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Do men buy cleaning supplies?

March 18, 2015

My husband’s sister invited me to a Norwex virtual “launch party” on Facebook.

In general, I’m not a fan of friends selling to me through multi-level marketing companies. I am not an obsessive cleaner (in the “no bed making” club!).  But I give family a special pass, and probably would have considered buying a thing or two, a one-time show of support.  They probably work well, even though they are also probably overpriced.

But then…I realized my husband hadn’t been invited to his sister’s group.  I looked at the list of “members” of the party, and there were 78 women on the list.  There were 0 men.

It isn’t just that she knows that while T cleans, I’m more likely to choose cleanings supplies.  She literally doesn’t know a single man that would be interested in a cleaning product, but she knows 78 women who might.

I’m sorry, but this is not acceptable to me.

She’s smart, ambitious, and has a good career.  So, it she isn’t embarrassed to sell cleaning products to her 78 closest women friends and zero men?  Maybe not.  I would guess she does the vast majority of cleaning and child care in her home.

She lives far enough away that it really isn’t worth saying anything about.

But I just hate that this is not abnormal behavior.  I hate that even in a (relatively?) progressive marriage, I truly am faaaar more likely to be purchasing cleaning supplies.  I hate that someone has a favorite window cleaning tool that enables her to  cleaning the outside of windows without the help of her tall husband.  (I’ve lived here 6 months and I have cleaned the outside of our windows zero times, and the insides only a handful.)

Mostly, I hate that maybe most men really don’t buy cleaning supplies.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    March 18, 2015 8:42 am

    I buy them, mostly from Costco. I also do the grocery shopping (she makes the list) and I’ll pick up cleaning supplies there if needed. That said, I would never, ever want to attend any event that tries to sell me cleaning supplies. I’m not sure that’s a man thing either.

    • March 18, 2015 8:44 am

      Right – no one wants to attend it! 🙂

      It is “virtual”, so it is just a FB group where she was posting little adverts. If it was in person, there would be no debate – I’m busy that night, forever.

  2. March 18, 2015 8:49 am

    My boyfriend and I have different preferences for cleaning supplies! I was quite amused when I was out of town and I came back to a new stash of cleaning supplies that he had bought to clean. We also have different preferences for what is worth hiring someone to do, which results in hiring no one!

  3. March 18, 2015 10:00 am

    My husband is much more into cleaning supplies than I am. If it were just me I’d be using vinegar and rags for everything (except toilets– that gets the stuff with the “scrubbing bubbles”, also the 7th generation all purpose stuff that DH gets for windows is way better than anything else for windows so I would keep getting that too). I would also have to figure out things like mopping and vacuuming. Most likely I would make our 8 year old figure it out or hire a cleaning service.

    It almost terrifies me how quickly DH goes through pre-moistened cleaning wipes. But better him than me, right? He used to also condition our wood furniture with some kind of oil but has stopped since having children.

    We don’t actually clean much other than the kitchen.

  4. March 18, 2015 10:36 am

    Neither Peanut nor I buy cleaning supplies. We use vinegar and baking soda for 99% of our cleaning, although after we had kids we did start picking up Lysol wipes for peace of mind. But…yeah, I’m the one who picks up the wipes and who thought of getting them in the first place…and I’m more likely to be the one to use them, too. (Although we’ve lived in our house for more than three years, and I’ve never cleaned the outside of the windows and the insides only a handful of times, too!)

    I hate those MLM sales “parties” too. Even family doesn’t get a pass from me; I feel like I’ll feel even more guilty if I don’t buy anything.

  5. middle_class permalink
    March 18, 2015 10:47 am

    I hate MLM parties. I skip all of these because I don’t want to encourage people and don’t want future invites!

  6. March 18, 2015 2:54 pm

    Interesting. I definitely do most of the cleaning and he most of the cooking. That said, he is probably more interested in cleaning gear than I am, in a way…? Gadget-wise I mean. I would never buy a steam mop myself but he was keen on one, and if that’s what it takes to encourage him to mop more, great. (I’ve used it ONCE. Mopping is now his thing) He seems to like vacuuming. And stuff like paper towels and cleaning wipes (anathema to my frugal self), definitely his thing … I’d never buy on my own.

  7. slavster permalink
    March 19, 2015 7:23 am

    That’s odd. No men? I do all the cleaning and home while the wife does laundry. She likes clean clothes and I like clean floors…and surfaces I guess.

  8. March 20, 2015 7:31 am

    That reminds me of how I hate it when DH’s female relatives *who I have never met* send me invitations to their baby showers several states away. Neither of us is going to attend, and DH doesn’t have to ask, “Do we know a [insert name here]”, so why not address the invitation to him (or both of us, or the family)?

  9. April 1, 2015 10:07 pm

    I’m the vinegar user, PiC buys all our cleaning supplies and adds my vinegar to the list as needed. Family doesn’t get a pass from me on the selling things party thing though, nope nope. I don’t even like being invited to parties to celebrate things when they’re actually friends through PiC or more removed and I don’t really know the guest of honor or any of the other guests or they require a cross country flight. Baby/bridal showers most definitely fall in that category.

  10. July 5, 2015 4:24 pm

    My husband and I actually split the cleaning fairly evenly (I probably do a bit more but he probably does a bit more cooking), but even given this, I think I am still more likely to buy the cleaning supplies. Not really sure why this is, maybe because I’m in the shops more?

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