Category Archives: detergent

Hungry Ghost Soap Powder

One could be forgiven for thinking that this was the stuff those chaps from “the other world” used to wash up after having their once-a-year Happy Meals during Chinese 7th Month.

In the late 1960s,  a new washing powder came onto the market.

The English name was “DRIVE”, but the Chinese name was literally “Hungry Ghost Laundry Powder” – 饿鬼洗衣粉 (“Serbuk Cuci Hantu Lapar” when translated into Malay).

What a name !

The powder came in a yellow paper box, with the word “DRIVE” boldly emblazoned on it, plus a prominent exclamation of the “Bio-Zolve” agent it contained.

There were also those iconic Blue Dots which supposedly were champion eaters of stains.

My family tried out this detergent for a while, before reverting to our trusty old FAB. I cannot remember why – perhaps it was too aggressive for our hands.

Threw In My Vests, They Did The Rest

Well, almost … some time-honored hand scrubbing was needed. Am talking about the detergents of the early days of my life. I recall three brands and their packaging.

OMO was my earliest encounter. Not sure what OMO stood for, I thought it should have been OWO (one-woman operation) since my mum single-handedly did all the washing.

Not long after that came FAB – which could fabulously evict scums of any nature. Oh yes, later there was even a variant called Power Laundry Bar, which came in the form of a blue rectangular bar.

Finally came BREEZE which I supposed could make laundry work a breeze.

These old timers have long been overshadowed by so many other new brands, including one that promises to make things Vanish…LOL