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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).
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.
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.
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
**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?