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Some people I have to do with frequently call music that plays in radio "Weichspülmusik", like

Diese Weichspülmusik möchte ich jetzt nicht hören.

I always wonder what that means. Can anyone please clarify?

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Softrock, but without Rock. – user unknown Feb 20 '12 at 6:52
up vote 12 down vote accepted

In German "Weichspüler" is a fabric conditioner. In TV commercials they always have a very smooth and soft music to underline the softness of fabric after being treated with their product.

Here is an example for this.

Whenever people refer to "Weichspülmusik" they mean this kind of mainstream but very soft music. Another saying for similar music is "Kaufhausmusik" (music being played in shopping centers to make people buy more) and "Fahrstuhlmusik" (elevator music).

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There's a wonderful term for "Kaufhausmusik" and especially "Fahrstuhlmusik" in English: Muzak. – Jürgen A. Erhard Jun 26 '11 at 1:32
Sehr lehrreich, vielen Dank. Und jetzt kenne ich den Weichspüler "Lenor"![Wahrscheinlich wird er in Frankreich unter einem anderen Namen verkauft...] – Georges Elencwajg Jun 26 '11 at 7:53
Muzak is a trademark. Elevator music is the most common non-trademark term for this: – hippietrail Jun 27 '11 at 7:46
@Joachim: Yes I think most people learn the generic sense of muzak before the learn it's a trademark as did I. Still it's worth warning people depending on what context they may wish to use it in English. – hippietrail Jun 27 '11 at 8:21
I already heard Janis Joplin in a Supermarket. – user unknown Jun 27 '11 at 20:50

The word literally means "fluffy music".

A Google search doesn't reveal anything explicit, but it looks to me like it refers to cheap, happy, pop music with little substance but high sales value. Think X Factor exports.

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Manchmal meinen die Leute allerdings auch, dass die Musik etwas unterschwellig vermittelt (Brain-Wash).

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