What was Lysol originally used for

What was Lysol originally used for?

Few people are aware of Lysol’s fascinating history and its original purpose, despite the fact that many people are familiar with it as a cleaning and disinfecting solution that is mostly used in homes around the world.

The US, UK, and Europe are the main markets for this household cleaning product, where it is widely used and bought. The product is owned by its parent firm Reckitt Benckiser, which has factories set up across the globe to produce it.

But Lysol wasn’t always well-known as a household cleaner. It is evident by looking at historical Lysol commercials that the product was once advertised for a totally different use.

Read on to learn the original use of Lysol


Reckitt, which also sells Dettol in other regions, distributes the American cleaning and disinfecting product brand Lysol. The product line consists of liquid cleaners for both rough and smooth surfaces, air purification, and hand cleaning.

Since its creation in the late 19th century, Lysol has been used as a cleaning agent for homes, and businesses, and formerly as a medicinal disinfectant.

Few people are aware of Lysol’s fascinating history and its original purpose, despite the fact that many people are familiar with it as a cleaning and disinfecting solution that is mostly used in homes around the world.

What was Lysol originally used for?

To assist halt the cholera outbreak in Germany, Gustav Raupenstrauch initially developed Lysol in 1899.

Lysol was promoted as a solution to disinfect surfaces and stop the spread of the virus during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. During the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918, Lehn & Fink, Inc. promoted Lysol disinfectant as a successful influenza virus defense.

Newspaper ads offered advice on how to stop the sickness from spreading, including the recommendation to wash anything that came in contact with patients and the sick rooms with Lysol.

Hospitals and drug stores began selling the item in 1930, and the business later developed the Lysol disinfectant spray in 1962.

Was Lysol used as a contraceptive?

Lysol disinfection was being marketed as a “feminine hygiene” product by the 1920s.

Women were said to benefit from vaginal douching with diluted Lysol to avoid infections and odor. Although the medical world was mostly ignorant of the phenomena for the first half of the 20th century, women who could not otherwise acquire legal abortions in the United States sometimes utilized earlier formulations of Lysol, which contained cresol, a substance that can induce abortions.

However, some women utilized the Lysol solution in a hazardous fashion as a kind of birth control, and it is thought that some of these women perished at the time as a result of using Lysol in this manner.

The widespread use of Lysol and other soaps to induce abortions, which could result in catastrophic renal failure and sepsis, was documented in the medical literature by the 1960s.

Lysol should never be injected into the body or used as a method of birth control.

What do you use Lysol for now?

From hand sanitizers to disinfection sprays and wipes, Lysol offers a variety of goods.

The majority of Lysol products, including its primary disinfectant spray, are made to be applied to surfaces.

When applied on surfaces, Lysol’s disinfectant spray is said to kill 99.9% of fungi, viruses, and bacteria and can help manage and prevent mold and mildew.

The disinfectant wipes from Lysol are designed for use on surfaces, not on people.

Components of Lysol

The active ingredients in various Lysol formulations vary. Various active chemicals found in Lysol products include:

  • lactic acid as an antiseptic.
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • ethanol/SD Alcohol, 40 1–3%; fluid that acts as a sanitizer
  • isopropyl alcohol, 1–2%; partly responsible for Lysol’s strong odor; acts as a sanitizing agent and removes odor
  • p-Chloro-o-benzylphenol, 5–6%; antiseptic
  • 0-Phenylphenol, 0.1%; antiseptic; in use circa 1980s
  • potassium hydroxide, 3–4%
  • Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16) dimethylbenzyl ammonium saccharinate, 0.10%; microbiocide
  • Alkyl (C12-C18) dimethylbenzylammonium chloride, 0.08%; antiseptic
  • Alkyl (C12-C16) dimethylbenzylammonium chloride, 0.02%; antiseptic

What country manufactures Lysol?

The parent business Reckitt Benckiser owns Lysol, which is made and distributed in this country. Reckitt Benckiser has plants all over the world, including one in Jingzhou, China, where it also manufactures Dettol, a popular brand in the UK and Europe.

Is Lysol harmful to people?

If consumed or administered intravenously, Lysol can be extremely harmful and even fatal.

According to a statement from Lysol, “under no circumstances should our disinfectant products be injected into the human body.” Donald Trump had suggested in April 2020 that people be given injections of bleach or other disinfectants to prevent the coronavirus (not medically recommended).


Currently, the majority of Lysol’s products are only intended for use on surfaces. Wipes, sprays, and multi-surface cleaners are just a few of the products the firm sells.

The business has also created hand soap and sanitizers that destroy 99.9% of bacteria on hands.

But over a century ago, things were different. During the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, Lysol was advertised as a product to clean surfaces and halt the virus’s spread.

By the 1920s, Lysol disinfection was also being sold as a “feminine hygiene” item.

To prevent infections and odor, women were supposed to benefit from vaginal douching with diluted Lysol.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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