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Rubbing tradition the wrong way: Ivory soap hits bottom

Published Oct. 12, 2005

Another classic American childhood memory is going down the drain _ or at least to the bottom of the tub.

The Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday it is introducing a new version of Ivory soap that doesn't float.

Americans have been washing their babies with the bobbing white bars of Ivory since it was introduced in 1879. Unlike most soaps, Ivory is injected with air to make it float.

But P&G spokesman Jim Schwartz said some customers complained about dryness.

P&G's answer: New Ivory Ultra Safe Skin Care Bar.

"Ivory leaves a residue on your skin. This is less drying and less irritating," Schwartz said.

The new Ivory was introduced this week in the test markets of Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y., Schwartz said. He declined to say how long the test will be or when the product would be made available nationally.

The old Ivory will be renamed Original Ivory. Its composition will not be changed, Schwartz said.