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Home  > Our History

Our History

A History of Cleenol

Cleenol is an independent private family owned and run company which can trace its roots back to the early 1700s. In those days the Foster family ran a timber business in the West Midlands. When the canals were built they supplied timber for the lock gates and eventually the canal barges themselves. They became boat builders and then operated barges. When the coal industry decided to move coal by canal they became coal merchants.

The Shell Chemical CompanyThe company's chemical activities started during the Second World War. By then twin brothers ran the coal business from Birmingham. One of their customers was the Shell Chemical Company. Before the war housewives used soap flakes to do the washing up, or small blocks of soap suspended under the tap. Because the raw materials to manufacture soap were needed for the war effort, Shell was asked by the Government to produce an alternative. They developed the first washing up liquid called Teepol. Shell were interested to discover whether the product could be sold into the industrial market place. They asked the twin brothers to put Teepol on the back of their coal lorries and try and sell it to their customers.

Cleenol delivers throughout the UKIt was an instant success and after a short period of time the brothers decided to divide the business, one taking the coal and the other taking the detergent. That brother, Mr Neville Foster first sold Teepol in glass bottles, then bottled it himself, and eventually manufactured it under licence. A chemist was employed who formulated a range of complementary products and Cleenol was born.


From its early days in Birmingham Cleenol moved to Leamington Spa and eventually to Banbury in the early 1970s. By 1975 its market place grew from the Midlands to cover the entire country and in 1980's started to develop export sales to Europe, and then to the Middle East.  By 2000 Cleenol was exporting to over 40 different countries and the number keeps increasing as the quality of its products are recognzed worldwide.


In 1992 Cleenol was one of the first companies in its field to achieve the internationally recognized ISO9001 Quality Accreditation covering all aspects of its business followed by the ISO14001 Environmental Accreditation.


Cleenol’s Philosophy - We Perform as Well as Our Products

It has always been the company's philosophy to provide the best quality hygiene and cleaning products together with the best possible service for our customers.  It is not enough to manufacture and supply.  We believe it is our responsibility and duty to ensure that our customers are trained in the safe, efficient and economical use of our products.  We believe in the value and importance of the highest level of service to our customers.  This includes helping them choose the right products for the purpose, providing backup training materials, wallcharts and guides, helping them maintain the highest levels of health and safety, and being on hand when required to answer their needs.


To do this we believe in keeping control of as much of our operation as possible. Cleenol manufactures, stores, selects and delivers, and employs its own highly trained and skilled Sales and Service Team.


Cleenol believes that all our customers should be trained in the safe, efficient and economical use of its products. The Cleenol Sales and Service Team conduct training courses at customers’ premises or at our own training centre.   We are also developing a Cleenol Online Academy where training modules will be available online.



Cleenol’s Products

The company manufactures an extensive range of cleaning and hygiene products. In addition to chemical products under the Cleenol brand name, Cleenol manufactures for some of its customers under their own brand names and can also formulate products for specific requirements.


Cleenol also sells a range of ancillary products such as toilet tissue, disposable paper products, cloths, dusters, wipes, brushes, brooms, refuse sacks, etc. to enable the company to meet as many of its customers' cleaning requirements as possible.



Cleenol’s Customer Base

This website will give you an indication of the wide range of industry sectors that Cleenol supplies.  Cleenol does not supply the retail market.  Its products are formulated to industrial strength for the professional market.


Cleenol also supplies local authorities and government departments throughout the United Kingdom and overseas with products, together with wholesalers and resellers in a large variety of different market places.


Cleenol has been delivering cleaning products since the 1940s


To see our client testimonials, please click here