Whatever happened to SOLVOL Soap?

22-02-2022

It was an essential item in every family home during the boom time of the 60s,70’s and beyond but despite its unique function, the Australian soap bar Solvol has been discontinued. 

But manufacturing problems have been cited for the demise of the abrasive pumice bar with mighty grease-fighting power. 

Solvol soap manufacturing could only be called an Australian success story which started in Australia in 1915, and was bought by US-based WD-40 Company in 2000. 

WD-40 Company general manager Nick Roberts said that the bar was deleted from their product lineup due to manufacturing challenges. 

"Due to production circumstances outside of our control, the much-loved Solvol soap bar will no longer be manufactured and sold in Australia," Roberts said. 

"After 105 wonderful years, we're hugely disappointed and saddened by this news and we know many of our customers are too." 

Formula too harsh 

Roberts said production of the bar had long been carried out by specialist soap manufacturers in Sydney, but due to its "highly unique" formula, the manufacturers had found the production of Solvol to be very harsh on their equipment. 

This eventually made them decide to stop manufacturing the Solvol bar altogether.

"While we did seek out alternatives, we simply couldn't find an acceptable replacement supplier to continue to make the current Solvol bar," he said. 

According to Roberts, Solvol liquid hand scrub had been in the market for many years and encouraged consumers to try the "equally unique" product. 

It is unclear which companies made the bars, but they were packaged by disability services provider Civic Industries in Sydney from 2010 to 2020. 

On June 10, 2020, the last run of soap bars was wrapped-up and distributed on-site in Caringbah. 

At the time, Civic Industries general manager Peter Moore said the partnership provided work for many staff and they hoped to find similar work. 

"This partnership has allowed us to create meaningful work, whilst upskilling up to 50 supported employees, and providing significant opportunities for people living with disability," Moore explained 

"We hope to secure more work like this in the near future." 

Ironically, as product dries up, soap stockpilers are trying to cash in, listing the bars on online auction sites for more than A$300. 

Workers pining for the good old days can buy a 20 pack of 100g bars on eBay for A$340, which works out to A$17 per bar and several sellers are listing 100g twin packs for around A$90. 

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