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German Vocab: Cleaning and Care Products Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Language

Guten Tag! You may recall Larissa writing some very helpful vocabulary posts (here and here) to take with you when you go grocery shopping. But what about the German words for all the other essentials we buy week in, week out? In this post we’ll go over some common Reinigungsmittel (cleaning products) and Pflegeprodukte (care products).

Abenteuer im Supermarkt

Photo by martinroell on flickr.com under a CC license (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Firstly, a few general terms, all of which you might see in use, and some which are used interchangeably:

das Lebensmittel – food
das Reinigungsmittel – cleaning products
die Pflegeprodukte – care products
die Hygieneprodukte – hygiene products
das Waschmittel – washing products in liquid, gel or powder form – eg. detergent
die Babypflege – care products for babies
die Haushaltspflege – household care products
das Putzmittel – cleaning products


Now let’s move on to the specifics.


For the body – für den Körper
Care products – Die Pflegeprodukte


Photo by patio on flickr.com under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)

Soap – die Seife

Toothpaste – die Zahnpasta

Toothbrush – die Zahnbürste

Mouthwash – die Mundspülung / das Mundwasser

Shampoo – das Shampoo / das Haarwaschmittel

Hair conditioner – die Haarspülung / die Haarkur

Deodorant – das Deodorant

Sanitary towels – die Damenbinde

Razor – das Rasiermesser / der Rasierer

Moisturiser – die Feuchtigkeitscreme


**Did you know?**
The German word for a toiletry bag is a Kulturbeutel, which literally means ‘culture purse’! You can read more about that quirky word right here.


For the home – für Zuhause
Cleaning products – Das Reinigungsmittel


Photo by kaffeeringe on flickr.com under a CC license (CC BY 2.0)


Laundry detergent – das Waschmittel

Fabric softener – der Weichspüler

Sponge – der Schwamm

Washing up liquid – das Geschirrspülmittel

Scourer – der Topfkratzer

Toilet paper – das Klopapier/das Toilettenpapier

Kitchen roll – die Küchenrolle

Toilet cleaner – der WC-Reiniger

Bath cleaner – der Badreiniger

Antibacterial spray – der (Ober)Flächenreiniger

All-purpose cleaner – der Allzweckreiniger

Floor cleaner – der Bodenreiniger

Window cleaner – der Fensterreiniger

Bleach – das Bleichmittel

Dusting cloth – das Staubtuch

Bin bags – die Müllsäcke


  • Words ending in Pflege (care) take the feminine form (die).
  • Words ending in Reiniger (cleaner) take the masculine form (der).
  • Words ending in Mittel (means) take the neuter form (das).


**Did you know?**
The Germans have a tradition called Kehrwoche for apartment dwellers, in which residents take it in turns to clean the apartment building. They also have a great word for someone who has a bit of an obsession with cleaning! You can read about those words right here.

I hope this has been useful! Next time you go to buy your toiletries & cleaning essentials in a German-speaking country, why not print out this vocabulary list as a handy guide?

Bis bald!


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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and love writing about German language and culture. I also work as a group fitness instructor.


  1. Allan Mahnke:

    These are always so helpful. Thank you! May I request an explanation of a bit of grammar? I am puzzled by the frequent use of the definite article with a proper name, for example, die Maria, oder der Hans. The meaning is always completely clear. I see this regularly in written German, but have never been able understand why the article is used. It seems to happen whether the context is colloquial or formal, and I am unable to identify a regional usage. Although, a novel I’m reading at the moment, Ave Vinum, (Carsten Sebastian Henn), which is set south of Cologne, near Belgium, seems to use the article before proper names more often than usual. (That may be my imagination!)


    • Constanze:

      @Allan Mahnke Thanks Allan – very interesting question! I’ll look into that and see what I can come up with. 🙂

  2. Brightstar:


    i find your postings very practical, useful and some times funny. I also find that your writing style used in your blog helps me to retain (anchor) new words.

    I wonder if you could write a post on the usage of some of the most used particles such as doch, noch, mal etc.



  3. Mehrdad:


  4. Mehrdad: