Swarfega: Our 70th Anniversary


Our iconic, classic green gel was first invented by the Belper-based chemist Audley Bowdler Williamson in 1947.

AB Williamson was inspired by memories of motor fitters suffering from cracked skin and dermatitis through washing their hands with petrol, paraffin and sand. Swarfega was formulated to remove engine oils and grease whilst leaving the skin’s natural oils intact.

Swarfega was the first hand cleaner of its type in the world. The name derives from “swarf”, being the old Derbyshire engineering term for oil and grease and “ega”, as in “eager to clean”. Swarfega quickly established itself as a popular choice in the 1940’s and 50’s with mechanics and more.

In its early days Swarfega could be found in establishments such as garages, chemists and even barber shops. The brand has since grown from strength to strength and remains as popular as ever due to its expanding product range and consistent high performance.

To celebrate our 70th birthday, we have launched a series of limited edition “Tough by Swarfega” skin care products for before, during and after the working day.

To celebrate our 70th birthday, we have launched a series of limited edition “Tough by Swarfega” skin care products for before, during and after the working day.

View the range