About us

The vanBaerle Group is a Swiss-based, internationally operating company with a long tradition. We develop, produce and distribute silicates, which are used as additives or finished products in a wide variety of applications. Our silicates are used in the welding, paint and construction industries, among others. They are also used in agriculture, concrete coating and fire protection. 


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vanBaerle Group

vanBaerle's history goes back to 1888 when the company founders opened a soap factory. The company moved to its present headquarters in Münchenstein, south of Basel, as early as 1898. While remaining firmly rooted in north-western Switzerland, the vanBaerle Group has evolved into a dynamic and innovative enterprise. It now operates subsidiaries in Taiwan, Singapore and France. Our products and services are sold in over 50 countries across Europe, America and Asia. An approx. 50-strong workforce is the foundation of our success.

We focus on innovation and individual solutions for our customers. In doing so, the protection of people and the environment is particularly important to us. We develop, produce and sell silicates that we customize for our customers. They are used as additives and finished products in a wide variety of industrial sectors.






vanBaerle France S.A.S.

Set up in 2008, our French subsidiary, vanBaerle France S.A.S., in Mulhouse represents the vanBaerle Group in the European Union.



vanBaerle Silicates (S) Pte Ltd, Singapore

vanBaerle has been represented in Asia by its subsidiary vanBaerle Silicates (S) Pte Ltd since 10 August 2000. A four-strong team based in Singapore works to strengthen vanBaerle's presence in the Asian market. 

vanBaerle Silicates Taiwan Co Ltd, Taichung

Our subsidiary vanBaerle Silicates Taiwan Co Ltd was founded in 2012. Five years later, on 19 April 2017, we opened our new silicate plant in the Taiwanese port of Taichung. The 5,250m2 site is currently run by nine employees working in the laboratory and production. From its Taichung base, the vanBaerle subsidiary has now been supplying the Asian market with Swiss-quality silicates since autumn 2017.

Values & Principles

Environmental protection

We give proper consideration to the environment. We use eco-friendly technologies and production equipment. We are committed to the steady improvement of our environmental performance and the avoidance of unnecessary environmental impacts. 


Our employees are the backbone of our company. We promote their sense of personal responsibility and safety awareness. We partner them in creating a safe and trusting working environment in which they can develop and thrive.


We communicate openly and honestly with the authorities and the general public, and respect their interests.
Within our company, we encourage an open "speak-up" culture.


We define quality as the sum total of all demands placed by our customers on our products and services. We honour, pursue and celebrate quality, as the benchmark that we set ourselves over the entire value chain. Our quality management system is instrumental in achieving steady improvements.

Better. For you.

"We want to be better, better than the others, and each day better than the day before. Apart from striving to meet our customers' needs, we gear all our activities to the well-being of people, society and the environment." 

Daniel Schenk
CEO and owner vanBaerle Group

Customer satisfaction

We view our customers and suppliers as our partners. Our focus is on meeting customer needs. Their feedback helps us to continuously improve our services and processes. Customer satisfaction is the yardstick by which we measure ourselves.


After more than 130 years of successful corporate history, during which we have relied on two business units, a new era begins for vanBaerle on December 2, 2020. We sell our Swiss hygiene business to Ecolab and will focus fully on the silicates business in the future.

At the end of October 2019, vanBaerle’s gradual move to Schweizerhalle begins. vanBaerle Management AG and large parts of vanBaerle Hygiene AG move into office premises in Getec.Park Swiss. vanBaerle AG and the warehouse and laboratory of vanBaerle Hygiene AG will follow after the completion of the new building.

On May 16th, 2018, the location of the new site of our headquarters is made public. After 120 years of a successful corporate history in Münchenstein, we will move to Schweizerhalle. Our new building will be constructed on the Getec Park Swiss site. 

On 19 April 2017, vanBaerle opens a new silicate plant in the Taiwanese port of Taichung. The 5,250m2 site is currently run by nine employees working in the laboratory and production. Our subsidiary vanBaerle Silicates Taiwan uses the Taichung site as a base to serve the Asian market.

