“I’ve found that Americans are the best in the world when it comes to making messes, so we’ve been forced to invent ways to adequately clean them up.” This theory was recently presented to me by one of my American friends here in Gothenburg, and I find myself generally agreeing with this statement. Americans are spoiled with hundreds of different viable options for cleaning products, whereas Swedes tend to have a smaller selection for its population of 9.5 million people. The demand for some of the more extraneous consumer products is typically minimal. This normally doesn’t bother me at all, but occasionally I find myself feeling petulant and realize that I’m missing something sort of stupid, like a certain type of deodorant or dryer sheets, which don’t even exist in Sweden as far as I can tell.
Laundry and dryer sheets aren’t even things that I ever considered to stop and think about when I made the decision to move here. However, “cleanliness is next to godliness”, and there’s a decent chance that the Swedish system is different than what you’re accustomed to if you’re coming from a non-Scandinavian country. I know that the laundry system here has certainly been a significant – yet easily manageable – change for me.