I've noticed that people love to use the phrase rinse and repeat.

Where exactly did it come from?

  • I typed "Rinse and repeat" in Google and the wikipedia page came up. Voting to close as General Reference.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


It could have some sort of origin in the advertising of shampoo:

Lather, rinse, repeat is a phrase that is a common part of the instructions on shampoo bottles. It is sometimes also used as a humorous way of saying that a certain set of instructions should be repeated until an explicit or implicit goal is reached, or as sardonic commentary on some people's practice of taking descriptions, instructions or expressions literally and without common sense. Often the phrase is shortened to simply "Rinse and repeat".

As you can see, the phrase has been used out of context, so that instead of just referring to shampoo, it can be used for anything now.

  • Is this phrase in American English only? My wife who's English said she'd never heard it before.
    – Heimdall
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 23:02

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