History of Ballistol
History of Ballistol

The History of Ballistol

Ballistol – a very special oil

Ballistol and its history

Whenever somewhere is written "universal", skepticism is appropriate as to whether the product is also suitable for one's own purpose. The Ballistol Universal oil, which has been produced in Germany since 1904 and has been used for more than 1.000 applications, has been convincing for generations and is still an insider tip – no matter if it is used for the care of skin, Animal hide or cars.

The invention of Ballistol

Historical bottle of Ballistol OilIn 1874, in Cologne, Friedrich Wilhelm Klever, a lawyer with entrepreneurial talents, founded Chemische Fabrik F.W. Klever. He started with the production of coal-based oils and fats, and soon acquired a mine in order to be independent from raw-material suppliers.

The company made a breakthrough at the turn of the century, when the German Imperial Army needed an all-round oil with very special properties: a multi-purpose oil that would be suitable for all the materials of a weapon – for cleaning, care, and conservation of the metal parts, wooden stocks, and leather straps. At the same time, it was to be used by soldiers as a wound oil for smaller injuries, chaps, and abrasions.

Such a multi-purpose oil was successfully developed in1904. The son of the company founder, Dr. Helmut Klever, who was at that time a chemistry lecturer at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, developed the special oil with all of the desired properties. The new multi-purpose oil was named &quod;Ballistol&quod;, from the word &quod;ballistic&quod; and the Latin &quod;oleum&quod;, meaning &quod;oil&quod;. From 1905, the Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil was used in the German Army and became increasingly well known as a &quod;miracle oil&quod; in the years afterwards, thanks to its surprising versatility.

In the following years, millions of consumers experimented with Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil and found more and more surprising new applications. After the Second World War, which only the branch factory in Leverkusen survived, the sites in Cologne and Krefeld were relinquished. In 1971, the young chemist Dr. Heinrich Zettler joined the company and from then on ran it as the managing director.

Dr. Heinrich Zettler recognised the potential of the BALLISTOL brand, and took over the company after the death of Jenny Klever in 1989, together with his wife Herta. They gradually developed it into a commercially healthy and globally operating brand manufacturer.

In 2006, Dr. Heinrich Zettler passed the company onto his sons Dr. Christian Zettler and Andreas Zettler, who now manage BALLISTOL GmbH.


Ballistol buildingBALLISTOL is a traditional family-owned company, the products of which have been manufactured in Germany for more than four generations and are now distributed all over the world. The core product Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil was originally developed as a wound and weapon oil for the German Imperial Army, and has been valued for many decades as a universally usable multi-purpose oil.

After the great success of Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil, the company was constantly expanded, production enlarged and the range successively broadened.

BALLISTOL now sells well above 80 items – from special oils, cleaning agents, and weapon-care products, to technical oils for production, workshops, and crafts, to care products and mosquito repellents for people and animals.

For BALLISTOL, traditional values of down-to-earthness and quality come first, securing valuable jobs in the production site Germany.

Brand Development

Historical pictures of Ballistol Oil

More information about Ballistol

A detailed description of the applications, properties and uses of Ballistol Ballistol can be found in the Ballistol Story.

Obtaining of Ballistol in the Ballistol-Shop

Ballistol and all other products of the company are available at the Ballistol Shop under www.Ballistol-Shop.de or in the Ballistol Store in Meerbusch.

Historical pictures of Ballistol on the company history