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Biokleen

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too.

We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

In 1989, when Jim Rimer discovered that the commercial cleaning products he was selling contained known carcinogens and other questionable ingredients, he quit his job as a sales rep and started making something safer in his own garage.

Biokleen’s original plant- and mineral-based cleaners were formulated to be powerful enough for industrial use, but they quickly caught on for home use, too.

Based in Vancouver, Washington, the company is still family owned and operated. Jim’s daughter, Cindy Rimer, and her husband, Barry Firth (pictured with children, Megan and Ashton), are now at the helm.

Over the years, innovative products like Biokleen’s Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator have demonstrated that gentler, natural ingredients can deliver serious cleaning power.

From pet stains to diaper pails, Bac-Out utilizes a blend of live enzyme-producing cultures and plant extracts to remove and digest stains and odors.

All Biokleen products are formulated and manufactured in-house, and 100% of the company’s water and energy usage is offset through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Renewable Energy and Water Restoration Program. Biokleen has also earned numerous recycling and environmental stewardship awards, including the prestigious Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices.

“We are committed to manufacturing transparency,” Cindy says. "With every new product, we ask ourselves, ‘Does it work? Is it safe? Is it natural?’ Those things are what we want for our own families."

Biokleen has always worked to minimize packaging waste, and the recent trend toward 2x and 4x concentrated cleaners is nothing new to the Rimer family. “This is something we started doing over 20 years ago to reduce waste and create more value for the consumer.”

Everyone seems to have a story about the time Biokleen’s Bac-Out saved them from stains and odors. What's yours?

Photography by Ha Lam.

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52 comments

Comments

Christine Peterson says …

I use BioKleen All-Purpose cleaner every day and love it. Would you please recommend one of your products to use in a steam carpet-cleaner machine and the ratio to water? Thank you.

Megan says …

@Christine and others, I recommend checking out the <a href="http://biokleenhome.com/" rel="nofollow">Biokleen website</a> for information about their range of products. I see they do have a carpet shampoo listed in Household Cleaners - their customer service should be able to help!

Sandra Shimazu says …

I'm so glad for your non-toxic approach to cleaning!! I'm looking for a mildew stain remover--I've tried Bac-out, but it doesn't remove those stubborn stains. What product of yours do you suggest? Thank you!

George Mossey says …

I love your products. I use them in my house daily. I really love how great the work.

Lauren says …

I first discovered Biokleen when the store was out of my regular "green" cleaner. It turns out the Bac-Out Stain &amp; Odor Eliminater is even better than any other cleaner I've ever tried on my carpet! (And it smells really nice too, NOT like chemicals.) I have light gray carpets and a cat who has frequent hairballs - so you can imagine how often I'm cleaning. I highly recommend it and all other Biokleen products! I've of course started trying more and more of their selection. Thanks to them for creating such a great line of products I can trust.

Sarah says …

I love BioKleen, too. I wish my local Whole Foods (D.C.) still carried their products so I wouldn't have to order them online.

Vonnie says …

Love all your products! I used the simply all purpose cleaner and glass cleaner in my car this last weekend and no nasty chemical smells. Yeah! The all purpose cleaner took out some stains on both of my visors. I wasn't expecting that :) Thanks for the wonderful products!

melanie says …

Biokleen's Bac-Out has been a must for cloth diapers, potty-training and bed wetting accidents. Thanks so much!

kari says …

I LOVE the Bac-Out Stain &amp; Odor Eliminator. I have a puppy that has had a few accidents on our carpet, and *nothing* I've tried eliminates the odor like Bac-Out. It's the best. If only it came in gallon sizes. :)

Sue says …

I absolutely *love* Biokleen. I had a lot of disappointment with "green" cleaning products over the years, but once I found Biokleen I was thrilled. I probably use almost the entire product line. Love the dishwasher powder and the laundry detergent and the unscented dishwashing liquid the best. And I was so excited to find that Biokleen had a soap for carpet cleaners - I had to stop using my Bissell because of the perfume/chemical stench of the products, but once I found Biokleen's product I was able to start using it again. Plus it works great!

