10 April 2008
A Clean Sweep(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 02,2008)
Home Cleaning Equipment
Functional and aesthetic home cleaning equipment is sweeping the market
Few things can sow more discord in a household than housework. What is undisputable, however, is that the wide range of cleverly designed cleaning equipment from Hong Kong enables homemakers to get their chores done faster and better.
A good example is the Wet & Dry portable vacuum cleaner (model CH-962) from Cheung Hing Int'l Electrical Products Ltd, a manufacturer of home, health and beauty appliances with an annual turnover exceeding US$20m.
"As the name suggests, this vacuum cleaner can be used to not only suck up dust but also dry water spots and soggy areas," says Senior Marketing Manager Tony Kan.
The company also offers the Tornado Vacuum Cleaner (model CH-963) with 32 millibars of suction power. "The CH-963 is 30% more powerful than traditional vacuum cleaners," Mr Kan claims.
Another hot seller is the Cyclonic Rechargeable Stick Vacuum Cleaner (model VC-619RS) from Talentone Development Ltd, a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and lighting products that supplies mainly the US and Europe.
"This model has a built-in cyclonic filter," says Sales and Marketing Manager Grace Leung. "It differs from traditional filters in that the air is recycled so that dust doesn't stick to the filter and this enhances the overall performance of the appliance."
She claims that the cyclonic filter makes the product some 50% more efficient than a traditional vacuum cleaner. "This is a major factor behind its popularity."
Launched at the end of 2006, the VC-619RS is particularly suited for use in small homes as its slim, vertical body and foldable handle allow it to be easily stored. The device opens up to a maximum height of 1.17 metres, and shrinks to 63.5cm when the handle is folded.
"This model is available in five standard colours - blue, gold, pearl, purple and red - and we can also supply other colours upon request," Ms Leung advises, noting that the FOB Hong Kong unit price is US$35.
Also serving as basic household necessities are buckets, brooms and dust pans, of which Star Industrial Co Ltd offers a broad selection. The company's range includes a plastic pail with mop dryer measuring 355x206x285mm, which carries an FOB Hong Kong unit price of US$3.73.
"Our products are of medium to high-end quality, and we maintain very strict quality control," says Jeremy Siu, Assistant Manager of the Sales Department. "Our factory is ISO 9001-certified, and some products are also compliant with international standards such as FDA, ASTM and UL."
Another indispensable cleaning aid is the sponge, and Cosso Int'l Ltd offers an unusual range that makes a refreshing change from the norm. One popular model is Mr Wash (model CS60), a washing device measuring 50x210mm for washing tall glasses and bottles.
"The CS60 is shaped like an English guardsman, with the sponge resembling the bearskin hat and a handle in the shape of the tunic and trousers," says Marketing Director Johnny Chow.
The item quickly gained popularity following its launch in 2006, prompting Cosso to come out with an improved version, Mr Clean (model CS62), in December 2007.
"It has a transparent body that can be filled with soap, which can be released at the press of a button," Mr Chow elaborates. "The press-button system also helps to conserve soap."
Both Mr Wash and Mr Clean sell for about US$1 each FOB Hong Kong, and the company has patents on most of its products.
Another new offering is Ms Jellyfish (model CS61), a 74x92mm cleaning device with a round sponge "body" and short "tentacles" made of PVC. This item sells for less than US$1 apiece.
"Mr Wash, Mr Clean and Ms Jellyfish are new product lines that were developed over the past two years because we want to make functional products that would also make attractive gifts," adds Mr Chow.
While these models are part of Cosso's colourful "Groovy Gift" series, the company's main business remains kitchenware, which accounts for 80%-90% of its product lines.
Not all cleaning tools are soft, and when it comes to tough brushes, Kent Tech Mfrs Ltd clearly has its finger on the pulse. "Our bathroom brushes have PP handles and nylon bristles," explains Project Director Eric Li. "They are designed for different purposes such as brushing tiles or toilet bowls."
Noting that these brushes are durable and not readily deformable, he insists that dirt doesn't stick easily thanks to the use of high-grade materials. These bathroom brushes sell for US$0.30-10.00 each FOB Hong Kong/Yantian.
"The household cleaning equipment sector is part of our business and has definitely seen faster growth than the other segments because events such as SARS have raised awareness of cleanliness worldwide," says Mr Li.
Clearly, the growing consciousness of the importance of domestic hygiene is boosting global demand for home cleaning equipment. And with the innovative and vibrant offerings from Hong Kong manufacturers, there's really no reason for homemakers to let the dust settle.
TEXT BY CHIARA WONG