Listerine, the product named after pharmacist Joseph Lister, had many original uses before becoming a mouthwash. What was one of the original ways that Listerine was sold as?

Answer: A surgical disinfectant!

Listerine was originally sold as a cure for dandruff, a hair tonic, a deodorant, and even as a floor cleaner. Profits from Listerine increased 60 times in 5 years after the company inspired social fear by starting an advertising campaign that reinvented bad breath as a medical condition called “halitosis.”


Gurowitz, Margaret. LISTERINE® Antiseptic: A Very Useful Product. Accessed Februrary 14, 2020. 

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