Many people recognize Lysol as a cleaner and disinfectant primarily used in households around the world, but only a few know its wonderful history and what it was originally used for?
The household cleaning product is very popular in the US, UK and Europe where it is purchased and used in huge numbers. Parent company Reckitt Benckiser owns the product and has factories in various locations around the world for its manufacture.
However, Lysol has not always been popular as a household cleaning product. Seeing the old Lysol advertisements, it becomes clear that Lysol was originally marketed for a completely different purpose.
What was the original purpose of Lysol?
The very first Lysol antiseptic disinfectant was manufactured in 1889 by Gustav Raupenstrauch. It was created to end the cholera epidemic in Germany, where it was causing enormous destruction. Next time the product was announced by Lehn & Fink in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic. It has been advertised as an effective product to combat influenza virus.
Finally, Lysol was introduced to hospitals and pharmacies in 1930, and around 1962, the company began manufacturing the Lysol disinfectant spray.
Lysol’s ‘contraceptive advertising’ explained
According to a leading news website, Lysol was marketed as a “feminine hygiene” product in the 1920s.
The post collected old advertisements from the 1920s and found that Lysol was advertised as douching, claiming that it could effectively help women prevent genital infections and odor.
However, the publication also explains that the term “feminine hygiene” was actually a secret code for birth control. Oral contraception was not yet invented in the 1920s, and other contraceptives such as condoms and diaphragms were very expensive, so many women adopted Lysol as a contraceptive because it was relatively inexpensive.
According to Mother Jones writer Nicole Pasulka, the use of Lysol internally caused many deaths in the early part of the 20th century. This also includes many women who have tried using Lysol as a contraceptive.
Historian Andrea Tone in her book Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America explains that the term “feminine hygiene” was often used as a euphemism for birth control when the use of contraceptives was considered outrageous.
It is clear that Lysol should not be used as a contraceptive or for other purposes inside the body. It is a fact that Lysol does not offer greater protection against unintended pregnancy than is offered by chance.
Recently, the brand issued a statement that clearly discourages internal use of the product. The stamen specifies that “under no circumstances should our disinfectants be administered into the human body”. He also added that “Lysol disinfection and cleaning products are intended for surfaces and not for personal use. They cannot be used on the body or on food and should always be used as directed.
What is Lysol currently used for?
Most Lysol products are designed for use on surfaces only. The brand offers a wide range of products such as sprays, wipes and multi-surface cleaners. The brand has also created hand soaps and hand sanitizers that claim to kill 99.9% of bacteria on the hands.
Lysol’s main competitors in the market are Febreze, Cif, Tilex, Mr. Clean, Oust, Pine-Sol, Domestos and Clorox. Well, none of the other brands have such a mysterious history.
In 1911, one of the most common ways to kill oneself was to drink Lysol in New York and Australia. This happened because of an active ingredient, benzalkonium chloride in lysol, which is slightly toxic to mammals.
Take a look at the different product innovations that Lysol has put in place over the years
In 1930, Lysol introduced the disinfectant liquid to hospitals and pharmacies.
In 1957/58, Lysol purchased the rights to the private label disinfectant spray from National Laboratories, Inc.
At the end of 1962, Lysol introduced the disinfectant spray, a new method of aerosol application.
In 1968, Lysol began manufacturing bathroom cleaners, including the launch of the toilet bowl cleaner.
In 1985, Lysol made a big splash by launching an all-purpose cleaner.
After 3 years, another addition was made when Lysol began shipping aerosol disinfectants to other wetlands, including Houston, in an effort to combat ‘lung rot’.
In early 2000, Lysol introduced disinfectant wipes, these wipes are pre-moistened cleaning wipes for non-porous and hard surfaces in particular.
In 2009, Lysol also started making hand soaps. As of 2015, Lysol products were owned and distributed by Reckitt Benckiser LLC of Parsippany, New Jersey.