Profile America: Soap Cleaning Power

Dreft detergent first came on the market on October 10, 1933. Photo credit: Dreft

Dreft detergent first came on the market on October 10, 1933. Photo credit: Dreft

Tuesday, October 10 — Something that we all take for granted made its appearance on this date in 1933, when the first household detergent — named Dreft, and still in production — went on sale. The chemistry of making soap had changed little over hundreds of years, until shortages of fats for making soap during World War I stimulated research.

Detergents really took off following World War II, and by 1953, their sales had passed those of traditional soaps. Now, detergents have all but replaced soap-based products for laundry, dishwashing and household cleaning, and most soaps for personal hygiene contain some detergents. Nationally, some 633 manufacturers produce nearly $25 billion worth of detergents and soaps each year.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.

Print Friendly
Share this Article: