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Dial (soap)

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OwnerHenkel North American Consumer Goods
Introduced1948; 76 years ago (1948)
MarketsSoaps, (Antimicrobial soaps, Antibacterial soaps)
Previous ownersArmour and Company (1948–1970), The Greyhound Corporation (1970–1996)
TaglineHealthier skin. Healthier you.

Dial is an American brand of soap, body wash and hand sanitizer manufactured by Henkel North American Consumer Goods, the American subsidiary of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA. It was the world's first antibacterial soap.[1]


Dial emerged as a result of a collaborative effort by a team of accomplished chemists that worked at Armour and Company, with Emmett Patrick Glynn as a key contributor.

Remarkably, none of these scientists including Glynn, were rewarded with substantial compensation for their groundbreaking work.

In 1948, their innovative creation made its debut in the Chicago market, courtesy of Armour and Company, a well-established meat-packing company.[2][3][4] Armour had produced soap since 1888; its laundry soap[5] was made from tallow, a by-product of Armour's meat production processes.[6] Dial was made antibacterial by the addition of hexachlorophene,[7] referred to by the company as AT-7.[3] The product was named Dial and promised "round-the-clock" protection against the odor caused by perspiration.[5]

Dial was introduced nationally in 1949 and was advertised as "the first active, really effective deodorant soap in all history [because it] removes skin bacteria that cause perspiration odor".[3] Although researchers had never established a link between hexachlorophene and germ protection, Armour's early advertisements graphically depicted germs and microbes before and after use of Dial soap.[3] Hexachlorophene, the active ingredient in Dial, was removed from the consumer market and strictly limited in the hospital setting in the early 1970s amid reports that it caused neurological damage in infants. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlawed its use in non-medicinal products, Armour-Dial replaced it with triclocarban, a synthetic antibacterial compound.[3][7]

Dial became the leading deodorant soap brand in the U.S.[8] From 1953 until the mid-1990s, Dial soap was advertised under the slogan "Aren't you glad you use Dial? (Don't you wish everybody did?)".[4][better source needed]

In September 2016, the FDA ruled that antibacterial soaps containing triclocarban and triclosan can no longer be marketed.[9] Dial replaced these ingredients with benzalkonium chloride (for bar soaps) and benzethonium chloride (for liquid hand soaps). In its 2016 ruling, the FDA also stated that it is deferring the final rule on benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol by a year to allow for the development and submission of new safety and effectiveness data for these ingredients. Consumer antibacterial washes containing these specific ingredients may be marketed during this time while data are being collected.[9]


  1. ^ Turner, Tyya N. (2005). Vault Guide to the Top Consumer Products Employers. Vault Inc. p. 104. ISBN 1581313233.
  2. ^ Lazarus, George (22 August 1990). "Nabisco has small plans for cookie". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dayan, Nava; Wertz, Philip W. (2011). Innate Immune System of Skin and Oral Mucosa: Properties and impact in pharmaceutics, cosmetics, and personal care products. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 19–22. ISBN 978-0470437773.
  4. ^ a b "Dial Corp". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b Allen, Gary J.; Albala, Ken (2007). The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the food and drink industries. ABC-CLIO. p. 34. ISBN 978-0313337253.
  6. ^ Ator, Joseph (3 May 1962). "Meat Packers Stew Over Fat Problem". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  7. ^ a b "US Order Curbs Hexachlorophene". Milwaukee Sentinel. 23 September 1972. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  8. ^ Shyr, Luna I. (18 February 1996). "Dial corporation splitting into two". The Daily Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  9. ^ a b Grover, Natalie (2 September 2016). "FDA halts sale of some antibacterial hand, body wash products". Reuters. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

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