Those Who Cannot Remember The Past Are Condemned To Repeat It


Formula 409 has new packaging. It’s understandable if you’re thinking, “What the heck is he ranting about now?” Truth be told, this is a bit of a rant.

Formula 409 is our kitchen cleaner of choice. We don’t even glance at the competition as we whisk down the cleaning aisle at Market Basket plucking our trusty 409 off the shelf as we go.

But now, It reminds me of New Coke. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember what an unmitigated disaster that was.

The Formula 409 packaging includes a new kind of squirt mechanism. They pitch it as “Now you can get 100% of the product out of the bottle.” I never felt I had trouble getting all the liquid out of the old packaging, but maybe that’s just me. I suspect this new packaging is cheaper for them to use, so it’s an easy way to increase their profits.

And, I have no problem with that at all. The owner of the 409 brand is The Clorox Company. They are a for-profit enterprise and that’s great.

What’s not great is the new squirt mechanism. It doesn’t work consistently. I mean sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it just hisses air at me.

I’ve developed a fair amount of patience over the years, so I bought four bottles of the stuff in the new packaging over the past couple of months before I went absolutely stark raving mad in frustration.

Note, the crushed and tortured appearance of the bottle in the picture. That is a direct result of me smashing the bottle onto the counter in a vain attempt to get some cleaning solution out of the “new & improved” bottle.IMG_0458

Get 100% out of the bottle? I’d be happy with just getting some out of the stupid bottle.

I actually took the time to write to the fine folks at 409. I’m not sure what I wanted to come out of my complaint but I came away dissatisfied with their response.

They sent me a video.

A freakin’ video about how to use the new squirt bottle.

Look, 409 folks, if you have to retrain me on how to use a squirt bottle….you’ve probably overthought this. You’ve invented the New Coke of the cleaning aisle.

I have to say, the squirt mechanism on your competitor’s bottle might be low-tech and old-fashioned, but it works Fantastik!

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