In 1947, Colgate-Palmolive introduced Ajax. This brand of powdered industrial and household cleaners was the said company’s first big brands. Its main ingredients include quartz, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, and sodium carbonate.
“Stronger than dirt” was the original slogan for Ajax powder. The slogan was a reference to Greek mythology’s Ajax. Other slogans were “Ajax, the foaming cleanser!”, “Armed with AJAX!”, and “Stronger than grease (a wordplay on the word, Greece)!
American actor Eugene Roche gained household fame as AJAX man, “Squeaky Clean”, in many television commercials of the 1970s. In the United Kingdom, character actress Ann Lancaster appeared on television advertisements featuring the slogan, “It cleans like a white tornado”. Colgate ceased advertising in the United Kingdom for the brand in January 1996.
The first slogan was used again for Ajax Laundry Detergent when introduced in the beginning of the 1960s, advertised with an armed knight riding a white horse. At the end of the Doors song “Touch Me“, Jim Morrison says the slogan “Stronger Than Dirt”. A widely mocked commercial in the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s declared, “Armed… with AJAX!”
Here is the rest of Ajax’s chronology:
• The 1960s to early 70s. The Ajax line of household cleaning products reached their peak of success during these years.
• 1962. The introduction of Ajax All-Purpose Cleaner with Ammonia, which became a major competitor to Mr. Clean by Proctor and Gamble.
• 1943. The Ajax Bucket of Powder, which was an ammoniated power cleaner for floors.
• 1960. The Ajax spray cleaner was introduced but was short-lived.
• 1964. The Ajax Laundry Detergent was launched.
• 1971. The debut of Ajax for dishes, which is now called Ajax dishwashing liquid.