Boyle-Midway Closing City of Commerce Plant

Times Staff Writer

Boyle-Midway, maker of household cleaning products like Woolite cold-water washing liquid and Easy-Off oven cleaner, will close its manufacturing plant in City of Commerce Sept. 30, it was learned Thursday.

The decision to close the plant was quietly disclosed to about 230 employees earlier this week. Plant manager Walter Bowker confirmed Thursday that the facility would be closed at the end of September but would not comment further, referring all inquiries to Boyle-Midway’s corporate headquarters in New York.

No further details, including the reasons for the closure, were available. Executives in New York refused to comment, and the company’s spokeswoman did not return telephone calls.


Boyle-Midway, a division of American Home Products, is the second major national manufacturer of household products in a month to disclose plans to close a Southern California plant.

Procter & Gamble has told its 420 employees in Long Beach that it will close its plant there late next year. The facility has manufactured Ivory soap, Tide detergent and other products since 1931.

Boyle-Midway also produces Wizard charcoal-lighting fluid, Wizard room deodorizer, Black Flag insecticides and Old English furniture polish at the City of Commerce plant, according to a business license on file at City of Commerce City Hall. Boyle-Midway built the 185,000-square-foot plant in 1959. It is believed to be Boyle-Midway’s only manufacturing facility in California.

The company has been operating under its present name in the Los Angeles area since 1940. One of its forerunners, Midway Chemical, had been manufacturing here since 1928.