In June of 2009 I wrote a piece entitled "Do you Zote?" about a very versatile bar soap that is just about everyone's favorite here in the Bajío region of Mexico where I live. I decided to write a companion piece about a popular laundry detergent that is made by the same company who makes Zote. The name of the detergent is "Roma" and it comes in plastic bags in quantities of half-kilo, one kilo, 4 kilos, and 10 kilos. The detergent is in granular form and it is mostly white in color with specks of blue. It is a basic laundry detergent and is less expensive than many other brands. We currently pay 22 pesos for a one kilo bag which is about $1.89 U.S. or in other words about 87 cents a pound. My wife Gina and her mother Carmelita swear by it and won't use anything else for washing both clothes and dishes except that they use Zote bar soap for the more delicate items like me, for instance. I shower with a bar of Zote every morning.
Many ladies here are in the habit of throwing a handful of Roma into a corner of the kitchen sink and they use it to wash dishes by just touching the dish rag to the detergent so that a little bit sticks to the rag. It makes great suds and a little bit of this detergent goes a long way. Roma isn't very hard on their skin either and it is also biodegradable and phosphate free. The listed ingredients are:
Cleaning Agent - Lineal Anionic Surfactant
Water Softener - Aluminosilicates and silicate
Soil Suspending Agent - C.M.C
The company that makes Roma detergent and Zote bar soap is called "Fábrica de Jabón La Corona". It was founded in Mexico City in 1920 by a man named Esteban González. He named the company for a nearby public bath house called "La Corona". The company grew and grew and expanded into several plants and now employs over four thousand people people. Besides soaps, La Corona makes cooking oils, liquid cleaners, toothpastes, and fabric softeners. The company markets its products all over North America, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The most amazing thing about both Roma and Zote and the other products made by La Corona is that there is no advertising. All of their sales are made through word of mouth and customer demand. In Mexico their market share is much higher than any of their closest competitors. They must be doing something right, eh? You just gotta go with a winner.
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