Lori says …

I love Bac Out and have been using it for all my stain needs since cloth diapering my son (who is now potty trained)over three years ago.

Tracey Rollsion says …

I've been so happy to find Biokleen! We recently adopted a very smart but abused dog, and she had not been housebroken because she had been kept in a shed. She also would submissive-pee (common in previously-abused dogs). Biokleen's Bac-Out has been a big part of her housetraining process. Not only does it take care of the odor, but our dog has learned to associate the smell of Bac-Out as an indication that that is *not* a place for her to squat. She will never pee in that area again!

Tanisha says …

&lt;3

Raychel Mueller says …

I LOVE Biokleen products! They are by far the best working products I've tried :) I love that it is local too, I drive past the warehouse building every week!

Kristina says …

I have recently began switching to all natural products with natural bacteria killing properties, havent tried the biokleen line yet, but i would love to!

Klb02155 says …

Every time my cleaners would clean my home, I always felt like I needed to air out the apartment after they left. I found this an odd thing to do since my home was clean. I could not stand the concentrated chemical smell and knew I had to find another way. Biokleen is awesome. I use the products for my dishes, laundry and home. I love how clean and fresh everything is. To top it off I love how economical Biokleen is. I have used many different cleaning detergents from unnatural to natural and Biokleen is my best!

Carissa says …

I started using Bac-Out for my cloth diapers and I love it! I have found it works well for ANY organic stains in my laundry! And I really like the smell and fact that it is all natural!!!

Melinda Krupicka says …

Bac-Out is by far our families favorite BioKleen product! Our furry family members get sick tummy's sometimes that end up on our carpets, but Bac-Out removes the stains quickly! And the best part is we don't have to worry about using toxic chemicals; great for all family members furry and non-furry! We also use Bac-Out for nasty laundry situations or to just freshen a load with BioKleen's liquid laundry detergent. We love BioKleen!

Jennifer says …

I started out using the Laundry detergent - my bottles last forever b/c you don't need that much for a load!! Then started using the dishwasher detergent, again, lasts forever b/c you only use a small amount!! With a toddler, two dogs &amp; a baby due in June, I think it is time to try the Bac-out!! Kudos to Biokleen!!

Josh donnell says …

I love you guys! I use all of yall products. And i mean all:). Yall are the best. I will mot use anyone but biokleen.

Craig Murphy says …

thank you for all you do!!

veronica says …

this is the only thing that works for our cloth diaper's, the only thing. Thank you for making something that works and is earth friendly.

Tamblia Gastineau says …

I have a Flat Coated Retriever who loves to play in water. She also has a dog door and I can't count the number of times I've come home &amp; the couch has been soaking wet from her laying on it. Biokleen thanks so much for the laundry soap &amp; the lavendar scent Bac-Out, it's saved my couch from smelling like wet dog more than once.

Deirdre Sissons says …

I was absolutely thrilled to find Biokleen! I had been looking for something safe for my children and our household. I use Bac-Out for our gDiapers and any 'yuck' laundry, along with the HE liquid detergent. I can hardly believe I used to use those other detergents and fabric softeners! I also use the fabric freshened with the lemon &amp; thyme. It smells so good! And everyone loves when I clean the bathrooms. The lavender sent from the cleaner and the mint smell from the soy toilet bowl cleaner make it smell so fresh! I could rave about Biokleen even more, but I believe my mini novel should get the point across nicely. ;-) Thank you for making exactly what I needed for my family, and for the world I am leaving behind for my children.

Lisa Parrish says …

I go out of my way to buy Biokleen. I use BacOut to keep odor and discoloration out of my dress shirts' armpits. I love the all-purpose cleaner for cleaning the granite counters and the wood floors. It really is amazing how little cleans so effectively.

