When moving to another a country we find ourselves facing home appliances that can be very different from what we are used to. In this article, we will present what to expect from Brazil in terms of home appliances.
What is common and what is not
Foreigners coming to Brazil (especially Americans) will find strange that most households do not have dryers, dishwashers or heaters. Some might be frightened by the idea of electrical shower heads or surprised at the number of Brazilians living in a two-room house equipped with DVD player, LCD TVs and home theater.
Brazilians seem to have priorities that are more related to entertainment than practicality, especially in the middle and lower classes. Many Brazilians still see the house chores as a responsibility of the woman, so she is charge of washing the dishes, it is “her job”, so there would be no need for a dishwasher, for example.
According to IBGE, 98% of the Brazilian households have a TV and a refrigerator. Washing machines are present in 63% of the households while dishwashers and dryers are not even in the list of appliances investigated by the institute.
Vacuum cleaners are not that uncommon but they are mostly used to clean carpets and the interior of cars. Very few Brazilian houses are carpeted, so it is most common to use brooms.
In comparison to other countries, Brazilians are very concerned about things being clean. Of course everybody is somewhat concerned about cleaning, but in Brazil cleaning is the top priority and it is more important than keeping things neat.
So, for example, Brazilians don’t mind leaving dishes to dry on the sink, but they would double check dishes that have been washed in a dishwasher, afraid that they are not clean.
Most Brazilian kitchens are equipped with:
- Stand mixer.
Kitchen tools and accessories that are very popular in Europe and US for facilitating house chores still haven’t managed to enter the Brazilian households. Coffee grinders, electric kettles, can openers, breadmakers, meat slicers, sous-vide grills, sandwich makers, deep fryers, popcorn makers, vacuum food sealers, ice cream makers and food dehydrators are rarely present in Brazilian households. Even toasters and coffee makers are not so popular.
Many Brazilians – especially among lower classes -, claim that the coffee from coffee makers doesn’t taste as good as the coffee from a strainer, conserved in thermos. As for the toasters, French bread is the main consumed item for breakfast and people rather going to the bakery every morning than toasting slices of bread. This has started to change recently with the inclusion of whole bread in the Brazilian diet and with the lack of time to go to the bakery every day, but even still French bread remains as the most popular item of the Brazilian breakfast.
Even though prohibited in some countries, pressure cooks are present in nearly every single Brazilian household to the surprise of many foreigners who are afraid that they may explode.
Most Brazilian living rooms are basically equipped with:
- DVD player;
With the massive use of computers and other devices for music, stereos have been less and less present in Brazilian households, as the 2010 Census has showed. Brazilians tend to invest a lot of money in televisions, but very little in sound systems. Sound bars are not are all common and home theaters have just recently started to target mass consumption.
Most Brazilian houses tend to have more than one television and this item alone is the one that receives major investments (apart from vehicles). It is common to pay BRL 3.000 on a TV, but hesitate to pay BRL 1500,00 for a dishwasher.
Water, electricity and gas
Instead of using electricity, most Brazilian kitchens have gas stoves and ovens. Some houses have electrical instant water heating in the bathroom or in the kitchen sink and the shower heads are electrical, what can be scary to foreigners as they have electricity right on the top of their heads and water running through their bodies. As many houses have no grounding, getting a minor electric shock while showering in Brazil is common. For this reason, Brazilians are used to shower wearing rubber flip-flops.
Despite being relatively cheap, heaters are not very common in Brazil for two main reasons: most of the time temperatures are high and there’s no need for a heater; even when it’s cold, they are avoided because most heaters in Brazil are electrical and, therefore, consume too much energy.
CCTV equipment has become more and more popular among Brazilians. They can help you identifying a criminal at the same time they can help you avoiding an inconvenient visitor. They can be acquired for prices as low as BRL 50,00 and there is no strict regulation regarding its use. Whoever is interested in monitoring their houses can simply order one of these cameras, as no permission is required.
Washing machines and dryers
According to the last Census, more than 60% of the Brazilian households have a washing machine. Dryers, on the other hand, are not even included in IBGE’s list. Most Brazilians use clothes line to dry their clothes and claim that dryers consume too much electricity, apart from shrinking their clothes. Some of the dryers used in Brazil that had been discontinued in Europe and US long time ago.
Home appliances that are popular abroad for facilitating everyday life have started to be inserted in the Brazilian market by Polishop and Shoptime. Both stores display their products on TV and Shoptime has no physical stores.
One of the main obstacles for this type of stores is that some Brazilians are still skeptical, afraid that the products won’t work properly or that they will receive something very much inferior to what has been advertised.