Play-Doh: From Household Cleaner to Billion-Dollar Toy

What do two best-selling children’s toys have in common? Both Silly Putty and Play-Doh were created with serious intent, and transformed into toys once the original purpose became obsolete. We’ve written about how Silly Putty was developed as a rubber substitute during World War II.

Similarly, before it became a beloved children’s modeling clay that has sold more than three billion cans, 60-year-old Play-Doh was a putty-like wallpaper cleaner manufactured by a soap maker. In 1947, the introduction of vinyl wallpaper threatened to ruin the business but a company executive’s sister-in-law (who was a preschool teacher) suggested they remove the detergent, add color and fragrance, and market the clay as a toy.

Since then, countless crumbs of the wildly popular item have gotten lodged in carpets and ground into floors, walls, you name it: pretty much any place a kid can place Play-Doh. While we at Impact Absorbents can’t lay claim to Play-Doh’s remarkable transformation, we do know a thing or two about how to transform a mess into a nifty spill clean up solution.

And like Play-doh, our products are non-toxic, non-staining, effective and economical. As impact Absorbents closes in on a quarter century of resolving spill clean up situations with products that address every need, from grease and syrup to oil and vomit, we continue to evolve creative ways to help you handle any conceivable type of spill clean up emergency.

Just so you know: while we’re expert at cleaning up kids’ messes, there are no plans to turn any of our products into toys.


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