Tecnu®, Technu, or
Tech-nu? A funny sounding name, with a lot of history. For decades,
the name of our flagship product has perplexed many; even our most
loyal users struggle to spell Tecnu® correctly. Perhaps we can
thank our dedicated elementary educators for drilling the
importance of pronunciation into our heads? Regardless, we promise
to hold no ill will should you desire to spell Tecnu®, Technu. We
recognize the uniqueness of the name!
So how was the moniker for our poison oak and ivy cleanser
chosen to begin with? Well, first, you have to know the story of
how Tecnu® came to be. Little do many know, Tecnu® was originally
developed by Dr. Robert Smith, a chemical engineer, as a waterless
cleanser designed to remove nuclear fallout. Dr. Smith ("Doc") sold
his concoction in 5 gallon buckets (meant to be stored in
bomb-shelters) in the event of nuclear fallout during the Cold War
From bomb-shelter staple to poison oak and ivy wash, how can
that be? Simple, this is where Doc's wife, Evelyn comes in. Rash
after rash, one kiddo after another, Evelyn was fed up. No such
thing as a "honey do" list for her, she took the noxious poison oak
plants into her own bare hands, literally. Knowing that contact
with poison oak usually resulted in a heinous rash, she immediately
came inside and washed up with the closest thing to the sink. It
just so happened, that Doc had left a bottle of Tecnu® sitting
within reach. Evelyn washed up, and days went by without as much as
a red spot. Eventually, word spread and Tecnu® began its reign as
the go-to cleanser specifically for removing the rash-causing oil
(urushiol) from poison oak and poison ivy plants.
Now, back to that name! So there Doc was, in the lab with this
new product he'd envisioned and created. The first of its kind.
Hmm, what to call it? Well, it was technically innovative and new.
Ah ha! Tecnu, short for: technically, new! It was perfect, and so
it would be!
Over the years, Doc was asked about the name he had chosen for
his innovative product, as many wondered why he had left the 'h'
out of the spelling. To which he would jokingly reply, "Because, it
got the 'H' kicked out of it!"
So, whether you Tecnu, Technu, or Tech-nu,
Live life. Get Outdoors!™