke. (Uh, that IS a joke, right? Nothing about expense here surprises me anymore...) Speaking as a professional (cleaning lady, that is), men will never be attracted to cleaning products because they don't have sharp edges, whirring blades, or big dangerous motors. If there is not a chance for grisly injury, they are not interested. If someone would invent a sit-down vacuum cleaner, there might be a chance...

OSLO said...

Michele, I wasn't joking about the cost of window-cleaning in Ireland compared to mops here. Honest!
I'm off to strap razor blades to the vacuum cleaner now; will let you know if it works ;-)

Victoria said...

I'm not sure how to feel about this. Glad that men are helping out more? Pissed off that corporations (as always) seem to pander to men. My standby example of this is Viagra.

Thriftcriminal said...

Bleurgh. That's just companies exploiting an emerging market. Frankly if you want it clean you can't actually beat getting a bucket and a cloth and getting down on ones hands and knees. I've done it and I'm a bloke. Mind you I'm with Aidan, my version of clean is quite different to my wifes, this is not laziness, simply differing standards. Oh and Victoria, Viagra was an accident, it was intended for something completely different and it's current purpose was just a side effect.

Victoria said...

Thriftcriminal - I agree, it is all about making money at the end of the day. Interesting about Viagra, now that you mention it I seem to recall hearing that before but I conveniently blocked that out. :-) hehehe

Five-Browns said...

I am reeling about the cost of a new mop vs professionally cleaned windows. I simply cannot get my head around it!!!

Great post and epic photo. By little guy is equally enamoured with mops and brooms. Thing is, this infatuation seldom lasts past 4....

*sigh*

OSLO said...

Victoria & thriftcriminal
I'm not sure I actually believe that the increase in sales of gimmicky cleaning stuffs is down to higher male participation but it's clearly what Lilleborg think and they're making lots of money either way.
Five-Browns: a Jif floor mop from Lilleborg sells for 379 Nok I think (47 Euros). It cost me 40 Euros for two guys to do my windows in Ireland. Thankfully, the rain is doing a pretty good job on the Norwegian ones; the outside at least:-)

beaverboosh said...

Those mop handles are supposed be use for mopping? Oh dear!