Businessman Otto Layer acquired the company Schwarzwälder & Sohn in Schluchtern, which produced well-known at that time soap brand „Schwarzwaldmädel“. He established the Otto Layer Soap and Detergents Factory in the Entengasse in Schluchtern. To product range belonged first of all soap agents. The wife of Otto Layer Martha managed the company during the World War II till 1951 when Otto Layer returned from war captivity. After disturbances of the war the product range was completed with floor waxes and solvent-based cleaners.

  • Otto Hahn became the first scientist to split uranium atom
  • Konrad Zuse invented the calculating machine Z1
  • The brothers Biro developed the first ball pen


The son of Otto Layer degreed engineer Gerhard joined the company. The range was step by step completed with new products. Hand wash pastes, wash coating and further cleaning agents were produced and marketed to industrial companies and municipalities.

  • The Mont Blanc tunnel was opened
  • The computer language BASIC was invented
  • A. Leonov was the first man to walk in outer space


Administration, Sales Department and Manufacturing moved into new buildings in the Dieselstraße in Leingarten

  • The SALT agreement was signed
  • The last manned Moon mission took place
  • Germany became football world champion


Layer-Chemie started promoting commercial products such as sanitary paper and cleaning machines of the brands apura, Hakle, Vermop, Unger, Vileda.

  • The independent labour union Solidarnosz was established in Poland
  • Björn Borg won the Wimbledon for the fifth time
  • The vaccine against hepatitis B was invented


After death of company’s founder Otto Layer the Soap and Detergents Factory was transformed into the LAYER-CHEMIE GMBH in 1985.

  • The Russians started using the space platform MIR as the first always manned station in the Universe
  • The first pope entered the Jewish house of prayer (John Paul II)
  • The ARD TV started transmitting satellite and cable channel 1 Plus


The stock moved into the new built high rack warehouse in the Dieselstraße in Leingarten. Gerhard Layer died at the age of 50. His wife Ute and son Matthias continued his business.

  • In February Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years
  • The Nobel Prize Committee announced that Michail Gorbatschow
    would receive the Nobel Prize for Peace
  • The territories of GDR acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany according to § 23 Basic Law


Layer-Chemie went live. The new web page gave detailed information about the company. Later it was completed with product references, images and a web shop.

  • The total eclipse of the sun took place in Germany along the axis Strasbourg – Salzburg
  • The festivity on the occasion of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 250th birthday took place in Weimar
  • The EURO became the common currency of the eleven EU members. Until 2001 for non-cash transactions only


We could overcome the very difficult time in the late 1980s and early 1990s only due to lot’s of personal commitment of all people involved and fantastic support of our customers. Thank you very much again to all who supported us.

Ute Layer


The Administration moved into the new building in the Benzstraße in Leingarten. So Administration and Manufacturing Departments were separated from each other.

  • Daniel Libeskind won the contest to rebuild the World Trade Centre
  • The last flight of Concorde took place
  • The last VW-Käfer rolled off the production line


Waldmädel soap powder turned to WESAPON Lasan. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the company the way for successful future was paved:

  • The corporate structure which is not based on individuals
  • The management based on social competence
  • Each department has its person in charge
  • The company philosophy: Layer-Chemie consists 100% of salespeople
  • Uwe Häußer, the longtime companion of Matthias Layer was appointed to Managing Director
  • Yes we can. Barack Obama became the first black president of the USA.
  • Fidel Castro handed off his power after 50 years of term in office.


Upgrading of the logistics location in the Benzstraße and prearrangements for the next expansion stages for Administration, Technics and Sales Departments.

  • Google Street View started its service in Germany
  • Burj Khalifa was inaugurated

6. 6. 2010

The newspaper “Heilbronner Stimme” was printed with the headline “Construction Dryer Fans instead of Vuvuzela”. But the reality for people affected was far and away not so harmless as this headline. Leingarten on June, the 6th, 2010: the hottest until then day of the year ended with an extraordinary heavy thunderstorm. The community of Leingarten was affected by the storm in a very heavy way. Only during the evening hours the fire brigade was in action about 100 times. Several streets around Leingarten could be used only in a limited way or could not be used at all.

The amount of rainfall was different from region to region. It rained about 70 till 80 litres per m² in Leingarten. And it rained only 30 litres per m² in Schwaigern. In other communities it rained only a few litres.
One vehicle driver was heavily affected by the storm as he lost control over his vehicle and fell into the Leinbach stream. He could help himself out of the vehicle but he drowned in the stream a short time after. The Leinbach stream which is normally only 1 metre deep, had the depth of 3 till 4 metres on this evening.

The water came fast and without advance warning. During a couple of minutes the inner yard experienced water level rise of several metres. The door could not stand up to water pressure any more and the rooms were flowed. The complete ground floor was flooded, the water level reached almost one metre mark.

The flooding caused short time overload and computer system went out of order. The phone system was damaged and the central fax equipment out of operation. Not a single electronic device could be used. In such a situation one got showed our dependence upon those modern tools quite plainly. Alongside with maintenance rooms also offices, rooms for training courses and archives are located on the ground floor. All these could not be used for several weeks. On the first day after the thunderstorm cleaning up was on order of the day. On the second day the reconstruction was started. We got electricity again and could use fax equipment. Also phone system was in operation again. The computer system was activated step by step. After a few days the damage was removed and we could finally handle our routine tasks. On the next Sunday afternoon the bulk of customer orders was ready to be shipped. During the following weeks the damages of the building were removed. After weeks of drying phase the spoilt doors, roller blinds, etc. were replaced, the walls were painted new and new furniture was arranged. On that point technical equipment could be supplemented. Most of the tasks should have been completed until the end of 2010. Such a disaster may not occur again.

We have great respect for our partners and employees who did not leave us alone in this difficult situation. We want to say “Thank you” to all people involved.

Your Team of Layer-Chemie


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