Stone Soap celebrates 90-year anniversary

Stone Soap celebrates 90-year anniversary

DETROIT — The nation’s oldest carwash chemical product manufacturer has a rich history in the automotive world.

DETROIT — Stone Soap Company, Inc., founded by Ralph Stone in Detroit, Michigan in 1932, is America’s oldest chemical manufacturer specializing in carwash chemical products, according to a company press release.

After 90 years of being in business, the company continues innovating products, reinventing itself and is still prospering and going strong.

During the period between 1932 to the late 1960’s, the company made soap the old-fashioned way — by reacting animal fat (or vegetable oil) with alkali, a process known as saponification. 

The principal markets served by the company’s soap products included industrial laundries, restaurants and the commercial hospitality market. 

Many of the company’s earliest distributors serviced the household market with private labeled soaps and home cleaning products manufactured by Stone Soap.

One such Stone Soap entrepreneurial distributorship servicing the Michigan household market were two gentlemen, Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel.

They approached Ralph Stone in the mid 1950’s to partner with them in a new type of international business model which involved a multi-level marketing approach to distribute home cleaning products. 

Ralph declined their partnership offer for the home market because Stone Soap was busy pioneering the emerging commercial carwash market. 

Devos and Van Andel went on to establish Amway in 1959.

Ralph Stone was interested in the emerging commercial carwash industry because Detroit was the epicenter of all things automotive.

With the ‘Big Three’ automakers (GM, Chrysler and Ford) being based in Southeastern Michigan, all phases of the early commercial auto wash industry were born in the Detroit area and Stone Soap was there from the beginning, inventing most of the early chemical products that made commercial carwashing possible. 

For the world’s first automatic carwash that opened in downtown Detroit, synthetic spray wax for drying cars was invented at Stone Soap.

When the world’s first commercial self-serve auto wash opened in a Northern Detroit neighborhood, it was Stone Soap that invented pressure wash detergents that made self-serve car washing possible. 

In later years, Stone Soap inspired exciting new products and introduced its Rainbow® line, vibrantly colored and highly scented products, including shampoos for triple-foam automatic wash operations, and foaming brush shampoo for self-serve applications.

More recently, the company has been awarded several patents for making innovative products for the carwash industry.

As the company enters its 90th year, Ralph Stone’s sons, Kenneth as president and Steven as executive vice president, carry on the Stone Soap legacy of manufacturing quality chemical products for the carwash industry, while providing exceptional customer service internationally.

You May Also Like

ZIPS Car Wash Convos shines on UNC lacrosse star

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In her episode, Caitlyn Wurzburger reveals her love for chocolate chips, her career highlights and more.

ZIPS Car Wash Convos - Caitlyn Wurzburger

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — ZIPS Car Wash revealed its episode of Car Wash Convos featuring Caitlyn Wurzburger, senior attacker on the University of North Carolina women’s lacrosse team, the company announced in a press release.

Wurzburger’s episode is the final episode in Season 2 to highlight a UNC student-athlete, through ZIPS’ collaboration with Learfield and Opendorse.

El Car Wash celebrates opening with Wash for a Cause Weekend

MIAMI — Guests participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, took photos and videos with Miami HEAT dancers and Burnie, enjoyed free goodies and more.

El Car Wash Guests participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge , took photos and videos with Miami HEAT dancers and Burnie, enjoyed free goodies and more.
Greenhill Car Wash celebrates 15th anniversary

WILMINGTON, Del. — The company will hold a celebration with prizes, refreshments and carwash specials on April 27.

Greenhill Car Wash in Wilmington, Delaware,
ZIPS Car Wash Convos is back in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Arkansas softball’s catcher, Lauren Camenzind is the first of the Camenzind twins to ride shotgun through a ZIPS carwash.

Zips Car Wash Convos, featuring University of Arkansas Softball's sophomore catcher, Lauren Camenzind.
Mammoth Holdings opens PureMagic Carwash in Greater Knoxville

DALLAS — The opening marks the 10th Mammoth location under the PureMagic Carwash brand.

Mammoth Holdings opens PureMagic Carwash in Greater Knoxville

Other Posts

ZIPS Car Wash celebrates 20 years

PLANO, Texas — The ZIPS Give Back Tour will hit communities beginning in June as ZIPS gives back $1,000 donations to veteran service organizations.

ZIPS Car Wash celebrates 20 years
Soapy Joe’s celebrates 9th Soapy Joe’s Day, aims to set new Guinness World Record

SAN DIEGO — The company’s mascot will aim to set the official Guinness World Record for most high fives by a mascot in one minute to commemorate National High Five Day.

Cars line up for their free carwash during an annual Soapy Joe's Day celebration.
Metro Express celebrates 50 years with golden giveaway 

IDAHO/WASHINGTON/MONTANA — In appreciation of its loyal customers, Metro Express Car Wash is offering their premium carwash service for free.

Metro Express golden giveaway
WhiteWater Express adds 4 locations in the Southwest

HOUSTON — The additions bring WhiteWater’s footprint to 55 locations in Texas and 14 locations in Louisiana.