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The History of Murphy® Oil Soap


The Murphy-Phoenix Company was founded by Jeremiah T. Murphy, the child of Irish immigrants.


A German immigrant showed J.T. a sample of an easy-to-make vegetable oil soap that was popular in Germany. J.T. bought the recipe and made the first Murphy® Oil Soap. Murphy's® started out as a paste packed in large barrels. Shoppers would scoop out their own purchase.


Eventually, Murphy's was packed into one- and five-pound cans of paste and sold in hardware and department stores. It later evolved into the liquid product known today. As a small, family-owned business, Murphy Oil Soap was limited to the Great Lakes area market.


Murphy Oil Soap began to be advertised as the soap that "cleans everything — injures nothing."


In 1976, Murphy Oil Soap made a push into its first new market: Syracuse, New York. Murphy's was introduced to one region a year until national distribution was achieved in 1986 — a slow but successful rollout.


Consumers asked for a more convenient way to use Murphy Oil Soap. In response, Murphy Oil Soap Spray was introduced in 1987.


By 1991, Murphy Oil Soap was the leading wood cleaner in the United States. Colgate-Palmolive acquired the company, adding Murphy's to its portfolio of successful consumer products including Colgate® toothpaste, Palmolive® dish liquid, Softsoap® brand liquid soap and Ajax® cleaning products. In 1997, a new, ready-to-use product was added to the Murphy Oil Soap family. Murphy Oil Soap Just Squirt & Mop was designed especially for cleaning wood floors.


Murphy's introduces Murphy Soft Wipe®, the market's first wet wipe specifically formulated to clean wood thoroughly and safely.


Murphy's adds the lasting fragrance of natural orange oil to their spray formula with the introduction of Murphy Oil Soap Multi-Use Wood Cleaner with Orange Oil.  |  |  Legal/Privacy  |  Contact Us
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