Bombril > History and Corporate Profile

Corporate Profile

Founded in 1948 as a steel wool manufacturer, Bombril S.A. (“Bombril’ or “Company”) is proud of its achievement of becoming the largest manufacturer of household care products in Brazil. The Company develops products in many categories, such as steel wool, sponges, dishwashing liquids, bar cleaning soaps, cleansers, disinfectants, cleaning solutions, fabric softeners, ironing sprays, liquid laundry detergent, fragrant sachets and air fresheners. Bombril’s 18 brands are responsible for a portfolio of more than 190 items found on supermarket shelves across Brazil.

Bombril has three industrial complexes (the Anchieta Unit in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo state, the Abreu e Lima Unit in Pernambuco state and the Sete Lagoas unit in Minas Gerais state) where each year some 250,000 metric tons of products are made by more than 2,400 employees. Once the industrial process is complete, the products are sent to innumerous points of sale throughout the country, with our brands present in more than 90% of Brazilian homes.

The credibility its products enjoy among consumers makes Bombril the absolute leader in several segments. Bombril’s growth is supported by a solid foundation. The company’s growth is focused on the long term and working closely with partners and employees. This cooperation permeates everything Bombril does, from the products it makes to the relationships it builds.

Bombril speaks openly with the public through direct, spontaneous and sincere communication. One example of this is its advertising campaign that has aired for over 30 years featuring the Bombril poster boy, one of the more endearing and best-known personalities in the history of Brazilian advertising. So it came as no surprise in 1999 that Bombril was considered the Brand of the Century by a team of advertising and marketing stars that selected the 21 brands most loved by Brazilian consumers. Of these 21 brands, only four – among them Bombril – were created and developed in Brazil.


1948 to 1959

On January 14, 1948, Roberto Sampaio Ferreira founded Abrasivos Bombril Ltda., inspired by a new product manufactured in the United States: steel wool. The product launch was a revolution for homemakers. Not only did it polish pots and pans, but also cleaned glass, porcelain, tile and metal, becoming known for its “1001 uses”. Consequently, in its first year alone, Bombril sold 48,000 units. In the 1950s, the company sponsored the Circo Bombril (Bombril Circus) on TV Tupi, presented by Walter Stuart, the father of filmmaker Adriano Stuart, with Elisabeth Darci as the poster girl, the mother of sports commenter Silvio Luiz.

1961 to 1973

In 1961, Bombril incorporated Companhia de Produtos Químicos – Fabrica Belém, the owner of the Sapólio and Radium brands of solid cleansers. The Sapólio Radium brand began to be developed and enhanced, with the inclusion in the product line of a liquid cleanser, a product that at the time of its launch in Brazil was only available in three European countries: France, Holland and Belgium. In 1972, Bombril incorporated Indústria de Lã de Aço Mimosa Ltda. in Rio de Janeiro. The following year, it incorporated Q’Lustro, a company that held roughly 25% of the Brazilian steel wool market.


Bombril moves its production line from the Brooklin district of São Paulo to a new and modern factory located on Via Anchieta highway in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo. Always modernizing and incorporating the latest technologies, this unit remains today Bombril’s most important facility.

1978 to 1982

In 1978, Bombril launched the Limpol brand of dishwashing liquid, which was followed by its lines of disinfectant (Pinho and Kalipto), ammonia-based cleaners (Fort) and plastic products (garbage bags and sponges). In the same year, the Bombril poster boy was launched by actor Carlos Moreno, with sales of Bombril steel wool growing to 420 million units. In 1981, Roberto Sampaio Ferreira, the founder of Bombril, died. On June 1, 1982, Bombril Indústria e Comércio Ltda. was created.

1983 to 1987

In 1983, Bombril Química was inaugurated in Simões Filho, Bahia. In the same year, the products Mon Bijou Fabric Softener and Bombril Steel Wool Soap Pads were launched. The following year, Bombril Nordeste was established in Recife, Pernambuco and the company’s name was changed to Bombril S.A., with shares listed on the stock exchange. In 1987, Bombril Minas was inaugurated in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais.

1990 to 1993

The Italian group Feruzzi acquired two-thirds of Bombril’s shares in 1990. In 1991, Cragnotti & Partners acquired a controlling interest in Bombril’s equity. In 1992, the Bombril Steel Wool Soap Pad was discontinued. In September 1993, the Company entered the Laundry Detergent market with the launch of Quanto and strengthened its presence in this segment with the purchase of Orniex.

