The Journey of Soap

Categories: Innovations, Trends & Technology, Member Profiles

By ISSA Today Staff | June 8, 2022 << Back to Articles The Journey of Soap

One of my earliest memories is the smell of my grandpa. That unique, clean scent of him when he hugged me stays with me to this day.

When I was just a little older, I realized that smell was from the bar of Dial® gold soap I was washing my hands with at my grandparents’ house. From that point on, I insisted my mother buy that gold Dial soap. To me, that was the epitome of cleanliness.

As I became an adult, my soap preferences have widened, but that early memory sticks with me. To this day, I always associate Dial with clean. And as my horizons have broadened and grown, so has Dial, along with the company that now produces it, Henkel North America. How has Dial evolved since I was a child? Let’s follow this journey of soap down to one of its newest products, Dial Complete Clean + Gentle™ Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash.

History of success

In 1948, Dial was developed by chemists from Chicago-based meat processing business Armour & Company. Dial was the first antibacterial soap introduced in the United States. It was first presented to the Chicago market and then rolled out to the rest of the nation in 1949. It soon became the leading deodorant soap in the country.

Because of Dial soap’s popularity and high sales fueled by advertising in magazines, and on radio and television, in 1967, Armour’s consumer products business was incorporated as Armour-Dial Inc. Who can forget the Dial slogan used from the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s: “Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everybody did?” which became a popular catchphrase.

In 1970, Armour was purchased by the Greyhound Corporation, which called their acquired consumer products operation Armour-Dial. Eventually, after having sold off its Greyhound bus line, the company renamed itself The Dial Corporation.

That brings us to 2004, the year that The Dial Corporation was acquired by Henkel. Not only has Dial been a trusted brand for over 70 years, but Henkel itself looks back on more than 140 years of success.

In 1876, Henkel’s successful history began with a 28-year-old scientifically minded merchant, Fritz Henkel. On September 26, 1876, Fritz and two partners founded the company Henkel & Cie in Aachen, Germany, marketing a universal detergent based on silicate, their first product. That was just the beginning. Over the following years, the Henkel family and their loyal employees created a strong company that expanded globally, holding leading positions in many markets and categories around the world.

Thanks to strong brands, innovations, and technologies, here in North America, Henkel holds leading positions with its three business units: Adhesive Technologies, Beauty Care, and Laundry & Home Care. With sales close to US$6 billion in 2021, North America accounts for 25% of the company’s global sales. Henkel employs over 8,000 people across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Its portfolio of consumer and industrial products includes Dial soaps, Schwarzkopf® hair care, Persil®, Purex®, and all® laundry detergents, Snuggle® fabric softeners, as well as Loctite®, Technomelt®, and Bonderite® adhesives.

Count on clean with Dial

With Henkel’s backing, Dial continues to grow even more and ensure clean skin for you, your family, and those in your facilities. One of its newest soaps, Dial Complete Clean + Gentle™ is a foaming hand wash that is gentle enough for cleansing but still effectively removes bacteria and dirt.

Why do we know we can continue to “Count on Clean” with this product? This product is a hypoallergenic, antibacterial hand soap that can be used to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria on the hands. This pH-balanced formula was dermatologist tested and is suitable for all skin types. It is free of unwanted ingredients, such as dyes, parabens, phthalate, silicone, and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLeS). The vegan, gluten-free formula effectively and gently cleanses and hydrates, even as it kills 99.99% of

But with all of those ingredients found in other soaps omitted, how does it kill bacteria? This hand wash contains an antibacterial agent and sends bacteria right down the drain.

Because of this, it is ideal for the food service, health care, and education sectors, where there is a need for an effective antibacterial soap, but also one that is gentle for frequent hand washers. Often these facilities request a product with no fragrance or dye, and this product fulfills this need.

Obstacles create opportunities

Creating this gentle hand soap that also kills bacteria was a challenge for Dial. This product was formulated to be hypoallergenic without losing the effectiveness that you would normally get from a Dial hand soap. Regarding this, Dial Professional Director of Marketing and Sales Strategy Vladimir Doncov says, “Henkel has a tremendous and talented R&D team who are always innovating. The unique synergy between this antibacterial product and its ‘free-from’ attribute allows Dial Professional to win over facilities seeking these benefits in a hand soap, particularly food service and health care.”

But the biggest struggle with bringing the product to market was the launch timing coinciding with COVID-19. The CDC urged people to wash their hands often, which caused a surge in hand soap purchases. At times, it was difficult for the team to keep up with the increased hand soap demand while keeping this new launch on track. With a lot of hard work, Dial pulled through, fighting COVID-19 while bringing even more products to market.

Fighting for clean with ISSA

All of that hard work through the pandemic paid off. Dial Complete Clean + Gentle™ Antibacterial Hand Soap Refills from Dial® Professional won the ISSA Innovation Award in the Manufacturer Representative Choice Award category in November 2021 at the ISSA Show North

How does Doncov feel about this accomplishment? “This ISSA Innovation Award is an acknowledgment from our peers, customers, and end-users that we offer efficacious products that are on the cutting edge of consumer demand.”

General Manager and Head of Dial Professional Michael Tracy was pleased the product received such honor. “This coveted innovation award for Dial Clean + Gentle™ reinforces our commitment to our industry, our trading partners, and our end-user customer base.”

The ISSA Innovation Awards Program recognizes honorees in a multitude of categories, such as commercial, institutional, and residential cleaning. These progressive solutions address key challenges industry professionals are trying to solve in their daily operations.

ISSA, the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide, is proud to have offered this award to Dial Professional.

Tracy is glad Dial Professional is a member of ISSA. “We will continue to support ISSA and use this trade show to showcase future creative solutions. Thank you for all that you do to enrich our industry.”

With the recent health crisis we have been experiencing worldwide, ISSA is pleased to partner with Dial Professional to help advance clean and drive innovation. Dial soap has come a long way in over 70 years. Everyone should feel safer with quality soap both at home and in an away-from-home facility.

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