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Cleaning Power

October 10, 2014

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Profile America — Friday, October 10th. 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 sparked 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 also contain some detergents. Over 700 U.S. manufacturers produce $29 billion worth of detergents and soaps each year. You can find current data on the country's economy by downloading the 'America's Economy' mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.

Sources:
Kane's Famous First Facts, 4279
Dreft story: http://www.vintageallies.com/Housewares/dreft-syntehtic-detergent.html
2007 Economic Census data: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_00A1&prodType=table NAICS 325611


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: September 26, 2014