Through the creation of a pure holding company, with effect from 30 June 2017, our legal form is adapted in line with the Group's business structure. The Hygiene business was spun off into a new, independent company, vanBaerle Hygiene AG. The Silicates business remains within vanBaerle AG, which, at some point in the future, will be renamed vanBaerle Silicates AG. All support functions for the whole vanBaerle Group are united in another new company, vanBaerle Management AG.

In August 2017, a new subsidiary, vanBaerle Swiss Hygiene GmbH, is established in Lörrach, Germany.

On 30 March 2016, the foundation stone is laid for our new silicate plant in Taichung, Taiwan. This project will enable us to consolidate the successful and longstanding presence of our silicate products in the Asian market. Local production will allow us to respond more flexibly to customer requirements while eliminating long, environmentally harmful transportation routes.

The structures and processes which have evolved over a century are no longer consistent with the demands of an agile, fast-thinking business management style. vanBaerle sells the 20,000m2 company site at Münchenstein to Rietpark Immobilien AG. The company will eventually move to a new site, also to be located in north-western Switzerland, that is capable of meeting its growing demands. The existing vanBaerle site will be repurposed and redeveloped under the aegis of real estate company Halter AG. 

vanBaerle celebrates its 125th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the employees at the Münchenstein site shoot a lip dub video. The anniversary celebration is attended by the entire workforce. 

Establishment of subsidiary, vanBaerle Silicates Taiwan Co Ltd, in Taipei. The vanBaerle Group acquires a plot of land in Taichung, Taiwan, for the purpose of building a dissolving plant. 

Establishment of subsidiary, vanBaerle Swiss Hygiene s.r.o., in Pardubice, Czech Republic. 

The vanBaerle Group invests in the refurbishment of the silicate melting furnace in Münchenstein. The new installation cuts energy consumption by around 10% and is more reliable under permanent operating conditions. 

vanBaerle, in partnership with the Czech KOMA Group, sets up vanBaerle VS s.r.o. The joint venture is responsible for selling selected silicate products from the portfolios of both partners to companies in Austria and an adjoining region extending up to Russia.

vanBaerle acquires the professional hygiene business unit of Held AG at a cost of some CHF 1.2 million. 

The Silicates business unit relaunches the Silacot and Silacoll fire protection product lines.

The vanBaerle Group revamps its corporate design.

The melting furnace for potassium silicate glass at the Münchenstein site comes back into operation.

The General Assembly decides to change the company name from van Baerle & Cie AG to vanBaerle AG.

vanBaerle sets up a subsidiary, vanBaerle France S.A.S., in Mulhouse, France. This will represent the vanBaerle Group in the European Union and ensure compliance with the EU Chemicals Regulation (now better known as REACH). 

In response to the concentration trends within the European paper industry, vanBaerle decides to sell its paper chemicals division to the Finnish company Kemira AG. The business area includes paper sizes and polymers for paper and cardboard manufacture, with annual sales totalling around CHF 5 million. 


On 10 August 2000, vanBaerle strengthens its Asian presence by setting up a subsidiary, vanBaerle Silicates (S) Pte Ltd, in Singapore.

vanBaerle adds the innovative Ambiance product line to its hygiene range. The key feature of the Ambiance products is their use of microorganisms to break down the unwanted organic materials.  

vanBaerle acquires the professional hygiene business of MIFA, a Migros Group subsidiary, at a cost of CHF 4 million.

Daniel Schenk succeeds previous major shareholder Rolf Eberenz as new major shareholder and Delegate of the Board of Directors.

The last members of the van Baerle family leave the company. 

On 20 November 1990, vanBaerle receives the Basel Innovation Prize for its development of the RESOPLAN paper sizing process. The award is presented by councillors Feldges (Canton of Basel-Stadt) and Spitteler (Canton of Baselland).

The company celebrates its centenary under the banner "Experience for the Future". 

vanBaerle starts up a new silicate production facility and builds a glass melting plant.

vanBaerle successfully expands its paper chemicals business and starts production of styrene maleic anhydride copolymers (SMAC) as the basis for its specialty surface paper sizing products.

