The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) is a manufacturer of various food and chemical products based in Oakland, California, which is best known for its bleach product, Clorox.
The product and the company date to May 3, 1913, when five entrepreneurs, Archibald Taft, a banker; Edward Hughes, a purveyor of wood and coal; Charles Husband, a bookkeeper; Rufus Myers, a lawyer; and William Hussey, a miner, invested $100 apiece to set up the first commercial-scale liquid bleach factory in the United States, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. The firm was first called the Electro-Alkaline Company. In 1917, it developed a less concentrated version for household, rather than industrial, use, and sales took off.
In 1928, the company went public on the San Francisco stock exchange and changed its name to the Clorox Chemical Company. "Butch," an animated Clorox liquid bleach bottle, was used in advertising and became well-known, even surviving the 1941 transition from rubber-stoppered bottles to ones with screw-off caps.
During World War II, when chlorine gas shortages forced many bleach manufacturers to reduce the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in their products, Clorox elected to sell fewer units of a full-strength product, establishing a reputation for quality.
In 1957, Clorox was bought by Procter & Gamble, a purchase that was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, which feared it would stifle competition in the household products market. The FTC won, and in 1969, Clorox again was made independent.
The Clorox Company now owns a number of other well-known household and professional brands across a wide variety of products, among them:
- Brita water filtration systems (only North and South America)
- Burt's Bees Natural cosmetics
- Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface daily sanitizing spray
- Glad storage bags, trash bags, Press'n Seal, and GladWare containers
- Green Works natural cleaners
- Hidden Valley Ranch, Kitchen Bouquet, and KC Masterpiece salad dressings and sauces
- Kingsford charcoal
- Lestoil, Pine-Sol, Tilex, and S.O.S cleaning products
- Liquid-Plumr clog remover
- Formula 409 hard surface cleaners
- Fresh Step, EverClean and Scoop Away cat litters
- ArmorAll and STP automotive products
- The iRobot Scooba floor-cleaning robot's standard cleaning solution is manufactured by Clorox
- Clorox 2
For historical reasons, in some markets the company's namesake bleach products are currently sold under regional brands. Clorox acquired the Javex line of bleach products sold in Canada, and similar product lines in parts of Latin and South America, from Colgate-Palmolive in late 2006. In Canada, where Clorox-branded products were not previously available, the acquired products have since been known as "Javex by Clorox", suggesting the eventual retirement of the Javex brand.