Clothes inside a washing machine drum.

Enzymes in Biological Detergents – The Facts About Laundry Detergents and How They Work

Many of us have heard of biological and non-biological laundry detergents, but we don’t always understand how these detergents work to get our clothes looking and smelling clean and fresh. If you’re unsure about the use of enzymes in biological detergents, or about how non-biological detergents work, here’s everything you need to know:  

What Are Enzymes in Biological Washing Powder?

Most biological laundry detergents contain lipase and protease enzymes, both of which are found in the body. Lipases break down fats and oils, while proteases work to break down protein chains. Their ability to break down these compounds makes them excellent for stain removal.  

Why Are Enzymes Used in Biological Washing Powder?

One of the primary reasons that enzymes are used in biological washing powders is that the additional stain-removing help from the enzymes means that dirt can be removed without the need for hot water. Biological detergents are effective at much lower temperatures, helping families all across the UK to save money on their household bills, and become more environmentally friendly.

The ability to wash in lower temperatures also means we can pop a wider variety of materials into the washing machine – such as wool and silk which could become damaged in high heats – and lower temperatures are also great for dyed clothing like denim jeans as it reduces colour transfer.  

How Do Enzymes Work in Laundry Detergent?

The use of enzymes in detergents is much the same as the use of enzymes in the body. Lipases and proteases process any remnants of protein, starches, and fats in the clothing, which makes them great for getting rid of grass stains, pasta sauces, hamburger grease, and more.

Once the enzymes have done their job, the broken down particles can easily be washed away with warm water in the washing machine, so with a biological detergent like Persil Powercaps Bio, you can be sure you’re tackling stains head on. 

How Does Laundry Detergent Without Enzymes Work?

Non-biological laundry detergents offer the same great cleaning power of their biological counterparts, but without the enzymes. While enzymes in biological detergents can lend a helping hand when it comes to stain removal, they are considered to be common household allergens – much like pet hair or dust mites – and they may not always be the best option for those with very sensitive skin.

The good news is that non-biological detergents like Persil Powercaps Non-Bio are still tough on stains while also being gentle on skin. With non-bio, you may need to wash at slightly higher temperatures for enzymatic stains. To help you decide which detergent is best for your family, check out our handy guide to the difference between non-biological and biological detergents.

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