1994 to 1996

In 1994, a strategic alliance with the Henkel group was formed and a technology transfer agreement was signed for the production of laundry detergent. Also in 1994, the cleaning bar soap producer Viera Garcez Química in Salvador, Bahia was acquired, leading to the launch of Limpol. The following year, Henkel acquired 25% of Bombril’s shares. But in 1996, this same equity interest was returned to Cragnotti & Partners. Also in 1996, the company sold two laundry detergent factories to the U.S. company Procter & Gamble, discontinuing its Quanto laundry detergent and Limpol dishwashing lines. In September 1996, the 2-liter presentation of Mon Bijou Fabric Softener was launched and Bombril became the pioneer in offering products in family sizes.


Bombril turns 50 and its name is changed to Bombril S.A., which is accompanied by various launches:

  • Natural and family (1-liter) versions of Limpol Dishwashing Liquid, the market leader for 15 years;
  • New packaging for Sapólio Radium cleanser in the liquid, powder and solid versions;
  • Bombril All-Purpose and Bombril Multi-Cleaning Cleaners, Bombril Sponge and Limpol Dishwashing Gel.
  • Herbal fragrance version of Kalipto;
  • 1-liter presentation of Pinho Bril; and
  • New product labels for Mon Bijou fabric softener featuring adorable babies.

On April 30, the company launched its website at In the following month, the dishwashing, disinfectant and softener plant was established at the unit in Abreu e Lima, located near Recife, Pernambuco. The ammonia-based cleaner Fort was discontinued. In the same year, the Bombril brand was selected by the Top of Mind survey conducted each year by Datafolha as the most recalled Brazilian brand when asked: “What is the first brand that comes to mind?” According to “Guia Exame 1998”, Bombril was among the 50 best companies to work for in the country, supported by the heavy investments in the Human Resources area.


The company’s market share increased in various segments, with many of these the result of launches and innovations:

  • Launch in May of the Limpol Antibacterial Dishwashing Gel with Triclosan;
  • Makeover of the visual design of the company’s flagship product, Bombril Steel Wool;
  • Launch of two new fragrances for the Kalipto line: Marine and Lavender;
  • Launch of the following products: Bombril Luxo, Bombril Magic Steel Wool, Bombril Fragrant Cleansers, Bombril Disinfectant Gel Cleaner with Bleach, Bombril Mildew Remover, Bombril Degreaser and Bombril Heavy-Duty Cleaner in the 2-liter presentation.
  • Company’s launch in the bleach market; and
  • Bombril was selected the ninth-most-remembered brand by Exame magazine.

Bombril received the Silver and Festival (Bronze) awards in the category “Communication Material with Internal and Intermediate Publics” at the Brazilian Advertising, Packaging and Design Festival of the magazine About for the campaign “Prepare to dive into sales” for the launch of Pinho Bril Marine and the campaign “Pots and Pans all over Brazil are celebrating” for Bombril’s new packaging. Bombril was considered the “Brand of the Century” by a team of advertising and marketing stars that elected the 21 brands most loved by Brazilian consumers. Of these 21 brands, only four – among them Bombril – were created and developed in Brazil.


In 2000, two promotions won over Bombril consumers:

  • In April, the “Prizes for Families” promotion gave out various prizes, including diamond rings and a home on the Hebe Camargo show on the SBT network.
  • From July to September, the promotion “Bombril winning hearts all over Brazil” gave consumers who gathered four proofs of purchase from Bombril Steel Wool Pads and paid R$5.00 a gold-plated chain and heart pendant.
  • Many products are re-launched with new features;
  • Limpol received a new formula and look;
  • The Mon Bijou Fabric Softener brought an innovating concept to the market: Fabric Softener with Ironing Facilitator, along with new fragrances, packaging and labels;
  • Cleaning products with fragrances were re-launched with new labels; and
  • All-Purpose Sponge II is launched.


Bombril signed a licensing agreement with Instituto Ayrton Senna. As of March, the Pinho Bril packages featured the “Senninha” character. All income from this agreement goes to social programs supported by the institute.


