I’m not sure this is something to be proud of, but I believe our family owns the oldest bottle of Formula 409 cleaner in America. (If anyone can prove me wrong, please feel free to do so.) My husband is a firm believer in the powers of 409 cleaner to handle almost any household messes. The only things he’s found that it won’t clean are adhesives that require a very powerful 3M solvent he also keeps on hand. But everything in daily kitchen spills can be handled by 409.
Formula 409 went on the market in 1957, which means it is possible someone in America has an older bottle than ours. Our bottle has a copyright notice on its disintegrating label dated 1986. It was probably purchased sometime between 1988 and 1990. (I didn’t take note of the date when I bought this bottle, because I never aspired to own the oldest bottle of 409 in America.) Our kids have grown from pre-school to being homeowners with their own bottles of 409 in the time that bottle has been in our family.
I’ve bought other 409 bottles, but Clorox doesn’t make 409 bottles like the one we have anymore. The new style has a much better squirter than ours has. But ours can be refilled, and it’s cheaper to buy large-size refills than bottles with the new squirters.
Which old household items do you hang onto?
Theresa is the award-winning author of historical fiction about settling the American West. Before she turned to writing, Theresa was an attorney, mediator, and human resources executive.
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