LIMA — There are five laundry products that have been widely purchased by consumers over the past 50 years from Procter & Gamble’s lineup — Tide, Downy, Gain, Bounce, and Tide PODS, according to P&G corporate archivist Shane Meeker.
One of the most popular P&G products in 1968 was the original Tide, a powder detergent. It was launched in 1946 at the Ivorydale plant in Cincinnati and is currently made at the P&G plant in Bath Township, at 3875 Reservoir Road.
During the late 1960s, Tide was used by consumers as a multi-purpose cleaner.
“It took away the elbow grease that used to be required when taking away the stains. It preserved color, and it left behind no residue,” Meeker said. “That’s what people had been longing for. People liked it so much that they washed their dishes with their laundry detergent, washed their floors with their laundry detergent, many other things with their laundry detergent.”
In an effort to answer the needs of consumers who wanted softer clothing, P&G launched three fabric softeners —Downy in 1961, Gain in 1968 and Bounce in 1973.
“The reason why fabric softeners were needed was because detergents were cleaning so well that they wanted to put softness back into the fabric themselves,” Meeker said. “It also helped with static and static prevention.”
Tide liquid detergent, which launched in 1984, became an innovative product for consumers, as they were able to wash their clothing better than before.
Tide liquid detergent dissolved quicker than the powder and made it more consistent than scooping the powder. Also the liquid, unlike the powder, made the chemistry of the liquids completely balanced, Meeker said. The liquid also allowed consumers to pre-treat their clothing.
“When there was a really hard stain you wanted to get out, you could let the detergent work on it a little bit before putting it into the washing machine,” Meeker said. “You could put it directly on the stain an hour before you washed it, and it would help with fighting tough stains. With powders, you could not do that.”
The most popular P&G product now are the Tide PODs, small detergent packets launched in 2012.
“Liquid tide is the highest as far as volume,” said Jeff Leroy, P&G spokesman. “Tide PODS are growing significantly and more popular than powder. They don’t even make powder in Lima anymore.”
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