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When did it become common for optical brighteners to be added to commercial laundry detergent?

When did it become common for optical brighteners to be added to commercial laundry detergent?


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While watching The Theory of Everything, during a scene set in the 1960s, Steven Hawking remarked to his future wife that peoples' clothing were glowing because of the florescent brightener dyes added to Tide detergent.

It immediately struck me as a likely anachronism, as I remember first reading about them in Consumer Reports in the nineties or later.

When were optical brighteners first added to commercial laundry detergent on a large scale?


Household laundry detergents with fluorescent optical brighteners were common by 1967.

See Optical brighteners as detergent additives Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, Volume 45, pp 497-504 (July 1968).

See especially table XI which gives the specific compounds in use in 7 different US laundry detergents as of early 1967.

See also The use of optical brighteners for synthetic fibers in detergents Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, Volume 46, pp 75-80 (February 1969)


Watch the video: Optical Brighteners in Detergent: Bad for Laundry? Laundry Cleaning Chemicals (July 2022).


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