Blue, white and red illustration of the Dutch Girl character holding a stick with blue text on a yellow background
GERAGHTY & COMPANY 3035-37 W. LAKE ST. CHICAGO, U.S.A.
Old Dutch Cleanser was developed by the Cudahy Packing Co. of Chicago in 1905. Being meatpackers, they were looking for a soap product to use excess animal fat, and they created a scouring cleanser by combining soap with pumice. Their trademark was a little Dutch woman in a blue dress chasing away the dirt with her stick. Around 1926, their advertising started using the tagline, “The symbol of healthful cleanliness.” At the same time, “Clean-Up Week” became a fairly popular trend to promote civic engagement and business development. People would pitch in to do civic improvement projects, and individual businesses would do essentially a spring cleaning. Many found that this actually improved business. Scanning historic newspapers found many Clean UP Weeks with Old Dutch Cleanser on sale between 1927-1934. This button is most likely a promotion from one of them.
Cudahy sold Old Dutch to Purex bleach in 1955, and the name is currently owned by Lavo in Montreal. Old Dutch Cleanser also lives as a pop culture reference. It was thrown about the bathroom in a scene from the 1981 camp classic film Mommie Dearest.
For another style of Old Dutch Cleanser Clean-Up Week button, see item ID CA0538. https://www.buttonmuseum.org/buttons/clean-week
History - Old Dutch. Old Dutch. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.olddutch.ca/en/history/.
Pollard, G. (2020). Chasing the Old Dutch Cleanser Girl - BrandlandUSA. BrandlandUSA. Retrieved from https://www.brandlandusa.com/2008/12/22/chasing-the-old-dutch-cleanser-g....