Dial (soap)

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Dial soap logo 2014.jpg
Introduced 1948
Markets Soaps, (Antimicrobial soaps, Antibacterial soaps)
Website http://www.dialsoap.com/

Dial is a brand of hand soap and body wash. It was the world's first antibacterial soap.[1] It is manufactured by the Henkel Corporation, an Arizona-based subsidiary of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Henkel Consumer Goods Inc).


Dial soap was developed by chemists from Armour and Company, the meat-packing company, and introduced in the Chicago market in 1948.[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 name Dial was chosen because the soap promised "round-the-clock" protection against the odor caused by perspiration.[5]

The brand was introduced nationally in 1949. It 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] 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?) which became a popular catchphrase.[4]

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 outlawed its use in non-medicinal products, Armour replaced it with triclocarban, a synthetic antibacterial compound.[3][7]

In response to Dial soap's popularity, the company name was changed from "Armour and Company" to "Armour-Dial." In 1970 Armour-Dial was acquired by the Greyhound Corporation and was renamed "Greyhound-Dial." After the Greyhound unit was divested in 1987, the company adopted its current name "Dial Corporation."[5] Henkel AG purchased the Dial Corporation in 2004.[9]


In addition to the original bar soap, other products sold under the Dial name include liquid body wash, hand sanitizer, and lotions.[10] Dial liquid hand soap was the fifth bestselling brand in the United States in 2011.[11] Dial also markets a line of Hello Kitty branded soap products.[12]


  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 0470437774. 
  4. ^ a b "Dial Corp.". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Allen, Gary J.; Albala, Ken (2007). The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the food and drink industries. ABC-CLIO. p. 34. ISBN 031333725X. 
  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. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Shyr, Luna I. (18 February 1996). "Dial corporation splitting into two". The Daily Courier. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Henkel: Dial-ing for Growth". Bloomberg Businessweek. 27 June 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Dial Soap home page". dialsoap.com. 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Martin, Andrew (19 August 2011). "Antibacterial Chemical Raises Safety Issues". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hello Kitty Expands Line". bangstyle.com. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

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