A scoop of washing powder in front of a pile of folded towels.

Bio Vs. Non-Bio - Which Detergent is Right for You?

Have you ever found yourself asking ‘what is non-bio washing powder?’ while doing your weekly shop? Here’s everything you need to know about biological and non-biological detergents, helping you to decide which type of detergent would be most beneficial for you and your family.  

Bio? Non-Bio? What’s the Difference?   

What is biological detergent? Biological detergents contain enzymes that help break down the fatty, greasy, and starchy compounds that are found in some of the most common clothing stains such as pasta sauces, bike oil, and hamburger grease. These enzymes work to lift the stains out of fabrics, making them excellent stain removers and a very welcome addition to laundry detergents, turning stain removal into a quick and easy task.  

What is non-biological laundry detergent? Non-biological detergents do not contain these enzymes. However, good non-bio detergents will still contain great built-in cleaning power that will ensure your clothing comes out of the washing machine clean and fresh.

When washing with non-bio detergents, especially when tackling particularly tough stains, you may need to use a slightly higher temperature to allow the detergent to do its job properly, but for some families, non-bio detergents can be a great option, especially if someone in the family has sensitive skin.  

You can find more information about the difference between bio and non-bio here.  

What are the Advantages of Non-Bio Detergent?

While the enzymes found in biological detergents are great at stain removal, they could cause mild reactions in those with very sensitive skin. The enzymes themselves are not particularly troublesome, but if a small amount remains on clothing after a wash and rubs against the skin, some people may notice a mild reaction – however, this is rare. Non-biological detergents, which do not contain these enzymes, are excellent choices for anyone who suffers with sensitive skin, with weather-induced sensitivities, or with existing skin conditions that could easily be aggravated, such as eczema.

Many new parents also prefer to use non-bio detergents to help keep their baby’s clothes soft and to reduce the risk of irritation to delicate baby skin. Persil Non-Bio laundry detergents are dermatologically tested and our skin care research is recognised by the British Skin Foundation, so you can be sure Persil Non-Bio is a suitable choice for sensitive skin.  


Not Sure When to Use Non-Bio or Bio?

If your children are now ‘big kids’ rather than babies – and if there’s no history of skin complaints in the family – you may find using biological detergent more convenient. As biological detergents have a little helping hand in the form of stain-removing enzymes, they’re very effective at lower temperatures (they even work great at 30 degrees), and in quick washes. 

As every busy parent will know, sometimes the ‘quick wash’ cycle is essential, especially when getting those school uniforms clean and dry over the weekend. 

How to Use Non-Bio & Bio Detergents

The great news is that there’s really no difference between how you use biological or non-biological detergents. Both types of laundry soap can be added directly to your washing machine – either in the detergent drawer or into the drum itself – and some detergents, like Persil liquid, can even be used as a pre-treatment with the handy Stain Eraser Dosing Ball for breaking up stubborn stains before washing. Just read your product’s label for specific instructions.  

Bio vs. Non-Bio – the conclusion

Whether you decide to use bio or non-bio detergent, you’ll be happy to know that you have plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a laundry soap. Your favourite Persil detergents are available in both bio and non-bio options, including Persil liquid, Persil Powercaps washing capsules, Persil washing powder and Persil washing tablets.

Don’t worry, it’s easy to tell what is non-biological and what is biological – all Persil ‘non-bio’ products are blue, and ‘bio’ products are green. Look out for them the next time you do your weekly shop, and whether you choose non-bio or bio, remember to always follow the instructions on the detergent's label. For specific safety advice on using capsules, check out our safety instructions for kids and parents here.

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