Kleenex-Vaseline-Kotex-Tampax are brands and not specific items

Cheryl E Preston

TissuesPhoto byRafly AlfaridzyonUnsplash

The brand name is not the item

Humans are creatures of habit and some behaviors pass down through the generations especially when it comes to the names of consumer goods. There are four products that many refer to by the popular name of the brand rather than identifying the item they are talking about. Kleenex is a brand of tissue just like Scotties and Puffs but you will never hear anyone say they are going to the store for Puffs or Scotties. It's normal, however, for people to say they have run out of Kleenex when they are referring to facial tissues.

Petroleum jellyPhoto byTowfiqu barbhuiyaonUnsplash

Vaseline is a major brand name for petroleum jelly which has many off-brands available but most people say they are going to purchase Vaseline and rarely say Petroleum jelly no matter which brand they buy. Women for generations have said it's the time of the month to purchase Kotex or Tampax when they really mean they are going to buy sanitary pads or tampons. Who has ever heard a female say she has run out of Stayfree or Always-it just isn't done?

TamponsPhoto byNatracareonUnsplash

Old habits die hard

My best guess is that the reason these brand names were utilized rather than the name of the product is that back in the day there were not many choices for these items. I can recall a local store where all they had were blue boxes of Kotex sanitary pads on the top shelf in the back and I remember that Tampax was the only brand of tampon my mother and other women purchased. Vaseline and Kleenex were also household names with little competition when I was a child in the late 1960s and teen in the early 1970s.

Sanitary padPhoto byNatracareonUnsplash

Today there are many brands/off-brands and store brands of sanitary pads, petroleum jelly, tampons, and facial tissues. Most retail stores sell their own versions of these products but there are people who still purchase the name brands they grew up with because they trust them. There probably will also be those who call the store brands and off-brands by those familiar names.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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