Hob Brite. Burns from the time travel.

Editor’s Note: This is not another review where Ms Tonic or Mr Gin list the best cleaning products to use as suicide aids. You should know that straight away, before reading any further. (Bye bye)

By this point, we have to accept that no-one cares about our unhappiness. Why should they? We hardly do, anymore.

Boo hoo hoo

So, we trudge on, from dismal spring to bright sunlit summer looking for salvation in bleach, in novelty cleaning products and in hard drink, and seeing subtle suggestions from god everywhere else:

There’s a lot we can’t say about drink, and we don’t say it one day at a time.

So in the meantime, let’s talk about Hob Brite.

All we know about Hob Brite, we know from myths and legends. There’s not a lot on line except for the usual vendors trying to flog you it. (Fuck you Ocado). Why are there not fan sites and pages and pages of reminiscences about these things? These things are the fabric of the mundane, but then the mundane is what we drape ourselves in. Soft, yes, and dull too. But it blunts the sharp edges of bright white chaos. We should celebrate these things, not leave the digital spaces to evil companies who want to flog stuff to us. No one cares about your dreams but people do care about how you live your lives, how you look for meaning in mute messages on your commute, how you clean and why.

Surely we’ve all used Hob Brite? Surely’s its as integral, albeit a – yes – mundane part of our childhoods as Sherbert dips and watching peadophiles on TV? But what do we actually know about it? Who makes it, and why?

Wikipedia is criminally vague about it:

No I do not fucking mean hob bride? What is a hob bride? It sounds like a wife who won’t leave the stove. We should be so fucking lucky Glances at Mrs Gin Let’s leave it there; Mumsnet are already up in arms about the site and we don’t need the hassle.

So, back to Hob Brite. You remember it, don’t you?


That’s the first thing you remember.

It’s fucking orange alright. As orange as we imagine – without any evidence – California to be

Spot the difference:

We used to love this stuff as a youth. Our mother had an electric hob and our job was to clean it. The hob would be caked in archeological layers of the meal; crusty pasta stains, over tomato sauce over oil from grey mince above the shiney 80s black of the hob.

We’d take the hob brite, the packaging unashamedly brash, as iconic and bright as Sunny Delight, as the Coca Cola bottle and as loadsamoney combined. We’d squirt the thick white cream onto the hob. We’re sorry if that sounds sexual, but we would. And with a half dozen kitchen clothes, we’d clean the smears with this most delicious of the chemicals.

We always thought we could feel it burn against our skin. A definite plus. There is none of that hippy dippy 90s eco shit with Hob Brite. It’s as old school as Chlorofluorocarbon.

We’re getting through a bottle of this a week at the moment. No real reason, we can’t drink anymore and we just love it. We clean the worksurface and even the stuff in the bathroom, too. It’s going down a treat. We close our eyes and we sniff so hard till our eyes water and we feel the burn and we are back, back to where we used to be. In a world of electric hobs and mother and (it has to be said) rudimentary cooking.

Using it takes us back to a happier age, before the sadness came, before ecology. Perhaps the two are combined. Who knows. Who the fuck cares even?

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