Why Is the Ajax Cleaner Named After a Mythology God?

by Mike Goldstein; Updated September 26, 2017

Ancient mythology, while no longer a major religion, can still find references in nearly every household. Computer software, cleaning products, newspapers, and many other companies and products are named after mythological figures.

Telemonian Ajax

Ajax was the son of Telamon, king of Salamis. He was a great hero in the Trojan war, fighting for the Greeks. After Achilles, he was Greece's greatest hero. Indeed, it was Ajax who fought Hector in single combat after Achilles' initial departure from the fighting.

Ajax Cleanser

Ajax is a cleaning product manufactured by the Colgate-Palmolive Company. It comes in a powder with bleach for use on carpets and other household surfaces. It is also available as a dish detergent.

Possible Reasons for the Name

While no definite answer is given, the Colgate-Palmolive Company may have named the product Ajax because the mythological figure was a mighty warrior who "cleaned up" in battle. He needed no assistance from the gods, implying that Ajax cleanser is capable of cleaning up in the house without assistance from other products.

About the Author

Mike Goldstein has been writing since 2005 and has been published in "Science" and Boston College's "Intellectual Property and Technology Forum Law Review." He studied Shakespeare at Rutgers University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Music and photography are two of his specialties.