Back in the 1980s, Bio-D's founder Michael Barwell’s job was to clean and maintain commercial ships. It was tough work using industrial cleaning products for which heavy-duty safety equipment, including a respirator, had to be worn.

Michael was shocked to discover that many of the ingredients in the products he used at work could also be found in everyday household cleaners. It prompted him to look for naturally-derived alternatives that would clean safely and effectively without harming people or the environment, and in 1989, Bio-D was born.

Michael has since retired from the business with Lloyd Atkin taking over after working with the business since 1996. Lloyd has been part of the Bio-D story since 1996 and Bio-D remain committed to making cleaning products that don’t cost the earth in any sense.

That’s why they use only plant-based ingredients and because they don’t believe you should have to choose between the planet and your pocket, they work hard to make sure their range is affordable too.


Chemical plasticisers
Added to soaps to make them softer and easier to machine mould.

Traditionally used to preserve corpses, formaldehyde is used to prolong the life of many conventional products!

Glycerin or glycerine
Unless specifically stated that it is from a vegetable source, glycerin or glycerine will be obtained from the rendered carcasses of dead animals.

Sodium tallowate
Made from water, caustic soda and the rendered fat from dead animals.

Synthetic dyes
Make finished products more visually appealing.

Synthetic perfumes
Cheap substitutes for natural oils and essences.

Titanium dioxide
A colouring agent that enhances the opacity of products to make them look uniformly clearer. Causes pollution in water courses.

Benzisothiazolinone (BIT)
Commonly used in everyday household items from cleaning products to paint for its preservative and biocidal qualities, bit has been shown to lead to skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.

Commonly used to stabilise synthetic fragrances.

Used as water softeners and to improve cleaning, they can stimulate excessive growth of algae in the receiving waters. These algae often grow in such great numbers that the water becomes starved of oxygen, killing fish and plant life. This condition is known as eutrophication and exists in lake erie, north america. Lake erie is practically devoid of all marine life.

E.D.T.A. (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)
This is sometimes used as a substitute for, but also in addition to, phosphates. It is a sequestering agent that attracts heavy metals such as lead and mercury, both of which have known carcinogenic properties. These heavy metals can eventually find their way back into water supplies and are extremely difficult to remove completely.

Enzymes are present in all living organisms. They can and do cause severe skin irritations and asthma attacks. In the manufacturing process, enzymes can be genetically engineered and have been known to cause pulmonary hemorrhaging.

Optical brighteners
Used in laundry products to give an illusion of “whiteness”, they attach themselves to fabric to reflect “white light”. Clothes only appear cleaner. Optical brighteners are extremely difficult to biodegrade and can cause severe skin irritation. They can also cause mutations to microorganisms in receiving waters.

Yes, in some products you will find animal urea (derived from urine). It breaks down chemical bonds in proteins and is cheap and plentiful in supply.

The wax secreted in wool-bearing animals. Lanolin for cleaning products is often sourced from the cheapest grade sheep stock, often in less health than food grade or medical grade stock. Products containing lanolin are not suitable for vegans or those who have animal welfare high on their agenda.

Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)
The preservatives mi and mci are used in a wide range of shampoos, moisturisers and shower gels as well as make-up and baby wipes. But dermatologists warn people are being exposed to much higher doses than before, leading to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis where the skin becomes red and itchy and can sting and blister.

An animal triglyceride derived from beef fat. Tallow required for cleaning products is usually sourced from intensively farmed animals as it is the cheapest source. Products containing tallow are not suitable for vegans or those who have animal welfare high on their agenda.

Is a high production volume ingredient used as an antibacterial, often found in antibacterial liquid hand soaps. Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide and is known to be hazardous to humans including liver and inhalation toxicity, interferes with muscle function and may also alter hormone regulation.

Genetically or synthetically modified organisms are now being added to cleaning products, which replaces the requirement for the use of palm oil. There have been no independent safety tests to prove that these methods are safe on humans.

Chlorine bleaches
These are contained in conventional toilet cleaners, sanitisers, nappy powders, washing powders and dishwasher detergents. During the breakdown of these types of bleach, carcinogenic toxic substances are formed which are similar to the banned pesticide d.d.t.

Petroleum-derived additives
Most conventional household cleaners contain petroleum-derived additives and detergents. They often break down incompletely and contain toxic impurities that are highly irritant, cause allergic reactions and can endanger plant and animal life.

Bio-D Values Statement:
We make all our own products right here in the UK and we have completely traceability on all the ingredients we use so we know they are ethically and sustainably sourced.

Our uncompromising standards have been recognised by a number of awards over the years and we are proud to be endorsed by Cruelty Free International, The Vegan Society, and Allergy UK.

We’re also the only green cleaning company whose products meet the standards for commercial food preparation otherwise known as BSEN1276.

It doesn’t sound very exciting when you put it like that but it means that our products get to work in some pretty cool kitchens.

We really care about what goes into our products and recently, we made changes to the packaging they go into too.

We’ve always used minimal, recyclable packaging but we’ve now gone further and introduced containers made from 100 per cent recycled material across our range.

The recycled material is made from used plastic bottles that might otherwise have gone to landfill.

You might notice that this means our packaging has a slightly non-uniform shade that changes depending on the make-up of different plastics that go into the mix – a quirk that we love.

We also offer refill stations to keep waste to a minimum but if you’re not able to reuse our containers, the recycled packaging can once again be recycled.

We no longer want to witness the devastating sight of plastics clogging up our oceans and affecting our wildlife.

Neither will we stand by while harsh cleaning chemicals continue to pollute our rivers and seas and affect our natural environment.

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