Soilax was a brand of dishwasher (later in its history sold as all-purpose) detergent that was first introduced in 1939 by the Economics Laboratory. The company was based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The product was created by Leonard H. Englund, who discovered that it worked better than ordinary soap in the mechanical dishwashers that were beginning to be used in restaurants.
Getting the Right Proportions
Soilax was one of the first colored detergents ever developed. In dry form, it is pink. When mixed with water in the proper proportion, the solution turns green. If too much Soilax is added, it turns yellow, a warning the solution is too strong. This was like a form of litmus test.
Soilax was a popular product and helped to make the Economics Laboratory a successful company. The company was eventually acquired by Ecolab, a global leader in cleaning and hygiene products. Here is a more detailed history of Soilax:
1939: Soilax is introduced by the Economics Laboratory.
1940s: Soilax becomes a popular product and helps to make the Economics Laboratory a successful company.
1950s: Soilax is marketed as a wall washing and paint cleaning compound.
1960s: Soilax is introduced in Europe.
1970s: Soilax is introduced in Asia.
1980s: Soilax is introduced in South America.
1990s: Soilax is introduced in Africa.
2005: Soilax is owned by Ecolab, a global leader in cleaning and hygiene products. Soilax was discontinued in 2005 and replaced with Soilmax.
Ingredients Later Found Harmful
Soilax contained ingredients that today would be considered harmful. The original formula for Soilax contained phosphates, which are now known to be harmful to the environment. Phosphates can cause algae blooms in waterways, which can lead to fish kills and other environmental problems. Soilax also contained naphthalene, which is a carcinogen. Naphthalene is no longer used in consumer products in the United States.
Soilmax does not contain phosphates or naphthalene. It is a more environmentally friendly product that is still effective at cleaning dishes.
Today, there are many other dishwasher detergents on the market that are just as effective as Soilax, but they do not contain harmful ingredients. Some of the most popular dishwasher detergents today include:
- Year Started: 1939
- Year Ended: 2005
- Origin Of Name: Manufactured / Descriptive
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Economics Laboratory
- Owner While In Use: Ecolab
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Cascade
- Naics Code: 325611
- Location Headquarters: St. Paul, Minnesota USA