A Century of Sparkling Design: 5 Iconic Home Care Packages
By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: March 3, 2021
Some packages just downright own a shape and/or color—like the Coca-Cola* contoured glass bottle or the Toblerone chocolate bar. They are true icons and easily recognizable. Although most household care brands are relegated away from view under the kitchen/bathroom sink or hidden in the laundry room, some products have risen above their secluded spaces and achieved icon status.
Let’s look at five cleaning product packages that outshine the competition in home care brands.
*The brands mentioned in this article are trademarks of their respective owners. Inclusion of these brands in this article is not meant to imply an association with or endorsement from the respective trademark owners.
Windex Spray Cleaner
Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2021, Windex was originally packaged in 6-oz glass bottles and sold as an automobile glass cleaner in the 1930s. The product’s blue hue quickly became the standard color for glass cleaners. Following World War II, a pump-style sprayer was added to the bottle.
By the 1970s, the packaging moved to plastic bottles and trigger sprayers. Today, the venerable brand remains in clear plastic bottles with its familiar red-and-white trigger sprayer. Windex Original is still blue but other products come in different colors. All labels display a blue background with red Windex lettering. Last year, Windex unveiled bottles made of 100% ocean bound recycled plastic collected by Plastic Bank.
Tide was introduced in 1946 and has remained the leading laundry detergent brand in the United States since 1949. The powdered product originally came in a paperboard box. In 1984, the popular clothes cleaner moved to a liquid product in a plastic bottle with a self-draining cap. Tide pods—convenient premeasured pouches similar to dishwasher packs—hit the market in 2012.
Although Tide’s packaging and products have changed over seven decades, one thing has remained constant. The popular laundry detergent is still dressed in a striking orange and bright yellow bullseye with the royal blue brand name at its center. Tide’s vibrant packaging is a standout in the crowded detergent aisle.
More than a century ago, Clorox bleach was introduced for home use in 15-oz amber bottles with stopper closures. In 1929, the company added the Clorox diamond trademark to the bottom of the bottle followed by solid Clorox lettering to the neck, shoulder and base in the 1930s. Glass bottles in various sizes—pint, quart, half-gallon, and gallon—were produced until 1962.
In 1961, Clorox rolled out a white polyethylene jug with a plastic cap. The empty gallon plastic container weighed only 3.5 oz, compared to 3.5 lb for its glass counterpart. In 1992, the company began using post-consumer recycled plastic in its packaging. Today, the white HDPE jug with wraparound label pays tribute to its packaging roots with raised Clorox lettering on the shoulder.
Several toilet bowl cleaners feature an angled neck and spout for cleaning under the bowl rim. But the original package was the Toilet Duck, invented and patented in the 1980s by a swiss company. It was called the duck because the package laying on its side resembled a resting or floating duck.
The toilet duck design was sold to SC Johnson, which uses the container for its Scrubbing Bubbles brand of toilet bowl cleaners. Like the original, the current duck packaging has a longer neck than other toilet bowl products. But it does have a closure disadvantage. The duck’s cap must be removed for use while other brands, such as Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, require only a twist to open the closure’s orifice.
Wet wipes have multiples uses—hand and face washing, cleaning baby bottoms and sanitizing surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms and home offices. And while humans have been wetting cloths for cleaning since the beginning of civilization, the wipe concept was not commercialized until the early 1960s with the introduction of the Wet-Nap—a folded, premoistened towelette in a tear-open pouch. The brand is still around today cleaning up messy fingers and faces at barbecue and wing joints.
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the demand for wipes as consumers looked for handy ways to sanitize and disinfect door handles, grocery shopping carts, phones, computer keyboards, restaurant tables and chairs, steering wheels and other surfaces. Large plastic canisters meet the need for stockpiling and offer costs savings per wipe, while smaller canisters can fit in car cupholders, backpacks or handbags for on-the-go applications.