Who Invented Liquid Soap?

invented-liquid-soap Credit: Andre Roberto Doreto Santos/CC-BY-2.0

Liquid soap was first patented by William Shepphard in 1865. The first commercial brand of liquid soap was developed and sold in 1898 by the B.J. Johnson Soap Company.

The product developed by the company was named "Palmolive." It became such a popular product that the Johnson Soap Company changed the company name to Palmolive as well. In 1980, Robert R. Taylor, a Minnesota entrepreneur, began to sell liquid soap to customers in a pump bottle. Taylor bought up the plastic pumps needed for liquid soap dispensers, which allowed his company, Minnetonka Corp., to corner the liquid soap market. In 1987, Minnetonka Corp. was purchased by Palmolive-Colgate.