Brand Names That We Call Generic Products

How many products can you think just off the top of your head that have become widely known by their generic names?

There is an actual term for this — It’s known as “Genericide”. This is the term used when a product name becomes a generic name for the item. Check out the examples a little further down the page. Some items that fall into that category include baby oil, bandages, zippers, trampolines, thermos, cellophane, escalator and dry ice.

The “trademarks” in the list below are still legally protected as such but are often times commonly used by consumers in reference to an item in general or in a generic sense. As a rule, these names are still widely known by the public at large as “brand names”. The competition, however, knows better than to use them.

We’re not really supposed to say “kleenex” when we want “tissue,” but some of us still do. Another example is Scotch tape when referring to generic tape — Another is Xerox when we mean photocopy.

Here’s a list of several more examples:

  • “AstroTurf” when we mean artificial turf
  • “Band-Aid” when we mean adhesive bandage
  • “Bondo” when we mean auto body filler
  • “Brillo Pad” (or “SOS Pad”) when referring to any type of scouring pad made with steel wool embedded with soap
  • “Bubble Wrap” when we mean inflated cushioning
  • “ChapStick” when we mean lip balm
  • “Clearasil” when we refer to an acne medication for the face  and skin care
  • “Clorox” when referring to any bleach
  • “Coke” when referring to any soft drink or soda pop in general
  • “Crayola” when we mean crayons
  • “Crazy Glue” when referring to any type of fast-acting or instant glue
  • “Crock-Pot” when we mean slow cooker
  • “Cuisinart” when we mean food processor
  • “Dictaphone” when we mean dictation machine
  • “Discman” when we mean portable personal CD player
  • “Dust Off” when we mean canned air spray or compressed air used as a dust cleaner for keyboards and electronic items
  • “Elmer’s” when referring to any type of adhesive glue
  • “Formica” when we mean plastic or wood laminate
  • “Frigidaire” when we mean refrigerator
  • “Frisbee” when we mean flying disc
  • “Glad Wrap” or “Handy Wrap” or “Saran Wrap” when we mean plastic wrap cling film
  • “Google” when we mean looking up something in a search engine
  • “Hacky Sack” when we mean footbag
  • “Hoover” when we mean vacuum cleaner
  • “Hersheys” (or “Nestle Quick” or “Carnation”) when we mean chocolate syrup
  • “Hula Hoop” when we mean toy hoop ring
  • “iPod” when referring to any type of personal portable media player
  • “Jacuzzi” when referring to any hot tub or whirlpool bath
  • “Jeep” when referring to any compact sport utility vehicle
  • “Jell-O” when we mean gelatin dessert
  • “Jet Ski” when referring to any stand-up personal watercraft
  • “JumboTron” when referring to any large screen television
  • “Kleenex” when we mean facial tissue
  • “Kool-Aid” when we mean cold sweetened flavored drink
  • “Kotex” when we mean tampons or soft feminine hygiene pads.
  • “LazyBoy” when we mean recliner
  • “Levis” when referring to denim jeans
  • “Matchbox” or “Hot Wheels” when referring to any die cast toy cars
  • “Nintendo” when referring to any older video game console or system
  • “NOS” (“Nitrous Oxcide Systems”) when referring to any nitrous systems
  • “Onesies” when we mean an infant bodysuit
  • “Otter Pops” when we mean ice pop or any plastic tube-filled-frozen-snack with flavored sugary liquid
  • “Pam” when we mean a cooking spray to keep the frying pan or similar pot from having food stick to it.
  • “Pampers” when we mean diapers.
  • “Photoshop” when we mean photo manipulation
  • “Ping Pong” when we mean table tennis
  • “Play-Doh” when referring to a modeling compound clay for children
  • “Pledge” when we mean furniture spray
  • “Polaroid” when we mean instant photograph or instant camera
  • “Popsicle” when we mean an ice pop or any frozen confectionary treat on a stick
  • “Porta-Potty” when referring to a portable self-contained outhouse
  • “Post-its” when we mean sticky notes
  • “PowerPoint” when we mean electronic presentation
  • “Q-tips” when we mean cotton swabs
  • “Rollerblade” when referring to inline skates
  • “Scotch Tape” when we mean clear adhesive tape
  • “Sea-Doo” when we mean sit-down personal watercraft
  • “Semtex” when we mean plastic explosive
  • “Sharpie” when we mean permanent marker
  • “Ski-Doo” when we mean snowmobile
  • “Scott Towels” (or maybe “Bounty”) when we mean paper towels
  • “Speedo” when we mean skin-tight swim briefs
  • “Stanley Knife” when we mean utility knife
  • “Styrofoam” when we are referring to extruded polystyrene foam
  • “Super Heroes” when we mean superhero (“Super Heroes” is co-owned and trademarked by Marvel & DC Comics)
  • “Tampex” when referring to tampons
  • “Tarmac” when referring to asphalt road surface
  • “Taser” when we mean electroshock weapon
  • “Teflon” when we mean a type of cookware for the stove with a protective coating on the inside to keep food from sticking to it.
  • “Tonka” when referring to any type of kid’s toy trucks
  • “Trojans” when referring to condoms
  • “Tupperware” when referring to any type of modular food storage containers
  • “Tylenol” when we referring to any over-the-counter pain reliever/fever reducer
  • “Vaseline” when we mean petroleum jelly
  • “Velcro” when referring to any hook-and-loop fastener
  • “Walkie-Talkie” when referring to any portable handheld radio or two-way radio transceiver
  • “Walkman” when we mean portable personal stereo player
  • “WaveRunner” when referring to any personal watercraft
  • “Wet Naps” or “Handi-Wipes” when referring to a moist towelette or wet wipe
  • “Windex” when referring to any glass and/or hard surface cleaner
  • “Winnebago” when referring to any Class A Recreational Vehicle or motorhome
  • “Wite-Out” when we mean correction fluid
  • “X-Acto Knife” when referring to a precise cutting utility knife
  • “Xerox” when we mean photocopier or to make a photocopy
  • “Zig Zag” when referring to any rolling papers used for marijuana or tobacco
  • “Ziplock Bags” when referring to any type of reusable, re-sealable zipper type storage bags
  • “Zippo” when referring to refillable lighters