Bombril begins the year as the sponsor of one of the highest-rated Brazilian television programs: “Big Brother Brasil”. In March, it held a Sales Convention with the theme “Big Brother Bombril – Eye on the Market”, which was accompanied by the launch of many products incorporating the latest technology and designed based on market research.

Many products were re-launched incorporating innovations:

  • Mon Bijou Ironing Facilitator Spray Purity;
  • Mon Bijou Sachet Purity;
  • Pinho Bril Spray in trigger and refill presentations;
  • Practice line of cleaning products: Practice Cleaning Cloths with All-Purpose Cleaner, Practice 2-in-1 Cleaner (trigger and refill), Practice Heavy Duty Cleaner, Practice Degreaser, Practice Bleach Gel, Practice All-Purpose Cleaner and Practice Fragrant Cleaner in four versions: Fresh Flowers, Gentle Breeze, Sea Breeze and Mountain Freshness.
  • Five fragrances for “No Ar” Air Fresheners: Natural Freshness, Mountain Freshness, Lavender, Scents from the Orient and Jasmine Petals;
  • In line with market trends, after all the launches in March, Bombril launches another range of new products;
  • Atak Insecticide in the Multi-Insect, Fly and Mosquito and Cockroach versions.
  • Practice Gel Alcohol with Neutral, Lavender and Marine fragrances;
  • Bombril Cleaning Cloths: Small Surfaces, Large Surfaces and All-Purpose;
  • Two versions of Sapólio Radium Liquid Cleanser: Bouquet and Lavender;
  • Bombril Bathroom Sponge;
  • Limpol Dishwashing Liquid with Glycerin, tested and approved by dermatologists; and
  • Mon Bijou Fabric Softener receives a new thinner formula, making it easier to dilute and resulting in softer clothes.

All the launches were first communicated to consumers through the “Bombril & Você” (Bombril and You) newsletter, which provided cleaning tips and other information and was distributed in March and September. In 2002, the Bombril website competed for best Brazilian website and was ranked among the Top 10 in the iBest Awards. In August, the company began sponsoring the Santos soccer team and in October the Anchieta Bombril plant was remodeled. In November, the Bombril Product Store was opened to employees. The brand also declared war on dengue fever, developing an informative leaflet on the mosquito causing the illness for internal distribution.


The Bombril Fácil Steel Wool Sponge was launched with a modern and smaller package, making cleaning even easier. In April, the traditional version of the product reached sales of 77 million bags and the following month it set a sales record of 79 million bags.

Mon Bijou Fabric Softener and Pinho Bril receive a new modern and bold-colored label. The Sponge line receives new packaging and was renamed All-Purpose, Anatomic All-Purpose, Nonstick, all available in the “get 1 free” and bathroom versions.

Many new campaigns and promotions for Bombril consumers were launched:

  • The “1001 Prizes Campaign”, which gave out 800 gift certificates in the packages of the Bombril Steel Wool and Bombril Luxo products. Prizes included: 400 bicycles, 200 CD players, 100 kitchen ranges and 100 microwave ovens. And by sending three proofs of purchase of any product in the promotion (Bombril Steel Wool, Bombril Luxo, Bombril Sponge and Bombril Cleaning Cloths), consumers also became eligible for prizes such as houses and cars;
  • The “Bombril takes care of your home and you too” competition awarded many prizes, such as beauty treatments and a trip to Porto Seguro, Bahia; and
  • In the “Bombril for your entire home” promotion, consumers who bought two Bombril Steel Wool products plus a specific number of other Bombril products received another product at no charge.

For internet users, Bombril sponsored the following campaigns:

  • “Santos Mascot Cultural Contest” that offered 50 team mascots;
  • “Bombril and Panex Cultural Contest” that gave away 5 “Day By Day” sets of kitchen pans.
  • “International Women’s Day Cultural Contest” that awarded a pair of panties and Bombril Steel Wool to the 100 first women who answered the following question: “Which product has 1001 uses?”
  • “Cultural Contest: Valentine’s Day”, which gave the authors of the 30 best sentences responding to the question: “Why is Bombril good for two?” an exclusive  pair of Bombril panties and men’s briefs; and
  • “1001st Goal Cultural Contest” that gave an official Santos soccer team shirt to internet users who correctly predicted the player who scored the team’s 1001st goal.


