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Formula 409

Formula 409 is a Clorox Company brand of home cleaning products that includes Formula 409 All-Purpose Cleaner, Formula 409 Glass and Surface Cleaner, Formula 409 Carpet Cleaner, and many others.

The flagship product was invented in 1957 by Morris D. Rouff (1909 – 1997). Along with his brothers Samuel and Nathan, Rouff was a partner in a Detroit, Michigan company, Gem Products, which manufactured industrial cleaning supplies. Formula 409’s original application was as a commercial solvent and degreaser for industries such as funeral homes and Chinese restaurants that struggled with particularly difficult cleaning problems. As a heavy-duty alkaline product, Formula 409 was harsher and more toxic than today’s residential cleaner, and was sold only in 40-gallon drums.

Urban legend has it that the product is named for the birthday of the inventor's wife or daughter. However, the product was actually the 409th formulation tried during development.[1]

In 1960, Rouff sold Formula 409 to Chemsol, a New York firm, for an amount in the low six-figure range. Chemsol in turn sold 409 to Herrell International in 1965. The Clorox Company ultimately purchased Formula 409 in 1969. The brand has retained its equity ever since and remains a leader in the category of hard surface cleaners.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Formula_409". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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