Vim (cleaning product)

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Can of VIM scouring powder from Norway.

Vim is the name of a range of household cleaning products originally produced by Lever Brothers.[1] The Vim brand is currently owned by European multi national Spotless Group.


Vim scouring powder, one of the first products created by William Lever, first appeared on the market in 1904, an offshoot of Monkey Brand scouring soap. The name is thought to derive from the colloquial English word "vim" which has the same meaning as the Latin vis, vim ("force", "vigour").[2]

Vim was produced at Port Sunlight near Liverpool, England. The name Vim remained solely associated with the scouring powder until 1993, when a range of associated products were released. Vim was also the name of a detergent tablet manufactured by Lever Brothers, and sold in the United States during the 1960s. It was the sponsor of the CBS sitcom The Lucy Show, starring Lucille Ball .

Former owner Unilever abandoned Vim in favour of rival product Jif, although it was still sold in some other European countries.

In December 2004, it was sold to the Italian Guaber group.[3] Vim is currently owned by Spotless Group, although it is still marketed by Unilever in Canada.[4] and Sri Lanka, where it has a 90% market share.[1][5] Vim is also sold as a Unilever brand in South Africa and India.[6]


The artist Francis Bacon is reputed to have used Vim as a substitute for toothpaste.[7]

See also[edit]

  • Ajax, for many years the main competitor to Vim in the market in the United Kingdom


  1. ^ a b Vim at Unilever's Consumer Canada website.
  2. ^ Room, Adrian (1983). Dictionary of Trade Name Origins. Routledge. p. 184. ISBN 0-7102-0174-5.
  3. ^ "New Vim & vigour". Sunday Mirror. 5 December 2004.
  4. ^ {}
  5. ^ Vim Archived 2012-03-07 at the Wayback Machine at Unilever's Sri Lanka website.
  6. ^ Vim Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine at Unilever's South African website.
  7. ^ Searle, Adrian (9 September 2008). "Painted screams". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 May 2010.