Ipohworld's World

Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow


Yes, another corny pun 🙂 Remember this brand of detergent? What about the free gift that came with it? I’m sure there are some of you out there (yours truly included) who bought certain items simply because there was a free gift offer…..come on, own up!

  1. Mano says:

    There was also the ‘Fab’ brand of clothes detergent.
    It would be interesting to know which came first to ‘Malaya’. Prior to these two powder form detergents was the ‘Sunlight’ soap.
    Interestingly, I was given to understand that nearly all detergents are made up of up to two thirds of ‘fillers’ to build up the content in the packing. This ‘filler’ is the residue like stuff you find in your washing machine filter.

  2. sk says:

    Later on there was one Drive with Biozolve – called Gor Kwai – or Hungry Ghost
    & with yet another Omo. I think they are off the shelves.

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear Mano

    It would be interesting to know which came first to ‘Malaya’. Prior to these two powder form detergents was the ‘Sunlight’ soap.

    Fab detergent (a Colgate-Palmolive brand) came first. It was in Malaya for more than a decade before Breeze (a Lever Brothers brand) arrived in the late ’60s. (To be precise, the name “Fab” is even older than that, but Colgate-Palmolive first used it to market “soap flakes” and “washing powder,” which were not necessarily detergents.)

    You mention washing-machines, which reminds me that in Malaya when Fab (and even Breeze) were introduced, clothes were still mostly washed by hand. Are they today?

    And felicia mentioned Vim the other day; it, too, was a Lever Brothers brand — as were Lux and Planta, which may help explain why Unilever was a major owner of plantations in Malaya (and Malaysia).

  4. S.Y. says:

    Dear Ipoh Remembered,

    Yes, clothes are still washed by hand. Not only by those who cannot afford a washing machine but also by those who have washing machines. They believe that washing by hand washes the clothing cleaner. Besides, certain fabrics are delicate and washing machines may damaged them. One of my friends told me that his father (who was then about 90) washes his own underwear by hand. He did not believe that others should wash his underwear.

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Dear S.Y.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Speaking of laundry, I (and probably you) remember the dhobies in Ipoh. As early as 1910 (and perhaps earlier) they had their own government-built “settlement,” complete with ironing-sheds and the like. It was near the junction of Silibin Road and Maxwell Road, on the banks of a stream that flowed east into Sungei Pari.

      One couldn’t miss the settlement because there was always an array of clothes and sheets laid out on the grass to dry. Instead of bleach, the dhobies used naturally occurring sunshine and oxygen, as well as indigo[*] from India.


      Of course, to say that the indigo plant was “naturally occurring” is to tell only half the story. Called “blue gold,” it was an extremely profitable crop for the British in India. Thousands of peasants were trapped and forced to grow it and many who protested were killed and an “Emergency” was declared … but that is (or may be) another story.

    • IKA says:

      My next-door neighbour is an elderly lady around 90 years old. A few years ago her westernised son bought her a washing machine – her first. After he went back to USA she put it in the garden as it “did not wash properly”. Eventually the garbage man took it away!
      Old habits due hard.

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