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Sunday, 5 October 2014


Before the discovery of detergents, Americans used soap flakes to clean their laundry. The flakes performed poorly in hard water, dulling colors, and turning whites grey.

Known today simply as detergents, synthetic detergents are non-soap washing and cleaning products that are "synthesised" or put together chemically from a variety of raw materials.

The first household detergent, Persil, went on sale in Dusseldorf, Germany on June 6, 1907. In addition to soap, it contained both sodium PERborate and sodium SILcate, hence PERSIL.

The first synthetic detergent was developed in Germany in 1916 as a response to a World War I-related shortage of fats for making soap.

Procter & Gamble researchers discovered two-part molecules, which they called synthetic surfactants. Each part executed a specific function--one pulled grease and dirt from the clothes, while the other suspended dirt until it could be rinsed away. In 1933, this discovery was introduced in a detergent called "Dreft."

Dreft could only handle lightly soiled jobs. Thirteen years later Tide was introduced  as the world’s first heavy-duty detergent. Consumer response was enthusiastic and it was outselling every other brand within weeks.

Surf detergent was introduced by Unilever in 1959. It became so popular in some parts of the world that ‘surf’ is the word for detergent in Urdu.

In 1980 detergents with fabric softener were developed.

The slogan for Ajax cleaner, "Stronger than Grease" is a pun because Ajax was the strongest soldier in all of Greece.

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