a history of preservation and protection

1889 - The pioneering spirit

In April 1889, the merchants Rudolf Schülke and Julius Mayr met in downtown Hamburg to sign a contract that laid the foundation for the Schülke & Mayr company. They had already begun production of the first branded disinfectant, Lysol, but hardly anyone knew what disinfection actually meant and why it was so important. In the hot summer of 1892, another cholera epidemic broke out in the region and claimed many lives. Luckily, the epidemic was contained with the help of Lysol and many lives were saved. Lysol very quickly became a household name and the demand for it grew enormously worldwide. In March 1893, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg awarded the Schülke & Mayr company a gold-plated certificate of honor for its efforts during the epidemic.

1913 - Milestones in hygiene and disinfection

The first product, Lysol (1892), was followed by numerous other new products that set milestones in the company's history: Buraton, Primasept, Gigasept in the medical sector, and Grotan, Parmetol, Euxyl in the industrial sector are just a few groundbreaking products that were developed. After years of hard work, research and development, chlorinated phenols were patented as active ingredients in 1913. In the same year, this led to the introduction of the well-known disinfectant Sagrotan, which is still a synonym for hygiene and disinfection today.

1939-1945 - Years of danger and a new beginning

Like many industrial companies, Schülke & Mayr was asked by the state to set up production in "less dangerous places". Thus, temporary branch factories were set up in Brand, a small town in the Fichtelgebirge and in Wesel. Two things kept the company intact: the loyalty and skill of its employees and the luck that no bomb hit the production facilities. After the Second World War, Schülke & Mayr drew up a balance sheet: to compare and weigh debit and credit; with this they were able to obtain clarity about the future of the company. Externally, the company had survived the last 50 years and the wars well, but internally it had suffered many losses. Many of the company's former valuable employees were fallen or missing. The production facilities had largely survived the war well and there remained a demanding market for Schülke & Mayr products. The doctors’, clinics’ and sanatoriums’ trust in its products was unshakeable. Consumers continued to demand the products they had come to know and trust: Lysol, Sagrotan, Parmetol, Quartamon.

1972 - Rudolf Schülke Foundation

The Rudolf Schülke Foundation was established in 1972 in honor of the founder Rudolf Schülke. The aim is to promote research and development in the fields of hygiene and microbiology beyond the company's internal boundaries. Every two years, the foundation awards the highly endowed Hygiene Prize to outstanding scientists who have developed special solutions in the fields of hygiene, microbiology, preventive medicine and public health.

1988-2017 - Foundation of the first subsidiary and international growth


In 1988 Schülke & Mayr founded its first subsidiary in Austria, Schülke & Mayr Ges.m.b.H., based in Vienna.


Three years after the founding of the first subsidiary in Austria, Schülke France SARL based in Paris, France, was established.


The company continues to expand its international business and founds three further subsidiaries in 1995:
● Schülke & Mayr UK Ltd. in Rotherham, England
● Schülke & Mayr Benelux b.v. in Haarlem, Netherlands
● Schülke & Mayr Italia, s.r.l. in Milan, Italy


Schülke & Mayr GmbH founded schülke inc in the USA, with headquarters in Fairfield, NJ.

2001 & 2003

The acquisition of Simedsu Medical Supplies in Singapore and Malaysia marks the establishment of the subsidiaries S&M Malaysia and S&M Singapore. This was an important step for Schülke & Mayr to expand its position in the Asian market, which is important for the company. Only two years later, the S&M Shanghai Representative Office opens.


schülke takes over the Polish distributor Higiena. From now on, the new subsidiary operates under the name Schulke Polska Sp. Z.o.o.


This year, the subsidiary Schülke India Pvt. Ltd. becomes part of the growing schülke family.


schülke acquires shares of Chemoxal, including the French company Bioxal.


2015 was an important year for the company, as it founded several international subsidiaries at the same time, thus constantly advancing its international development.
● Schulke Australia Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia
● Schulke New Zealand Limited in Auckland, New Zealand
● Schulke SK, s.r.o. in Priwitz, Slovakia
● Schulke CZ, s.r.o. in Oderberg, Czech Republic

schülke expands in South America and takes over the Brazilian hygiene product manufacturer Vic Pharma. With more than 130 employees, Vic Pharma is the second largest independent supplier on the Brazilian hygiene market. The hygiene product manufacturer offers a wide range of products for the disinfection of surfaces, instruments and medical devices as well as antiseptic solutions for pre- and postoperative treatment. With this acquisition, schülke is also expanding its position in the South American hygiene market for the first time.


In 2017 schülke founds its subsidiary Schülke Kimya Tic in Turkey. Ltd. based in Istanbul.

1989 - 100 years Schülke & Mayr

Schülke & Mayr celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1989 - time to take stock of past accomplishments and take a look into the future: numerous patents, worldwide distribution of the products and more than 500 employees. Schülke & Mayr had further consolidated its core competence, a loyal customer base and strives for continuous development through innovation.


1989 - Revolutionization of skin disinfection

Schülke & Mayr launches the antiseptic Neo-Kodan. The company is revolutionizing skin disinfection with the basis of the high-performance active ingredient combination Octeniderm, which contains the innovative and patented active ingredient Octenidine.

1990 - “Our octenisept®

Another year, another success: Schülke & Mayr launched octenisept® on the market. A novelty on the market for mucosal antiseptics, octenisept® convinces experts and consumers with its rapid onset of action and above-average duration of action. This is just the beginning of a long success story.


1996 - Air Liquide takes over Schülke & Mayr

1996, the French group Air Liquide acquires Schülke & Mayr GmbH. Today Schülke & Mayr is still a 100% subsidiary of Air Liquide. The French group offered Schülke & Mayr the chance of a new beginning, consistency and a strong partner for the future.

2007 - New Brand Identity

For the third time in the company's 130-year history, the brand identity of the company is redefined. This time not only the logo will be changed, but also the official company name: Schülke & Mayr will become schülke - the plus of pure performance. The "plus" becomes a trademark and an important component of the new logo.


2019 - 130th company anniversary

In April 2019, schülke celebrated its 130th anniversary. The company survived epidemics, wars and many business changes and always emerged stronger from them. Our mission "We protect lives worldwide" was already the vision of Rudolf Schülke and Julius Mayr for their company and their products. 130 years later, a small North German company has grown into an international corporation.

2020 - EQT partners with schülke

EQT, a global investment organization, becomes a new shareholder and partner of schülke. Through cooperation with EQT, schülke will shape its continuous development and growth based on mutual and sustainable values. Under the direction of CEO Christian Last, schülke will commence the next phase of growth and innovation in collaboration with EQT.