Lysol kills germs. It would seem that there are hundreds of ways to use a cleaning product that kills germs, but early in its history, Lysol manufacturers worked hard to get women to use it as a douche, mainly by preying on their fears of displeasing their husbands. The very thought makes us cringe. Gynecologists now tell us that a woman's reproductive tract is self-cleaning, and douching with even plain water is not recommended. But advertising is powerful, and women can be rather susceptible to guilt trips.
Unfortunately, by 1911 there were 193 Lysol reported poisonings and 5 deaths due to “uterine irrigation”. However, the disinfectant companies knew they were still backing a winner and the aggressive advertisement of Lysol as a “gentle and trustworthy” feminine aid continued.
Why with the threat of injury and death was the product still so vehemently loved by women? Well, first of all, the tragic tale of those affected were covered up, and secondly, perhaps even more important than “feminine daintiness”, the biggest reason thousands turned to such an extreme method of downstairs maintenance was contraception.
See, birth control for women was illegal at the time, and advertisers knew which words could be used to spread the idea that Lysol was the answer. Read how that worked at Messy Nessy Chic.