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Domestos logo.png
Product typeHousehold Cleaning
CountryUnited Kingdom
Introduced1929; 92 years ago (1929)
Related brandsDomex (India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka)
Glorix (Netherlands)
Vim (Brazil, Argentina and Vietnam)
Domesto (Japan)

Domestos is a British brand of household cleaning range which contains bleach (primarily sodium hypochlorite NaOCl). It is manufactured by Unilever. Domestos (and Chlorox, essentially a 10–25% solution of sodium hypochlorite[1]) contains 100,000 ppm (10%) of the active component, available chlorine; many other bleaches contain 50,000 or less.[2]


Domestos was first produced in 1929 by Wilfrid Augustine Handley (1901–1975) [4] , a dentist from Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England, and sold door-to-door by salesmen who refilled stoneware jars bought by the customers.[3] In 1961 the company was acquired by Lever Brothers.[4]

Product range[edit]

  • Thick Bleach – "with a variety of fragrances" – rebranded as "Domestos 24HR", with a reformulation to give "24hr protection from flying germs." – rebranded again as "Domestos Extended Germ-Kill". Still branded Thick Bleach in Australia.
  • Domestos 5x – "a bleach which lasts 5x longer than any other bleach or toilet cleaner" – Discontinued
  • Sink and Pipe Unblocker
  • Domestos Blocks-Discontinued
  • Domestos Hygienic Wipes-Discontinued
  • Domestos Bleach Cleaning Spray
  • Domestos Zero Limescale – "an extra thick hydrochloric acid toilet cleaner can even killing germs even below the waterline."
  • [5]
  • Domestos Total Blast – a toilet gel that "helps prevent tough dirt from sticking."-Discontinued
  • Domestos Germ Blaster – a rimblock cage utensil advertised as being the "only rimblock that kills germs as it freshens."
  • Domestos Turbo Fresh – A variant of the above advertised as being the "only rotating rimblock."
  • Domestos Power 5 toilet cleaning.


During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Domestos marketing campaign featured a mock of a scene from Big Bad John, in which a Domestos bottle moved slowly around a bathroom in the style of a cowboy, as nearby loo brushes and ornaments hid nervously. The bottle went under the name of "Big Bad Dom". The advert was produced using CGI. The advertising slogan for this campaign claimed that Domestos "Kills all known germs. Dead." An earlier advertising slogan had been "Domestos kills 99% of all household germs."

In 2002, a short-lived campaign featured former Big Brother contestant Alex Sibley, who appeared in an advert lampooning his own obsession with cleanliness. It included an incident in the house, where Alex mimed to the song "That's the Way (I Like It)" by KC and the Sunshine Band. In the advert, Alex was seen cleaning the Big Brother toilet with Domestos whilst miming to the same song. Domestos was hoping the popularity of Big Brother would help sell their product.[6] However, by 2003, Domestos were in trouble and looking for other ways, to improve their marketing campaign.[7]

In 2005, various adverts for different Domestos brands were shown on television and cinemas, with computer generated germs made to represent Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus. Each germ asserted its plans to inflict suffering, sometimes in parody of well-known films such as The Godfather, before being wiped out by a specific brand of Domestos. The advertising slogans for this campaign were "Domestos – Millions of Germs Will Die" for Standard Domestos, and "Domestos – Millions More Germs Will Die" for 5× Longer Domestos.[8]

The 5× Longer Domestos advert showed a germ cheerfully skipping and singing a song in a very deep American voice, reminiscent of narration in horror movie trailers.

Sung to the tune of "London Bridge Is Falling Down", the lyrics were:

I'm going to make some people vom,
People vom, people vom.
Spew their guts and cry to mom,
Ain't that pretty?

I'm going to give them diarrhoea, diarrhoea, diarrhoea...

The commercial ended with a voiceover of the slogan, read by famous British actor Patrick Stewart.[9] The staple of CGI germs has remained in Domestos adverts since then, and each advert is used to promote specific Domestos products.

In other countries[edit]

Domestos is known as Domex in Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka and is marketed with the claim of a "one-stop solution" to a household's cleaning requirements instead of using a different cleaner for kitchen surface, floor and bathroom. In Japan, the brand name Domesto (ドメスト Domesuto) is known as a popular toilet cleaner. In the Netherlands, Domestos is sold under the name "Glorix", while in Vietnam, Argentina and Brazil it is known as "Vim", and in other countries as "Klinex",[10] in Russia, Greece, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan it was sold there as Domestos (Дoместос), Glorix (Глорикс) and Klinex (Клинекс).[11]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Univar, sodium hypochlorite safety sheet
  2. ^ "Part 2 Biological safety" (PDF). University of St Andrews, Environmental, Health and Safety Services. June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Chemistry Trail". Newcastle University. Retrieved 20 December 2015.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Domestos – Unilever Global". Archived from the original on 15 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  6. ^ Mike Reich. "Big Bruv's Alex cleans up". Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  7. ^ "How marketing stopped Domestos from going down the toilet..." (PDF). Marketing Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  8. ^ "Domestos Marketing Campaign homepage". Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  9. ^ "Patrick Heard in New UK Television Commercial". Patrick Stewart Network. 7 August 2005. Archived from the original on 31 December 2006. Retrieved 14 January 2007.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^

External links[edit]