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NO MORE RUST OR SPLINTERS: 3M REVOLUTIONIZES WOOL SOAP PADS

 CHICAGO, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- 3M's (NYSE: MMM) Home and Commercial Care Division today launched the most aggressive consumer product introduction in the company's history at the 1993 International Housewares Show. The new Scotch-BriteTM Never Rust Wool Soap Pad represents the company's first foray into the $100 million wool soap pad market. The new 3M product looks and feels like steel wool, but it outperforms the old standby, it doesn't rust or leave splinters and it's made from recycled plastic beverage containers.
 "This was a perfect opportunity for 3M," said Darrell Gacom, Home Care Business Unit Manager. "Wool soap pads haven't changed in 75 years. Users like the cleaning power of steel wool, but they hate the rust and splinters that go along with it. We put our knowledge of abrasives, resins and adhesives to work to create a superior product."
 3M invested more than four years of research and development into the product, which resulted in patents for both the product and the manufacturing process.
 3M laboratory tests indicate that, pad-for-pad, Scotch-Brite brand Never Rust Wool Soap Pads outclean steel wool pads three to one, based on surface area cleaned. In-home testing reinforced laboratory results. The product earned a 63 percent overall preference rating, compared to a 30 percent rating for traditional steel wool pads. Consumers said the product outcleans, scours better, has longer-lasting soap and cuts grease better than steel wool pads.
 Test market results were equally positive. Never Rust Wool Soap Pads earned a 20 percent share (over the 36 weeks ending June 1992) in markets supported with television advertising. The product was tested in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis and St. Louis.
 In addition to other product attributes, Never Rust Wool Soap Pads provide another end-use for recycled plastic. The product packaging is made from recycled materials and the soap in the pads is phosphorus- free.
 "We're not pretending that this is the answer to the country's solid waste problems," said Gacom. "But we think it's important to take every step possible to protect the environment. In this case, we developed a product that works better, eliminates rust and splinters and provides a new end-use for recycled plastic. That's the kind of innovation upon which 3M has built its entire business."
 Scotch-Brite Never Rust Wool Soap Pads are now being shipped nationally. Four-, eight- and 14-count packages are available, with retail prices of $.75, $1.29 and $1.98, respectively. The product is being sold through grocery stores, mass merchandisers, discount merchandisers, convenience stores, hardware stores, drug stores and membership club stores.
 With the introduction of the Scotch-Brite Never Rust Wool Soap Pads, 3M plans to continue to build on its market leadership in the U.S. cleaning tools category. The Scotch-Brite brand is currently the recognized leader in the scouring pad market and the scrub sponge market. The new product launch will be supported by extensive television advertising and a full promotional schedule.
 3M's Home and Commercial Care Division manufactures and sells more than 500 products for the care of home and commercial settings, including such well-known consumer brands as Scotch-BriteTM scouring pads, ScotchgardTM aerosol protectors and cleaners and O-Cel-OTM sponges.
 3M is a worldwide manufacturer of more than 60,000 products servicing industrial, commercial, health care and consumer markets in more than 200 nations around the world. 1991 worldwide sales exceeded $13.3 billion.
 -0- 1/11/93
 /CONTACT: Deborah S. Johnson of 3M, 612-736-3691; or Lisa Maksymkiw or Bob Brin, both of PSB, 612-871-8877, for 3M/
 (MMM)


CO: 3M ST: Minnesota IN: SU: PDT

KH -- MN005 -- 3452 01/11/93 10:16 EST
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Date:Jan 11, 1993
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