Protecting consumers since 1977

Tec Laboratories, Inc. is an OTC pharmaceutical manufacturer that specializes in innovative topical applications. Since 1977, we have been protecting consumers and industrial workers with products that protect, relieve, prevent and repel so that you can enjoy life itch-free.

A history of poison ivy, oak and nuclear fallout

Tec Labs' flagship product is Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser. Tecnu was originally developed in 1960, during the cold war years, by chemical engineer Dr. Robert Smith as an effective, waterless cleanser capable of removing radioactive dust from skin and clothing.

His wife accidentally discovered that Tecnu would cleanse poison plant oils after exposure to poison oak in their own backyard. She didn't want their children to keep suffering from the plants so she went out back and pulled them out with her bare hands, even though she knew she was highly allergic to poison oak and ivy. She decided to clean up with Tecnu afterwards and it worked for her.

Years later, Dr. Smith's son, Steven Smith, researched and found out that poison oak was the number one workers comp claim for local utility workers in the summer. He began selling Tecnu as a solution to decrease workers comp claims. Since then, Tecnu has become standard-issue in first aid kits of outdoor professionals, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.

Innovation and perpetual improvement

The focus of Tec Labs research and development team is to create products that solve problems not only effectively but in a unique and better way. We have developed head lice treatments that kill lice and nits without the use of toxic chemicals. We stop your itch with homeopathic anti-itch ingredients that promote healing and offer long lasting relief.

How we do it

Our success is built on the philosophy that by hiring cheerful, smart, hard-working people, and giving them the tools and training to do the job right, there isn't any problem the Tec Team can't solve. We do this in a culture that fosters innovation, trust, respect, joy, and a spirit of enthusiasm.

We believe that our values and culture create an environment to succeed:

  • We take care of our customer's needs first.
  • We empower our people to do the right thing.
  • We create a flexible working environment where our employees can balance work and play.
  • We strive for perpetual improvement and innovation.

Rewards and recognition

Cultivating our culture and hard work has paid off over the years, and we are proud to share our recognition with you:

  • For three years in a row we ranked first in The Scientist magazine Best Places to Work.
  • Received Oregon Business Magazine's Hall of Fame Award for making the Oregon Top 100 Small Business list for 12 years.
  • We received the "Excellence in Family Business" award from the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University in 2005
  • Selected as one of the "15 Fittest Companies in America" by Men's Fitness magazine in 2008

Dr. Robert Smith

Dr Robert Smith and Wife

Dr. Robert Smith a chemical engineer, originally developed Tecnu, so called because it was technologically new, in early 1960 during the cold war to remove radioactive fallout dust.