Below are a few examples of trademarks that have lost their legal protection — at least in the United States:

  • “Aspirin” — originally a trademark of Bayer AG
  • “Cellophane” — originally a trademark of DuPont
  • “Dry Ice” — originally a trademark by Dry Ice Corporation of America
  • “Escalator” — originally a trademark of the Otis Elevator Company
  • “Kerosene” — originally trademarked by Abraham Gesner
  • “Mimeograph” — originally trademarked by Albert Dick
  • “Thermos” — originally a trademark of Thermos GmbH
  • “Touch-Tone” — originally a trademark of AT&T
  • “Trampoline” — originally trademarked by George Nissen
  • “Videotape” — originally a trademark of Ampex Corporation
  • “Yo-Yo” — originally a trademark of Duncan Yo-Yo Company
  • “Zipper” — originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich

While linoleum, coined by its inventor and patent holder Frederick Walton, is the first product ruled by a court as generic, it was never trademarked.

Are there any others that you can think of that apply to this subject?

How To Eliminate Unwanted Odors Around The House

Do you wanna know how to eliminate unwanted odors around your house, car and yard?

skunk-with-gas-mask-stinky-odorBelow are a few recommended tips on how you can rid your home of those unpleasant as well as unwanted foul smelling odors around your household, vehicle and yard. You may even discover that more relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even the in-laws will stop by your house more often to visit you. Your popularity will increase by leaps and bounds.

How cool is that? (hehe)

Read on to find out more.

Step 1:

no_smokingBan smoking all together anywhere inside of your house or garage, or for that matter, anywhere within 50 feet of your open screen doors entrances, open patio doors or open windows. This rule should pertain to visitors as well as residents alike.

Hold firm!No Exceptions should be made because of inclement weather.

Step 2:

bathroom-cleanObsess about keeping the bathrooms clean. Besides mopping and cleaning around the commode, bathtub, shower (shower curtain or door also) and sink on a regular basis, these are excellent locations for using ‘diffusers’ with lavender, vanilla or lemon oil. Bathrooms are also a perfect place for an exhaust fan (put one in the kitchen, too!) to help draw out those nasty and unwanted odors. The ideas in Step 5 below also apply here.

Step 3:

trash-bags-odor-shieldKeep your trash clean – which means not leaving a can filled with unwanted food scraps in the blazing hot outdoors for long periods of time. You should also have all you garbage that you toss out put inside of those hefty trash bags with draw strings, twist ties or self-made knots. There are even some on the market today with built-in ‘bacterial eliminators’ (even saw an ad on TV the other day for odorless eliminators). To help keep bacteria at bay, spray the top of the garbage with a solution that’s normally used in diaper pails or kitty litter boxes. It works by ‘binding’ odor particles and naturally biodegrading the bacteria causing the odor. You’re also encouraged to wash out (or at least hose down) those trash cans every week with an all-purpose cleaner.

Step 4:

arm-hammerTry mom or grandma’s old trick and place an opened box of (Arm & Hammer) baking soda in your refrigerator and another one in your freezer to absorb food odors. Mark the date on the box and replace it with a fresh one about every 90 days/3 months or so. Another trick is, if you’re in a pinch, you can take a cotton ball and soak it in vanilla and place it on a plate in the frig until it dries. Then toss it in the kitchen trash can where it will have a second opportunity to work.

Step 5:

diffusersStay away from that terrible commercial pine cleaner (chemical) as it can fire up old allergies or sensitive sinuses. There are certain fragrance oils that not only mask odors, but actually clean  the air. For your car or van, as well as highly frequented rooms around the house, try vanilla, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, clove or cinnamon in various forms such as potpourri, simmering pots and diffusers for the air. Also sachets work wonders for the laundry room, closets, drawers and in between sofa cushions.

