spiffits squad

Spiffits Cleaning Wipes – Collect them all!

In April of 1989, history was changed forever. It was there, at the tail-end of eighties that Spiffits launched as the first complete line of pre-moistened household cleaning towelettes. These are pretty common products nowadays, but in 1989, this was a big deal. To roll them out, the Dow Chemical company launched with an $18 million-dollar advertising campaign developed by Henderson Advertising, of Greenville, South Carolina.

The ad campaign featured animated Spiffits “spokesboxes.” It took the form of commercials, produced using single-frame stop-motion filming techniques and moldable rubber box puppets. This was hot stuff 30 years ago and was considered an innovative animation technique.

By making these spokesboxes, Spiffits had inadvertently become somewhat kid friendly. Thus the campaign was rendered more memorable to my still evolving brain. I could care less about what worked best for cleaning the house, but I really wanted these Spiffits as toys. After all, who would not want to run to the toy store and purchase THESE dirt fighters.

Glass Cleaner

The brains behind the operation.

spiffits glass cleaner

Furniture Polish

The fixer who makes sure operations go smoothly.

spiffits furniture polish

Soft Scouring Cleaner

Easy on the eyes, tough on dirt and grime.

spiffits soft scouring

Bathroom Cleaner

Willing to do the job no one else want.

spiffits bathroom cleaner

Multi-surface Cleaner

If you have a job, no one else can do, this Jack-of-all-trades is the only name you need.

spiffits multi purpose

Okay, so maybe these would not have been huge sellers at the local toy store. It still feels like a missed opportunity. If I could have pressured my Mother to send away for a spiffit toy with each purchase, she might have formed a positive association with the brand. Perhaps then they would still be on the shelf along with the millions of other wipes that have come since. Or even better, maybe spiffits would have become so well-known that the word would have become the eponym for cleaning wipes.

Watch this classic Spiffits Cleaning Wipes Commercial


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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