To contribute to the development of the communities where it is installed, Bombril created the 1001 Opportunities Program, which provides support to children and teenagers of low-income families attending public schools in the form of recreational activities, school tutoring and preparation to enter the labor market.

In the same year, in partnership with the Municipal Government of Olinda, Pernambuco, the “Viva Mulher” program was created to provide women and children who are victims of domestic abuse with psychological, social and legal assistance. In its first year, over 1,500 women received assistance.

In October, the Conjunto Nacional Building and the city of São Paulo receive a special gift: Cine Bombril: a unique space where the Bombril spirit and brand go far beyond their domestic use to become the identifying mark of a special movie theater complex. Consumers’ contact with the brand moves outside their homes to the cultural and community level.


In 2006, another important figure in Bombril’s history, Ronaldo Sampaio Ferrerira, assumes control of the Company, which begins to envisage a more promising future, drawing on the pioneering ideas of his father, Bombril’s founder, Roberto Sampaio Ferreira.

By popular demand, Carlinhos Moreno, the Bombril Poster Boy, returns jubilantly to prove once again he is Brazil’s most loved poster boy.

Consumers declare Carlinhos Moreno part of Brazil’s culture, over the years helping make better sense of the important events in Brazil’s history.

Carlinhos entered homes saying his trademark “excuse me”, and today he is part of the lives of the Brazilian families, a companion and a friend.

In 2006, the company was selected one of the 100 best Brazilian companies to work for, according to the Great Place to Work Institute.


Bombril and the Santos Soccer Team resumed their partnership, which led the team to great achievements. The sponsorship put the Bombril logo on the sleeve of the team’s official uniform.

In 2002, Bombril sponsored the Santos team and together they won two Brazilian Championships (2002 and 2004). In 2007, Santos won the São Paulo State Championship for the second time and came in second in the Brazilian Championship, winning a spot in 2008 Libertadores da América Championship. The team also won two corporate awards: “Marketing Best Award” and the “Mario Henrique Award”.

Further expanding its presence in sports marketing, Bombril sponsors the stock car drivers Felipe Maluhy and Tarso Marque, who received support from the company and competed in the 2007 Nextel Stock Car Cup.

The main “star” of the Brazilian steel wool market returned to Brazilian TV screens in 2007 to shine alongside national icons. Through an unprecedented advertising campaign, once again viewers from all over Brazil were watching the special moments of Carlos Moreno, who interpreted Charlie Chaplin and joined singer Nelson Ned and athlete of the century Pelé to communicate the concept of the campaign “Everything ends. Only Bombril lives on. Nobody lives without Bombril”.

Mon Bijou, along with one of Brazil’s biggest heartthrobs, Reynaldo Gianecchini, shared the screen with the most successful poster boy of all time to the sound of pop singer Wando, to promote the slogan: “Hold me, smell me, call me Mon Bijou”.

In Bahia, Bombril was elected “Top of Heart Bahia 2007”, selected the brand of the heart in the steel wool category.

Also in Brazil’s Northeast, the Diário de Pernambuco newspaper appointed Limpol one of the “Brands I Like the Most 2007” and “Brand of the Year 2007” by 85% of homemakers interviewed.

The 30-year history of Brazil’s most famous poster boy was commemorated with the publication of the book “Eterno-1001 Anúncios da Bombril” (“Eternal – 1001 Bombril Ads”).

Bombril also won two highly valued rankings in the 5th edition of the survey “Companies That Most Respect Consumers” conducted by Consumidor Moderno magazine: 1st place in the Home Care

category, doubling the percentage garnered in 2006; and 3rd place in “Respectability” in the Consumer Goods category.

This year a program was launched to renew brands and launch products, leading Bombril to end the year with 73 new products and the remodeling of 72 brand, packages, etc. Evolving in product areas such as Fort (insecticide and repellents), Limpex (cleaning cloths) and Prá-Lixo (trash bags), Bombril is present in a total of 22 categories with 17 brands and 183 items.


This year Bombril celebrates 60 years and is starting the year off extremely well, with the return of Limpol to the media, new product launches and an outlook replete with success and innovation. However, it is not just the investments and products that make Bombril an icon in Brazil, but rather the respect the company has had since its founding for its employees and consumers, making them part of a big family.

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