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Why Cleaning with Color Is More Fun

Why Cleaning with Color Is More Fun

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Cleaning for most people is a chore. Getting on your hands and knees to scrub the floor or reach for dust bunnies under the couch isn’t something people typically look forward to. On the other hand (or foot), walking around barefoot at home and knowing how clean the floor is after you’ve swept and mopped is so unbelievably satisfying. That feeling is what drove us to take a second look at our household cleaning line and think about bringing in some joy and satisfaction to the chore.

Our brooms, dusters, and mops have been around for many years, but in 2010, we realized the battleship gray color and black grip handles of the products weren’t cutting it. Those colors were speaking to the chore of cleaning, not the satisfying results of the task.



The original OXO cleaning line before the revitalization.

The challenge was to maintain quality and function, but change the perception of the products. A big part of the solution? Color.


The Choice

At the time, color was a new realm for the historically black-and-white brand, but we felt like color was a necessary step to spice up the cleaning line, because with color comes enjoyment.

We drew inspiration from the environment around us, created mood boards to capture different colors, and organized many brainstorms to talk about how certain colors make us feel. Shades of mint, turf green, violet, and blue reef were all contenders for the new line. We wanted a color that was mature, energizing, and home-worthy.



Mood boards to ideate potential color palettes for the new cleaning line.


The team leading the color charge was pretty set on their color choice, until Alex, OXO’s president, walked into one of the many meetings wearing a burnt orange ski jacket. It was then that the team realized burnt orange – a warm and energizing color – was perfect for the line.



Alex’s burnt orange ski jacket that inspired the color for the cleaning products.


Sketches of the Any Angle Broom. Detents in the hinge help guide the broom to a comfortable angle for general sweeping, and to a 90 degree angle.



Hanging hole that is highlighted with the burnt orange color.

The burnt orange on the household cleaning products highlights innovative features, like the teeth on the Upright Sweep Set that comb out dirt from the broom’s bristles, and the pivot point and locking system of the Any-Angle Broom that can do standard sweeping, but also maneuver tougher spots like under a table or in between your cabinet and refrigerator. Burnt orange is also around the large hole where you hang the products, highlighting the ease of taking the products off of hooks.



In addition to adding a pop of color to highlight features, we made other updates to the line so it could live up to the OXO standard of innovation. Pole products (like the Any-Angle Broom and the Microfiber Extendable Duster) switched over to have an aluminum shaft, which is lighter and has a matte finish to it. We also chose a neutral gray base color to help make products like the Dustpan & Brush Set feel warmer than the previous industrial look.


Sketches of the Compact Dustpan & Brush Set


Other touches of innovation include:

– A raised handle on the Dustpan & Brush Set, which keeps your hand away from the dirt as you quickly sweep messes.

– A brush that goes fully into the dustpan and stores upright in the Compact Dustpan & Brush Set so you can contain your crumbs and keep the set anywhere.

– A utilitarian bucket transformed into the Angled Measuring Bucket with a mop-grabbing feature that clips a standing mop to the handle, and built-in measurements on the bottom of the bucket for mixing your own detergents.
In August of 2012, the majority of the line launched, adding a pop of color to stores to remind us of the thoughtful features we’ve added to make cleaning less of a chore.

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