Karen Anspach says …

My family LOVES Biokleen. I can't even tell you how many times bac-out has came in handy for the everyday spills and accidents that all families have. One of my all time favorite products is their laundry detergent, It seems as though the big container is never ending cause you only have to use a tiny amount! The best thing is that all their products are environmentally friendly and don't have that harsh chemical smell that cleaners have.

Martha Highfill says …

Thank you for your product and God bless your company. It means so much to me that you are cruelty free and not tested on animals. Please try to get in the Jackson, Tennessee area, can not find your products in my area of West Tennessee and I have to drive two and a half hours to Memphis and Nashville, thank you, Martha Highfill

Lynne MacDonald says …

LOVE Biokleen. I use their liquid laundry soap, in my HE machine and I love that they have a cold water formula. I recently started using their Lemon-Thyme dishwashing liguid, it smells wonderful, like I squeezed fresh lemons in my sink!

Sarah says …

We love you Biokleen floor cleaner...can't get enough of it, does a fantastic job on all kinds of floors..Love it...!! Thanks for making the best product/s around... Sarah

Sheryl says …

I started with purchasing Bac-Out for my daughter to encourage her house cleaning habits. I really liked it and since I have graduated to loving ALL your products! Thank you for caring and bringing consumers the non-toxic products we should all be using!

Andrea says …

We have used bac-out for a few years now after our son was born and it is an amazing product. It prompted us to try all of your other products, which we love also. but bac-out is our go to cleaner and we love the lime smell. LOVE LOVE LOVE this product. And I have gotten many family members and friends addicted to it as well.

Kerri says …

Love Bac-Out and Biokleen Laundry detergent. It gets out everything!

Anna B. says …

Love love love this wonderful company. I have never read the backround/hisyory of it. Makes me love it even more now :) Im currently using bac-out, laundry detergent (liquid), and the all purpose! I've been using the bac-out on my cloth diapers for a year now. I either soak them with some of this, spray, or prewash. I even use it in some of my regular loads of laundry for prewashes. I just bought the liquid laundry detergent on Monday used it and love it! I bought it for wadhing my cloth diapers. Dont think ill never not use it again for them. And then the all purpose cleaner I use multiple times a day. Im always ranting and raving that my friends and family have made a switch! Im especially excited for on of my girlfriends to start using some of yhem, cause shes going to start CDing this weekend! Thank you so much for all of these wonderful products that i love oh so much!

Christina Connors says …

Awesome, I didn't know Biokleen originated in Vancouver, WA! That's where I am! My husband and I do what we can to support local business and you can't get more local than that. We use Biokleen laundry detergent and household cleaners and nothing makes me more happy to know that I can wash my 2 year old's clothes and clean my house when he is around without having to worry about toxins. Peace of mind. Not only that but the products work well enough to clean all the messes of my toddler!

April Johnson says …

I have ridiculous chemical allergies. I tried the BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner from a local Co-op first. Fell in love, so moved along to Laundry Liquid &amp; Dishwash Liquid, followed by Bac-Out &amp; Drain Care. I've, of course, had no troubles with my chemical allergies and these products! I am happy with each product and look forward to trying more in the BioKleen line!! (Happy to see Whole Foods is carrying some, but not all, of my favorite BioKleen products too!:)

Laura says …

I LOVE Bac-Out, but unfortunately, you do not sell it in either of your Philadelphia stores. Please consider stocking this product nation-wide! There are plenty of crunchy cloth-diaper loving mamas in Philly, like me, who would buy it!

Merrie Haynes-Hanson says …

We're a chock-full-of-dogs'n'Bac-out cabin! in comments above noticed some have used Biokleen products in cleaning machines. ...can the Biokleen for carpet care be used with machines like the 'rug doctor'? Has anyone had good results or know which Biokleen product to try with these machines? The chemicals in those cleaners are nasty! Thanks! YAY BIOKLEEN!

