Having grown up in the rural areas at a time when most of us used home made remedies for injuries, cuts and bruises, I can only vaguely remember seeing a bottle of Dettol liquid antiseptic before it became a common feature in my high school locker and later on in my own house.
I am quite experimental in my monthly shopping. Its important to choose a brand and know why you are loyal to it as opposed to just settling on a brand due to family traditions or formed routine. Thus before I settled on the toiletries I use, I sampled most of the others in the same range. This was no different with the antiseptic and soaps.
It would be safe to say that most households use the Dettol antiseptic.
In 2012, Reckitt Benckiser, the Manufacturers of the Dettol trade name for a line of hygiene products which been in use since before the 1950s, introduced soaps, wipes and liquid wash under the Dettol trademark in the Kenyan market. Call it the power of advertising, I decided to try out the soaps and I loved the cool fragrance. It became a permanent feature in our shopping list until they decided to drastically reduce the size. Our family had since grown and we found ourselves buying 3 extra bars to last a whole month, needless to say, we sought an alternative.
To be honest, I had never tried the hand wash or the wipes until the good people from Dettol gave me samples to try out. The hand wash is starting to grow on me. It has a pleasant fragrance and does not leave one with dry chapped hands unlike most hand wash soaps. However, for a family product, the bottle is prone to misuse by kids. It ought to have a mechanism like a parental lock, like most kids medicine, where its only the parent who can unlock. The way the bottles are, one is bound to pour more liquid on their hands with one squeeze than they need to wash their hands.
The wipes, though meant for hands, found more purposes to serve. Other than hands, they make very good cleaning items for wiping my laptop and phone screen. However, at a retail cost of Ksh. 140 ( $ 2) and competing against other wipes brands going for as low as Ksh. 80, ($1) its abit on the higher side.
As the number of Kenya’s middle class increases, the Dettol brand might just be able to grow beyond what most associating it with, the Liquid Antiseptic alone, as the other products find more uses in urban homes.