The start of paper chemicals production marks the definitive transition from the old vanBaerle "soap factory" to a modern chemicals-sector company.

The production of Ehasol resin size paves the way for the creation of the paper chemicals division.

With RELAVIT/RELAXIN, vanBaerle becomes one of the first Swiss manufacturers to market automatic dishwashing products. 

Even before the war, a shift was emerging in vanBaerle's customer structure (up to then, household consumables). The advent of the automatic washing machine triggers a gradual decline in the domestic use of soap. It is superseded by washing powders, in which soap is partly replaced by so-called surfactants (manufactured by large chemical corporations). vanBaerle adapts to this development in 1945 by implementing various restructuring measures: the focus of manufacturing is shifted to products that cater for major buyers and bulk consumers. Light and heavy industry, and later agriculture, are targeted as the main source of customers. This lays the foundation for an expansion of trading activities and the manufacture of new specialty products for specific industries. vanBaerle continues to prioritize water glass along with all water-glass-based products.

In 1943, the company changes its legal form from a Kommanditgesellschaft (limited partnership) to an Aktiengesellschaft (joint-stock company). Felix van Baerle Snr retires after 45 years in the company. His son, Felix van Baerle Jnr, assumes the position of commercial and Dr. Alexander van Baerle that of technical manager. Felix van Baerle Snr continues to act as Chairman of the Board of Directors until his death in 1949.

In the course of the war years up to 1945, supply shortages occur for certain products: by official order, the fat content of soap products has to be reduced by approx. 20%. Ration coupons for soap and other crucial government measures make life very hard for the workforce, whose numbers have already shrunk due to military service drafting. The supply of water glass, imported from abroad since 1925, ceases from one day to the next. This prompts vanBaerle to build a modern electric furnace, which – though originally planned only as a temporary solution for the war years – remains in operation until well into the 1960s.

The company survives the Great Depression of the early 1930s relatively unscathed. It expands its activities: the trade in chemicals, previously limited to the raw materials for soap manufacture, is extended to include other items. Linseed oil is now used not only in the production of soft soaps, but also to make other products such as varnishes for the protection of paintings. Cleaning powder and washing soda are manufactured in bulk while hard (curd) soap gains increasing significance.

Particular priority is given to water glass: vanBaerle makes every effort to improve the standard of this product and supply each customer with the quality that best suits its purposes.

The company starts manufacturing sodium metasilicate, a new product at that time, which is set to become increasingly important. 




Felix van Baerle, second son of the company owner, joins his brother Alexander in the family business.




The years after the First World War are anything but easy for vanBaerle. The emergence of foreign competition forces the company to shut down its water glass melting furnace and limit itself to processing externally purchased water glass. The raw materials now available on the market once again allow the supply of quality products. vanBaerle concentrates on the manufacture of a premium-grade soft soap.

Dr. Alexander van Baerle, chemist and son of the company owner, joins the company. 

The Swiss business community is completely unprepared for the First World War. The shock is so great that vanBaerle shuts down its factory for several weeks. Business then picks up again and vanBaerle builds two new water glass furnaces. The demand is so strong that water glass is often dispatched before it has fully cooled.

All other products, with the exception of BLITZBLANK, play only a secondary role. Raw material shortages force vanBaerle to fall back on substitute materials, with declining quality as the consequence.

Alexander van Baerle leaves the company so that he can fully devote himself to the paternal business in Worms, Germany. Now the sole owner, Felix van Baerle continues to run the business as a Kommanditgesellschaft (limited partnership) under the name "van Baerle & Cie.".

vanBaerle builds Switzerland's first water glass furnace. Up to this time, all molten water glass has been supplied by the Worms factory for further processing (dissolution) in Münchenstein. 

The urban project to move Basel's Badische Bahnhof railway station to its present location forces the company to abandon its Lange Erlen site. The plant is rebuilt in Münchenstein, south of Basel.

The young company manufactures soaps and chemical engineering products. Apart from soft soaps, vanBaerle produces washing powder, soda crystals and abrasive soap under the brand name "BLITZBLANK". While the genuine hard soaps are less in demand, so-called "dough soap" enjoys immense popularity.

