Eva's Retro 60s Flashbacks
In a Soap Box
Though the Detergents may have been on a soap box in 1965 with the
release of their hit single, “Leader of the Laundromat,” I’m lathered up about what came inside those soap
boxes during the Sixties. Oh, JOY! Back in the day before dish washing detergent came in
liquid form with anti-bacterial, scented, or moisturizing properties, there were powders. It hadn’t yet DAWNed
on us to use dish washing detergent to clean up birds and other animals contaminated by oil spills.
I found it astounding that in the 1960s,
detergent manufacturers waged an advertising battle over who had the longest lasting suds. Like our forefathers before us who used our waterways as a dumping ground, suds began
to appear in streams, rivers, and lakes, and even at the foot of Niagara Falls where TIDEs of discolored
detergent surged eight feet high. Silly rabbits! Everyone knows the cleaning power behind detergent is chemical
additives, not suds!
Anyway, it wasn’t suds or cleaning power that launched the soap box derby of a
bygone era by women like my mother who crooned in the supermarket aisles of The Big G or Great Scott over the
likes of BREEZE, DUZ, OXYDOL, RINSO, and SOAPINE. The bubbles were ALL about the hidden treasures inside those
boxes: dish towels, glassware, stainless steel ware, cups, and saucers. Why, I have a set of pink and blue
Melmac cups and saucers replete with a creamer and sugar my mother passed down to me.
Boxes of Cracker Jacks and
cereal had nothin’ on the coveted goods cushioned inside those boxes of powdered dish detergent. During an era
when most women were stay-at-home moms, these small consolation prizes were a source of CHEER.
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