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Don't Give Bugs Helping Hands

Don't Give Bugs Helping Hands Cause Button Museum
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Don't Give Bugs Helping Hands button back Cause Button Museum
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wash! Don't give bugs helping hands.
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Orange and white text on a blue background

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Calgon is a water softener brand based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and originally established in 1930. Its product formed complexes with calcium ions and prevented salt build-ups that are common to hard water. The water softener was later acquired by Merck & Co. in 1968, which opened the door for Calgon to explore bath and beauty merchandise. After producing and selling soaps and lotions for more than fifty years, these products were sold to Coty, Inc.—a highly successful beauty company—in 2008.

During Calgon’s existence, the company was known for the memorable slogans in its advertisements. Commercials helped popularize Calgon’s catchphrases that included “Wash! Don’t Give Bugs Helping Hands,” “Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?,” “Calgon, Take Me Away!”. Many of these phrases have been referenced in pop culture including Mariah Carey’s single “Shake It Off” and Kanye West’s song “Gone”—both of which were released in 2005. Some of Calgon’s slogans were also referenced on the small screen and incorporated into episodes of Gilmore Girls, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Arrested Development, Futurama, and Saturday Night Live.


Carr, C. (2010, June 17). The rebirth of Calgon. ThisThatBeauty.

RB. (n.d.). Calgon water softener-liquid.

Walker, A. K. (2010, June 21). Calgon, take me away...again. The Baltimore Sun.

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