In the engineering sector, vanBaerle mainly sells cleaning rags and mops that are washed with vanBaerle products. The company also operates a water glass dissolving plant. The lion's share of production is sold as an egg preservative.  

The Basel-based company becomes independent, operating under the name "Gebrüder van Baerle". With Eduard Wöllner having left the business, Alexander and Felix van Baerle are the company founders. 

Given the tremendous popularity of van Baerle & Wöllner products, particularly soft soap, in Switzerland, the proprietors decide to mark the company's 50th anniversary by opening a branch in Basel. The staff initially comprises 12 "workers", three "office clerks" and two "travelling salesmen".  

Vincenz van Baerle sets up a soft soap factory in Worms, Germany, which only a few years later starts to produce the recently invented material water glass. The "duality" of hygiene and silicate products, which has remained a hallmark of the company to the present day, can thus be traced back to the original business in Worms. When van Baerle's son-in-law Eduard Wöllner joins the company, its name is changed to "van Baerle & Wöllner".







































Environment & Sustainability



The raw materials used by vanBaerle occur naturally. The production and use of our silicates thus pose no risk for humankind or the environment. We are constantly unlocking new applications for our products that allow the replacement of problematic materials by eco-friendly silicates. At the same time, we are continuously optimizing our manufacturing processes to cut water and energy consumption.

GREEN philosophy

Our commitment to environmental protection and sustainability is not confined to our products, but also finds expression in our corporate philosophy. We ensure that our employees have the benefit of a pleasant, open and appreciative working environment. We work together in integrating eco-friendly practices in our daily routine. In selecting our partners, we likewise give precedence to sustainably operating companies. Our GREEN philosophy permeates all aspects of our company and is something that we live, day in day out. 


We place particular emphasis on implementing energy-efficient procurement and manufacturing processes. Wherever possible, we use renewable raw materials in conjunction with eco-friendly technologies.

Energy use

To date, we have cut our annual carbon emissions by 800 tonnes (i.e. by nearly half), thereby far exceeding our pledged target under the Kyoto Protocol. Despite an increase in manufacturing output, we have also halved our water consumption over the last few years. vanBaerle is a member of the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW).

Quality & Safety



Quality is our greatest asset. We exercise the utmost care in meeting our customers' requirements. Our internal workshops and training courses help to ensure that quality consciousness informs the actions of our employees at all times.


Occupational safety is a key priority at vanBaerle. The company takes active measures to promote safety awareness among employees. Moreover, all necessary safeguards are put in place to minimize working risks. Our safety data sheets (Link) provide customers with all the information needed for the safe handling of our products. We train our customers' staff and assist them in ensuring the safe transportation, storage, application and disposal of our products.

Crisis management group

Despite its extensive safety precautions, vanBaerle is determined to be prepared for all eventualities. This resulted in the creation, in 2000, of the company's own crisis management group. The 12-strong team is specially trained to respond rapidly in case of emergencies. The crisis management group undergoes ten drills per year, also in collaboration with the local Münchenstein fire service.



The continuous pursuit of improvement is part and parcel of vanBaerle's identity. This applies not only to its products and services, but also to the company as a whole. Having recognized the direction that business is taking, we intend to respond even more effectively to the demands of a globalized, digitized world. 

The systematic exploitation of the opportunities presented by our digital environment will enable us to organize the timing, location and scope of our work processes much more flexibly. We are looking to intensify communication with customers, shorten response times and speed up our processes. This will be of benefit to everyone – our customers, our partners and our employees.


Executive Board


Daniel Schenk

Chief Executive Officer vanBaerle Group

Board of Directors


Daniel Schenk

Owner and CEO, vanBaerle Group

Bettina Waldmann

Member of the Board of Directors, Solicitor

Urs Berger

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mobiliar insurance group


vanBaerle operates a comprehensive management system that controls the company's activities in terms of quality, safety and the environment. The ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications ensure that the system complies with standard regulations and delivers verifiable results. The company was last recertified in August 2017 by SQS. Both certificates were renewed for another three years. 

ISO 9001 / 14001