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Squeaky Clean Origin

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Judy in Miami, Florida, wonders how the expression squeaky clean came to mean spotless, whether literally or metaphorically. At least as early as the 1930s, the squeaky clean referred to hair that was so free of oil and dirt it makes a squeaking sound between your fingers. Later, TV commercials for Ajax dishwashing liquid played upon that idea, touting the so-called Ajax squeak that results from using that soap to wash dishes. This is part of a complete episode.

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