Blue Detergent
Ends Washday Blues

“I advise you to try
Procter & Gamble’s New Blue Cheer.  
                                                        ---Tommy Bartlett


Lincoln, Me. (DG)—

The creation of Tide began a new era in washing the laundry.  Its overwhelming popularity meant the rival soapmakers had to come up with some drastic changes in their laundry soap products.  In an attempt to keep pace or even surpass Tide (good luck), the competition either converted their former soap brands to detergent or created their own new brands of detergent.  The result was an avalanche of new detergent products for the consumer to choose from. 

Now that Tide got the ball rolling, who was going to create the next trend-setting detergent and what was the trend-setting product?  Once again, the company was Procter & Gamble, and the next trend-setting product was sold in a dark blue box with Cheer printed in bold white letters. 

Original CheerWhen it first came out, Cheer was known as Procter & Gamble’s latest--- and most exciting washday discovery in more than 100 years.”  It was specially made for “Tough-Job Washing.”  While other soaps and detergents displayed lack of interest in cleaning the exceptionally dirty, greasy, and grimy clothes--- Cheer thrived on it.  From greasy overalls to grimy shirt collars and cuffs, Cheer’s extra power easily washed away the dirt and grease from clothes.  When the washing was done, there wasn’t a single trace of dirt, grease, or other forms of disgusting gunk.  White clothes were whiter and colored clothes were brighter.

The original Cheer was a very impressive washday product, and it was the most exciting laundry product in more than a century--- but could it be even better?  Yes, it could!  The next trend-setting washday product gave way to the next-next trend-setting product, which was Cheer once again, but with a totally new detergent formula.  Radio listeners heard Tommy Bartlett describe the colorful New Cheer on his WELCOME TRAVELERS program on NBC Radio.

New Blue CheerRight off the bat, the Cheer user noticed something odd when the box was opened.  Instead of the traditional and uneventful white granules, there were light blue granules inside the Cheer box.  They were very pretty to look at and admire, but there was a definite reason why they were blue.  Each granule was blue, because “Blue Cheer” (the product’s nickname) was the only washday product to contain the “Blue Magic Whitener.”  Instead of adding separate bluing to the wash, Blue Cheer already had it in its detergent formula.  In the wash, each granule exploded into rich white suds that stayed around to clean away the toughest dirt from the laundry.  In the process, Blue Cheer also performed the bluing.  When the washing was done, white clothes were whiter and the colors were brighter.  The best news of all--- Blue Cheer did it all by its little lonesome.  Bluing, bleach, elbow grease, and swearing weren’t necessary. 

Although it was the modern washday product of 1953 (the year of the enclosed commercial), Blue Cheer wasn’t fussy how it was used.  Of course, it was tailor made for the modern automatic washers of the era.  For those people who owned the conventional wringer washing machines, they also discovered Blue Cheer provided the same white and bright results. 

For owners of wringer washing machines, Blue Cheer had another noticeable advantage that had absolutely nothing to do the laundry.  During a typical washing with a wringer washing machine, the user had to put his/her hands into the wash water to remove the clothes and place them through the wringer.  Since there was usually more than one piece of laundry in the washing, the hands were constantly exposed to the wash water.  When the washing was done, Blue Cheer users noticed a big difference not only in how the laundry looked, but also how their hands looked and felt.  Unlike other detergents or soaps that weren’t particularly nice to the skin, Blue Cheer was gentle to the hands even with constant contact with the wash water. 

Since Blue Cheer gave hands the proper respect they deserved, it was also used for another exciting(?) household chore known as dishwashing.  Cheer’s “Blue Magic” suds practically washed the dishes by itself with minimal help from a typical human.  When the dishes were washed, the dishwashing technician just placed them in the strainer to dry.  Without the slightest form of wiping, the dishes were all “Sparkle Dry.”  All was needed was to put the dishes away.

Luckily, products don’t suffer from stress or high blood pressure, because there was a little pressure placed on Blue Cheer to perform at its full potential.  In his commercial presentation, Bartlett stated Blue Cheer guaranteed the cleanest, whitest wash possible or the user received double their money back.  With that bold statement, Blue Cheer had to be good stuff! 

As if Tide was bad enough, the sudden popularity of Blue Cheer gave Procter & Gamble an almost unbeatable “1-2 Punch” in the sales of washday products.  Once again, it was catch-up time for the competition.