This year marks the 70th birthday of the well-known British brand, Swarfega. Famous for its green hand-cleansing gel, it’s a business that’s been part of the fabric of everyday life for mechanics and technicians for generations.

Who hasn’t used Swarfega at least once?

Swarfega was launched during a momentous period of history, with much of the world still reeling from the effects of the Second World War. In the UK, 1947 started with the nationalisation of the coal industry to help fuel the re-building of Britain and ended with the future queen of the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, marrying the Duke of Edinburgh.  While the war had immense impact across the globe, it left Deb – the manufacturer of silkware protection rinse-aid for silk stockings without a market for its products: nylons had been introduced from America during the war, replacing their silk predecessors.

According to company legend, Deb founder, industrial chemist, Audley Bowdler Williamson, noticed that machinists were using the rinse-aid product to clean their hands at the end of their shifts. Following their lead, he changed focus from rinse-aid reformulating it to become a hand cleanser.

On the back of success with Swarfega, the Deb Group introduced additional products in the Swarfega range, many still in use today such as Swarfega Heavy Duty, Duck Oil, Suprega, Tufenega, Jizer and numerous surface cleaners.  Generations of mechanics and engineers have used Swarfega products that have been made by generations of families working at the company’s factories.

While it’s a name well-known to mechanics, engineers and technicians, keeping a product and brand leading the market is a significant achievement. Deb Group MD, Jeff Bell, commented:

“For any brand or product to stand the test of time for so long is testament to the quality of the product, the ability of the staff to keep pace with an ever-changing world and the loyalty shown by generations of mechanics, technicians and engineers.”

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