world's first detergent powder

The world’s first detergent powder was Persil, invented by the German company Henkel in 1907. It was introduced as an improvement over the action of soap, the traditional cleaning agent first formulated around 1500 BC. Persil contained sodium perborate, a bleaching agent that made it more effective at removing stains and dirt. It also contained sodium silicate, which helped to soften water and made Persil more effective in hard water conditions. Persil quickly became popular, and is still one of the best-selling detergent powders in the world today.

Pioneering Laundry Cleaning: The Birth of Detergent Powders

Detergent powders have become an integral part of our daily lives, providing effective cleaning solutions for laundry purposes. Over the years, various brands have emerged, each claiming to be the best. But have you ever wondered which was the first commercially available detergent powder in the world? In this article, we will explore the origins of detergent powders and shed light on the trailblazing brand that started it all.

The Pioneering Brand: Persil by Henkel & Cie

The honor of being the world’s first commercially available detergent powder goes to “Persil” by Henkel & Cie, a German company. Introduced in 1907, Persil was an innovative and groundbreaking product that revolutionized laundry care. Its invention marked a turning point in household cleaning practices and set the stage for the development of modern detergent powders.

Persil - World's First Detergent Powder
Persil – World’s First Detergent Powder

Impact and Success of Persil

With its introduction, Persil transformed the way people approached laundry. Prior to Persil, traditional methods involved tedious boiling, harsh rubbing, or using soap flakes for washing clothes. However, Persil’s unique formulation eliminated the need for these labor-intensive activities. Its powdered form, combined with active ingredients, offered an efficient and convenient cleaning solution.

Persil’s success was evident in its rapid expansion across Europe and beyond. The brand’s popularity grew steadily, captivating consumers with its promise of superior cleaning performance. It soon became a household name and set the standard for future detergent products.

Evolution of Detergent Powders

Persil’s pioneering role in the detergent industry paved the way for subsequent developments. As the market demand for detergent powders grew, numerous brands emerged with their own formulations and innovations. Procter & Gamble, a leading consumer goods company, introduced its detergent powder known as “Dreft” in the United States in 1933, offering consumers an alternative to traditional soap-based laundry products.

Since then, detergent powders have evolved significantly, incorporating advanced technologies and ingredients to improve cleaning efficiency, stain removal, fragrance, and environmental sustainability. Subsequent brands have continued to push the boundaries of innovation, meeting the ever-changing needs of consumers around the world.


In conclusion, the world’s first commercially available detergent powder was Persil by Henkel & Cie, an iconic brand introduced in 1907. Persil’s revolutionary approach to laundry care transformed traditional cleaning practices and laid the foundation for modern detergent powders. Its success opened the door for other brands to enter the market and shape the future of laundry care. Today, detergent powders continue to play a vital role in our everyday lives, providing effective cleaning solutions for our laundry needs.


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