Joeynumber41 says …

I love the laundry detergent. I have been using the same bottle of liquid for 6 months and have only used a little over half! The dishwasher detergent is great, too. No rinsing of dishes needed! They always come out clean! ( I haven't used Bac-out.)

LuAnna says …

We have been using your dishwasher and dish soap and Bac Out on our cloth diapers. Due to some problems (ammonia stink )with our cloth diapers I decided to try your laundry soap. I'm loving it ! My diapers and clothes and never smelled or looked cleaner. I'm slowly changing all my household products over to Biokleen

Sarah S says …

My family loves using your products. We love that there are no harmful toxins. Bac-Out work great on getting the stink out of cloth diapers! Just placed an order for the dishwasher powder, I can't wait to get it!

Charlotte Butler says …

I absolutely love Biokleen products! We use Bac-Out on our cloth diapers, and I can't wait to try out other cleaning products (including the drain cleaner - our kitchen seriously needs it!). They all smell great, and I love knowing that they come from a green, family-owned company!

Erin says …

I love Biokleen Bac-Out for my cloth diaper laundering. I also love that Biokleen products are made in the city where I live. You can't get more local than that. :)

Larry M. says …

I absolutely love Biokleen. We can't believe how good Bac-out smells and that it's non-toxic. We've gotten rid of all our "bad" cleaners and are only using yours!

Rebecca says …

I use Bac Out on my son's cloth diapers and it is the best thing I have found....love this product.

Vanessa says …

We love Bac-Out in our home. We first started using it to clean our cloth diapers, and other smelly messes created by sick toddlers. We recently shared the Bac-Out love with my sister. She was visiting our Northern Virginia home and borught her diry clothes to wash so she didn't have to pay to use her apartment communal washers. She was complaining about her workout clothes smelling even after washing. I said - try this(Bac-Out). It worked so great she's been singing the praises of Bac-out to all her Yogi buddies. She even told me she sent a message to a blogger who's solution to stinky workout clothes was to put a dryer sheet in her gym bag!

Adele Harth says …

I love all the products, so far, and I also really like the quality of the spray botles--I can see that they will last a long time, and they are comfortable to use. I feel comfortable usi g these products in a home with 3 cats-thank you!

Krista says …

I use multiple products from Biokleen. The one that has saved the day in our house is the dishwashing powder. We moved to a new apartment with a one-rack drawer-style dishwasher (NYC, space is tight). Soon I heard complaints from neighbors in the building that they hadn't been able to find any detergent that worked well in our special dishwashers. Each one either deposited detergent all over dishes or just didn't clean. What a surprise! I let the neighbors know that we've been using Biokleen with no problems whatsoever. No we are all Biokleen fans!

monica says …

I recently went to Whole Foods in Fairfax, Va; and I could not find any. :( I love that for my diapers since the weather isn't sunny enough and I live on a top floor apartment, so sunning my diapers is a no go.

Dina says …

I had a van that I had given up on smelling good. My untrained kitten had used several areas in the large camper type van as a kitty litter, urinating and defecating. It was terrible! I didn't know what to do. I read the label on Bac-Out, and decided that it might just help. I had already tried to clean with other products, but it still stunk! So, I doused all the carpeted areas in the van and had to go away for a week. It was sealed up for a week and sitting in the California sun. I was dreading going back to open the van up, and especially embarrassed because I had a friend with me who was going to have to smell the stink. I cringed as I unlocked the door, expecting a mighty wiff. But--nothing! What? Could it be? It actually smelled GOOD in the van! I really started to inhale now, as I got in. Yes, the odor was gone and it smelled pleasant in the vehicle. I'm a customer for life! Thanks so much!

Jennifer says …

I use these products all over my house, especially on my carpeting floors. I've got over a dozen rescued cats, two very large dogs, and white carpeting. Need I say more? These wonderfully effective products are cruelty free and safe to use. Thank you!

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