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110 YEARS AGO - 1907

Per-Sil becomes "Persil"

On May 23, 1907, Degussa and Henkel from Düsseldorf signed the first supply agreement for sodium perborate.

This new product, which Degussa produced using a process developed in house, was used by Henkel—combined with its bleaching soda—to manufacture a new washing powder. The first “automatic” washing powder was brought on to the market on June 6 under the name Persil (“Per” for “perborate” and “sil” for Henkel’s bleaching soda “silicate”). Degussa’s first deliveries of perborate still came from its small manufacturing facility in Frankfurt. Although the factory was working at full speed, it was unable to produce sufficient quantities of the product. It was therefore decided to move production to the Rheinfelden site, where the sodium peroxide needed as the starting product was also produced. Perborate production in Rheinfelden began in August 1907 and was soon expanded further to meet the constantly growing demand from Henkel. The sodium percarbonate that is likewise produced in Rheinfelden has now replaced perborate in the detergent industry, which led to perborate production being discontinued there for good in 2002.