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May 192009

From Green Right Now Reports

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Biokleen has released three new eco-sensitive, consumer products that compete head-to-head with conventional-brand soaps and sprays.

The new products extend the company’s “Bac-Out” and include a floor cleaner, a bathroom cleaner and a “freshener”.

Bac-Out Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner uses Biokleen’s trademark enzymes to clean tile, stone, vinyl and most wood floors. With lime and citrus oil extracts, this convenient cleaner leaves a fresh scent and uses no harsh or floor-stripping chemicals.

Bac-Out Fresh is a fabric “refresher” that can eliminate odors on pet beds, curtains, linens and in cars. It uses Biokleen’s proprietary enzymes to “digest” odor-causing dirt and bacteria. Bac-out Fresh is designed to compete with the ubiquitous Febreeze, but uses natural lavender or lemon and thyme oils instead of artificial fragrances.

Both products, along with a third, Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner, rely on vegetable-based surfactants and use no dyes or preservatives.

We tested Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner against some competing natural cleansers that use hydrogen peroxide. The Bac-Out and the hydrogen peroxide cleaners both loosened dirt, mold and mildew, making it easy to brush away.

The Bac-Out Floor Cleaner also did a stand-up job. We tried it on polyurethane-coated wood floors, which can be finicky, and were rewarded with a clean sheen.

Of the three new Biokleen consumer products, one can probably live without the freshener. Too bad. It’s the most fun, and could be justified as aroma-therapy for the cleaning person (moi). A test of both the lavender and lemon-thyme varieties suggests that pet hideaways, closets, athletic gear and musty linens are indeed transformed by a Bac-Out Fresh treatment. If lavender linens and lemony lavatories perk you up, this might have a place in your cleaning caddy.

Our criticism with the Bac-Out Fresh: We’d like to see it in a bigger bottle, or a larger container that could be sold as a refill option if the product takes off.

To its credit, though, water is the last ingredient on the Bac-Out Fresh labels, indicating that these solutions are not diluted.

Biokleen makes only concentrated products, a policy that helps keep the company’s carbon footprint low, says vice president of sales and marketing, Cindy Rimer.

“We don’t just make one or two concentrated products, everything we make is concentrated. So we’re saving waste in containers and shipping. We don’t use water as a filler,” says Rimer, who has been promoting the family-grown Vancouver, Wash., company, to raise awareness about green cleaners and all that Biokleen does to help the environment.

Foremost, of course, Biokleen provides consumers with green, biodegradable cleaners. Cleaning with these green products is just as important as driving a hybrid car and reducing home energy use, Rimer says, “because everything we use in our home goes out the drain and into the water and the air and out into our environment.”

Cleaning with natural products also removes toxic substances, such as caustic bleaches and disinfectants, and their fumes from the the indoor air.

But green cleaning doesn’t mean second-rate quality. Biokleen’s enzyme technology, for instance, uses microbes to consume dirt, working as well, if not better than conventional brand cleaners, Rimer says. The Bac-Out floor cleaner, “actually gets in there and will digest, say in your kitchen, excess food particles, grease, dirt and odors,” says Rimer, whose father Jim Rimer started the company in the 1980s, initially making commercial-grade natural cleaners. Rimer’s husband, Barry Firth, is the company’s general manager.

Behind the scenes, Biokleen (motto: Tough on Dirt, Gentle on the Earth) follows a strict regimen that keeps solid and water waste to a minimum. It rinses and reuses water needed for production and does not discharge chemicals into area waterways. For its efforts, it has won the Washington state Governor’s Award for waste prevention.

Biokleen’s household and industrial cleaning products are developed and manufactured in the U.S., and are available in more than 1,500 retail outlets and at many online retailers, including and