Home > Our Story > Armaly Brands History



Over 100 years of Heritage


The Early Years

In the early 1900’s, in the Bahamas, Armaly Brands got its start. Their niche was in the natural ocean sponge business. W.J. Armaly began harvesting, processing and shipping natural ocean sponges around the world. When his son, John W. Armaly, immigrated to the United States, he opened a packing plant on Iron Street in Detroit marking the birth of the Armaly Sponge Company in the United States.


Growth and Innovation

The Company experienced steady growth over the years, gained nationwide distribution as well, selling in variety and hardware stores, as well as gas stations and with automobile manufacturers. In 1926, the Ford Motor Company and the S.S. Kresge Company were added to the company's growing list of customers.

In the early sixties, Armaly Sponge Company began distribution of a new type of sponge developed by the Simonize Company at their Benton Harbor, Mich. plant. Formulated from polyester resins to clean like a natural ocean sponge, the product soon ranked No.1 in institutional markets. When Simonize began distribution in grocery stores under the brand "SaniSoft," Armaly began selling to variety and discount retailers under the brand "Estracell."


Adding a Generation

In 1972 John’s children began joining the company. At that time Armaly became both a distributor and fabricator of master blocks supplied by Simonize and Scott Papers, Foam Division. Rapid growth forced three physical moves in three years until 1979 when the company acquired the Simonize Polyester Sponge plant. In 1983, the company moved to its current home in Walled Lake, Mich.

Brillo Products

Finding a Match

A natural fit, in 2010 Brillo® was acquired by Armaly Brands forming a powerhouse of innovation and family values. As a result, a new line of Brillo® Estracell®…More Sanitary! sponges was born. And most recently, Armaly Brands welcomed the household cleaners Cameo, Parsons, and SNOBOL to the family. Together they strive to supply an effective and thorough cleaning solution for the entire home.   

Today, Brillo® is one of America's most recognizable brands, featured in modern art, songs, movies—and of course, homes nationwide. But most importantly it remains dedicated to one ideal…helping people everywhere to enjoy clean, healthy lifestyles.