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The Difference Between Bio and Non-Bio Detergent

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 clothes detergent contains 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. 

Top tip: Our new Persil Powercaps Bio and Non-Bio capsules dissolve fast to get to work on stains quickly. So they're perfect for parents who want great cleaning performance, regardless of whether you're using bio or non-bio.

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 capsules and Persil washing powder. 

Don’t worry, it’s easy to tell what is non-biological and what is biological – all Persil ‘non-bio’ clothes detergent is 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.

Bio or non-bio detergent? Without knowing the difference, it's difficult to tell which one might be right for you. Persil is here to help! This handy guide explains what each type of detergent does, when it is best to use them, and the benefits of using either product.

If you're looking for information about Persil non-bio detergents, check out our list of laundry products, or read more about our non-bio detergent range here.


What is the Difference Between Bio and Non-Bio Detergent?

The essential difference between bio and non-bio detergents is that bio detergents contain certain enzymes that are very effective at cleaning stains. These enzymes serve as a booster technology, designed to break down protein, starches, and fat that are often found in food stains, sweat and other common stains.

The enzymes also work at lower temperatures, so bio detergents are more effective at lower temperatures (30-50°C) than non-bio detergents. If you tend to wash at lower temperatures or use the quick wash cycle on your machine, bio detergents may work better for your family.

Then why use a non-bio clothes detergent? Many people in the UK prefer to use a non-bio if they have particularly sensitive skin. Non-bio detergents contain no enzymes, so there is a reduced risk of irritating sensitive skin, although you may also need to run your wash at higher temperatures for enzymatic stains. This in turn consumes more energy.

Many mums and dads like to use non-bio products when washing their baby’s clothing – Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure are an excellent combination for parents who want to wrap up their little ones in clean, soft clothing without irritating their skin – our research has even been recognised by the British Skin Foundation.

Now that you know  the difference between bio and non-bio detergent, which one will you use? Persil has an extensive range of bio and non-bio products, including specialised tablets, liquids, washing powder, and our Powercaps capsules. Since you no longer need to wonder what non-bio washing liquid or powder means or what bio clothes detergent is good for, why not search our list of products to find the best one for you?

What's the Difference Between Bio and Non-Bio Washing Powder?

Ever ask yourself: bio or non-bio washing powder? While many of us prefer to use liquid detergents for their effectiveness in a quick wash, this remains a common concern. Here’s your answer! Persil Bio washing powder (and bio liquids and capsules, in fact) contain the enzymes which work particularly well at lower temperatures or in the quick wash cycle. These enzymes are very effective at removing stains like grass or chocolate ice cream, so if your kids are active (and messy), you can toss their soiled laundry into the machine with any Persil Bio detergent for a quick clean!

In contrast, non-bio washing powder and liquids are tough on stains, but kind next to skin. It’s been dermatologically tested, and its skin research has been validated by the British Skin Foundation. That’s the basic difference between biological and non biological washing powder and liquids, but you’ll find both ranges of our products are excellent at cleaning stains, just in slightly different ways.  

Persil Bio Laundry Products

In addition to Bio Washing Powder, Persil offers three other products in its bio range, all equipped with the enzyme booster technology to break down tough stains. Whichever laundry solution you use, remember that all cleaning products should be kept safely out of the reach of children.

  • Persil Bio Washing Capsules are placed directly into the drum of your washing machine, with your clothes on top, for easy, effortless laundry. You can learn more about how to use washing capsules here.
  • Persil Bio Washing Tablets are placed in the drawer of your washing machine, and two tablets are enough for fantastic results — although if you only have a very small load, you can wash with just one tablet – it’s therefore very easy to avoid over-dosing!
  • Persil Bio Liquid cleans the toughest stains, even in a quick wash. This liquid detergent comes in an innovative, multifunctional bottle with a Stain Eraser Ball – use it to measure out the correct dosage, and then place the entire ball into the laundry for a great wash, with no liquid wasted! The effective formulation of our liquid means it cleans effectively at temperatures as low as 30 °C, and makes the neat liquid a great pre-treatment for tricky stains!

Both Persil Bio Washing Capsules and Tablets are pre-measured for you, saving you hassle of pouring out liquids or powders, and preventing possible overdosing. Persil Bio liquid’s specialised bottle also makes it easy to measure out the exact dosage.  

Persil Non-Bio Laundry Products

If you are particularly concerned about sensitive skin, Persil offers four other products in addition to its Non-Bio Washing Powders and liquid.

  • Persil Non-Bio Capsules. As with the bio capsules above, these are ultimately very simple to use: just place them directly into the drum of your machine under your clothes, set the right wash cycle, and say goodbye to stains. The new and improved Triple Action formula in our Powercaps range offers tough stain removal, freshness, and clothing care while being kind next to your skin. Just remember it's important to keep caps away from kids – check out our safety guide on capsules here.
  • Persil Non-Bio Washing Tablets go into your machine’s drawer, and are also specially designed for sensitive skin. Like the capsules, the tablets are pre-measured so that you can easily avoid over-dosing, and the concentrated formula mean just two should be enough for brilliant results.
  • Persil Non-Bio Liquid also comes in an innovative bottle with the Stain Eraser Ball — tough on stains but gentle on skin. Our bio and non-bio liquids are both ideal for parents with small kids who love to get messy, as the Stain Eraser Ball makes pre-treating any with the neat liquid swift and easy.
  • Persil Non-Bio and Comfort Pure is the perfect combination of products if you are washing clothes for your baby. Our Non-Bio detergent is enzyme-free for delicate skin, and Comfort Pure conditioner keeps fibres smoother during the wash so clothes feel soft and gentle.

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