Step 6:

hepa-filterTry maybe going ‘high tech’ and rid the air in your home of even the tiniest bacteria-causing particles with ‘HEPA filters’, ‘ozone’ air cleaners or ‘electrostatic filters’. These alternatives widely vary in price as well as degrees of performance capability. One of these methods should fit the needs of your household while remaining within the budget.

10 Alternate Uses For Car Wax

car_wax_&_clothDid You Know?

Car wax not only shines and protects, but does a whole lot more!

Whether in liquid or paste form, car wax is formulated to fill scratches and give a high shine to nonporous surfaces like glass and metal, while protecting them from smudges and stains. It’s handy in multiple other ways too, so grab a lint-free cloth and get to work.

1.  Keep Appliances Fingerprint-Free

Apply a thin coat of car wax to stainless-steel fridges and stoves. Buff clean to resist fingerprints and smudges.

2.  Shine Your Faucets

Rub car wax onto kitchen and bathroom metal fixtures to keep them shiny and spot-free.

3.  Free-Up Sticky Mechanisms and Hinges

Use car wax to lubricate the hinges of garden shears and scissors.

4.  Fix a Skipping CD

Apply a small dab of car wax to a scratched CD and buff it clean using short strokes along the length of the scratch, not across it. Rinse the CD with water, and let it air-dry before playing.

5.  Combat Corrosion

Apply a thin coat of car wax to brass door knockers, mailboxes, and other outdoor fixtures to keep them from tarnishing.

6.  Fight Mildew

After using your regular cleanser, apply a layer of car wax to the inside and outside of a shower door and buff off with a dry cloth to stave off mildew growth.

7.  Make Closets, Drawers and Windows Easier to Slide Open

Rub a small dab of car wax onto the tracks of sliding closet doors, drawers and windows so they’ll slide more smoothly.

8.  Prevent Bumper Sticker Buildup and Residue

Before placing a sticker on your car’s bumper, rub a tiny bit of car wax onto the area the sticker will cover. Later, it will peel off easily—no gummy mess to scrape off.

9.  Keep Snow from Sticking

Shoveling is hard enough when snow is heavy and damp. Apply two thick coats of car wax to the head of a shovel (or to the inside of your snowblower’s chute) to prevent the white stuff from sticking.

10.  Make a Mirror Fog-Free

Rub a thin layer of car wax onto a bathroom mirror and buff it clean. Next time you step out of the shower, you’ll be able to see your reflection without having to wipe away


Here’s another alternate use post from this blog that can be a money saver:


10 Alternate Uses For Brand Name Products

baking_soda1In today’s struggling economy it seems like we’re all looking for ways to save a back and cut back here or there and stretch what we have to it’s maximum potential. So I thought I’d lend a tip from personal experiences and experiments as well as a little ingenuity with the additional assistance of  some reference material to help you maximize your budget with items you probably already have in your household cabinets, pantries, refrigerator, medicine cabinets or garage. You’ll more than likely be amazed at all the things you can do with products you already own. So read on and discover some of these neat tips that you can apply and try them for yourself.

  • Parsons Ammonia Clean Jewelry

Soak in equal parts of ammonia and warm water for ten minutes. Then rub gently with a cloth or soft brush and allow them to air dry. Not recommended for use with pearls.

  • Heinz KetchupRemove Tarnish

By rubbing a dab of ketchup with a cloth or sponge, you can remove tarnish from copper. Repeat again if necessary.

  • Alka-SeltzerUnclog A Drain

You can unclog a sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait about 10 minutes, then run hot water.

  • Reynolds WrapRemove Rust Spots

Rust spots can be removed from chrome car bumpers by dipping a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil in small bowl of Coca-Cola. Simply wipe over the rusty spots using a little “elbow grease”.

  • Gold Medal FlourMake Play Dough

Add 50 drops of food coloring (of your choice) to two cups water. Then add two cups of flour, one cup salt, one teaspoon Cream of Tartar and two tablespoons Wesson Corn Oil. Mix well. Place on stove and cook over medium heat for three minutes (or until the mixture holds together). Then turn it onto a cookie sheet (wax paper) and knead to the proper consistency. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

  • Maxwell House CoffeeRepel Ants

Sprinkle dried coffee grounds outside doors, cracks or other places where ants are known to enter from. Coffee deters ants. They won’t cross through the coffee line.

  • Alberto V05 Hair SprayRemove Ink Stains

Stains can be removed from clothes, vinyl or skin by spraying Alberto V05 Hair Spray on the stain. Blot with clean cloth or sponge until the stain comes up. Then wash clean. (May not work on real difficult stains or heavily set stains)

  • Aunt Jemima Original SyrupRevive an ailing house plant

Add two tablespoons of syrup at the base of the plant once a month.

  • Real Lemon Lemon Juice (from concentrate)Clean a microwave oven

Add four tablespoons Real Lemon to one cup water in a microwave-safe four-cup bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Then wipe clean. Use on regular basis.

  • Vaseline Petroleum JellyRemove chewing gum from hair

Apply a small amount of Vaseline petroleum jelly on two fingers and work into hair where gum is stuck at. With a little effort, the gum should slide ride off. Shampoo afterwards.


Here’s another alternate use post from this blog that can be a money saver: