Sodium laureth sulfate, sodium chloride, glycerin, sorbitol and various dyes are some recurring ingredients in various Dial soap products. The product line of Dial soaps includes bars, body washes and hand soaps.
Dial soap shares many ingredients with other brands of soap. Sodium chloride, or concentrated mineral salt, helps to pull impurities out of the body via the skin. Glycerin is gentle enough for sensitive skin, and its natural absorbency keeps skin hydrated. Sodium laureth sulfate is a surfactant, a compound that, when combined with water, produces foam and dissolves oil or grease.
In 1940, Dr. William Gump created the germicidal compound G-11, which was the active ingredient in Dial soap. Dial soap was originally intended to keep American military uniforms free of fungus. G-11 also kills the bacteria responsible for bad odor.
In 1972, the Food and Drug Administration ended the over-the-counter availability of G-11 in any form. Consequently, Dial no longer produces soap containing G-11, or hexachlorophene. In 1947, the inclusion of approximately 14 scented oils gave Dial its signature sandalwood scent.
Dial soap still contains scented oils, although their names do not appear individually on Dial soap labels. Instead, the ingredient category Fragrance typically implies a collection of chemicals that give each Dial soap product its predominant scent.
The name Dial implies the face of a clock, and early advertising connoted Dial soap with round the clock freshness.