The Secrets Behind Widely Used Products

Nothing is ever quite what it seems, and in America the majority of our products have quite a few tricks up their sleeves. Whether it’s false branding, false marketing, or an accidental origin story, it seems like we can never get a straight answer on any of our favorite products. These everyday, common products, have some shady truths hidden behind their snazzy labels, and some of these brand name secrets will save you all kinds of cash. Take a gander at all of these product secrets and brand origin stories and prepare to have everything you’ve ever known about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers fall apart. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but we do hope that your mind is at least slightly blown at some of these product secrets. 

Upvote the best secret, whether it’s the grossest origin story, the craziest ingredients in your favorite foods, or the best accidental inventions of common items. You’ll definitely question your next purchases after getting the scoop on these widely used household products. 

Many people have Hamilton Beach to thank for a lot of their happiness. The company we all associate with toasters and other household appliances was the first to patent the electric vibrator back in 1902.

Source: /u/Vranak

Back in the 1920s, Lysol used to be sold as a vaginal douching product, promising its customers that it would curb vaginal odor and help maintain marital bliss. Yeah, let that one sink in…

Source: Smithsonian.com

We can personally attest that Mr. Clean’s “Magic Erasers” really are magic. However, they’re actually repackaged melamine sponges that you can order online for a couple cents each. Makes us question why we fork over a couple bucks for the brand name!  

Source: /u/_josepi_

Have you ever wondered why Pepto-Bismol is so effective in moving along your uh… movements? The key ingredient in Pepto-Bismol is bismuth, a metal that has 86% of the density of lead. Bismuth is used because it is toxic to some bacteria that cause diarrhea, and because the weight of the bismuth allows it to displace stomach contents very effectively and reach the source of your problems efficiently.

Source: /u/JimmyLongnWider

Just when you thought you were getting your daily source of fruits, it turns out that the “strawberries” and “peaches” in Quaker Instant Oatmeal are actually flavored dehydrated apples. The “blueberries” are flavored dried figs.

Source: /u/Rugiewit

Want to know the key ingredient to every gamer’s favorite soda? The base flavor component for Mountain Dew is orange juice concentrate.

Source: /u/Capt_Geech

Play Doh was originally sold as wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s until classrooms started using it as modeling clay. It eventually became rebranded as a toy in 1950s. Kind of makes you rethink eating it all the time as a kid. 

Source: /u/-eDgAR-

Like all of the best inventions, The Slinky was invented on accident. In 1943, a naval mechanical engineer, Richard James, was trying to develop springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas.

He knocked one of the springs over on accident and saw how it took a few steps and then landed upright.

Source: /u/-eDgAR-

False marketing rears its ugly head again. Excedrin and Excedrin Migraine are the exact same product.

Source: Truth in Advertising

Most fruit juice, with the exception of orange, grape, and pear, is actually just flavored apple juice. Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Source: /u/hoikarnage

America’s favorite car company has saved many backyard barbecues, and we had no idea! Back in the 1920s Ford Motor Co. produced a surplus of lumber scraps and waste at their factories. They had so much waste that they decided to burn it and resell it as charcoal. This is now known as Kingsford Charcoal.

Source: /u/projectoffset

Many a bonfire would be ruined without Duraflame logs. However, their quick-lighting journey isn’t as simple as you would think. Created in 1968 as a by-product of California Cedar Products, whose main business was producing wood slats for pencils, CCP was struggling for a way to reuse the sawdust that resulted from making 4 million pencils a day.

By combining paraffin and the pencil’s sawdust, they then extruded the mix to make the product we all know and love.

Source: /u/penny-wise

Most over the counter sleeping medication (ZzzQuil, for instance) is nothing more than repackaged Benadryl. Diphenhydramine HCL is the active ingredient in Benadryl and just so happens to make you conk out. Save your $$$!

Source: /u/ErrantMyst

Ever wondered what makes your smartphone’s glass so tough? The reason you can drunkenly drop your phone multiple times before it shows signs of wear is thanks to Gorilla Glass. Though many think that Gorilla Glass was developed in response to the explosive smartphone market, the product was actually designed in the 1960s. 

Source: /u/NotAfraidOfFire

Marketing by companies like Biore has caused many people to confuse blackheads and sebaceous filaments.You know those black dots that everyone has on their noses? Those are completely natural sebaceous filaments and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to keep them from occurring.

In fact, if you try to pop them, you actually increase your risk of getting whiteheads by allowing bacteria to tunnel into your pores.

Source: /u/x4dm

Believe it or not, your stapler actually has two different settings: one to keep your papers more or less permanently bound together, and one to keep them loosely attached if they need to be separated again.

To activate the “loose” setting, push and rotate the little metal plate on the bottom of the stapler. Mind. Blown.

Source: /u/meister_eckhart

Believe it or not, Hershey’s Ice Cream has nothing to do with Hershey’s Chocolate. They are completely different companies who were long embroiled in a trademark dispute over the name “Hershey’s.”

Source: /u/TooTallForHugs

America’s favorite beer is the only beer company that ages their products on beechwood. Beechwood has very low levels of resin, and the little that there is, is boiled out of the beer as much as possible. Beechwood is added to their lagering tanks to increase the surface area on which the yeast lands as it separates from the beer after primary fermentation is complete and aging begins.

While most beer makers use the wood-aging brewing process to add flavor, Budweiser’s method actually removes flavor.

Source: /u/I_F*CK_UP_RECIPES

The majority of brand ice cream you can buy at the grocery store is not actually ice cream, but rather frozen dessert. That means, that instead of being derived from milk (for the fat) it is derived from vegetable oil.

Source: /u/Tall_Rassman

Everybody’s favorite running shoe has quite the origin story. The first Nike shoe was invented using a waffle iron.

Source: Oregon Live