Should You Be Using Enzymes in Your Laundry Detergent?

For centuries, enzymes in laundry detergent have been an effective and sustainable way of cleaning clothes. Despite this, they’ve flown under the radar until relatively recently. As more consumers look toward eco-friendly living, laundry detergents with enzymes have gained more traction.

You might have already seen ads promoting detergents with enzymes and boasting their environmental benefits, stain removal, and other advantages. But what you might not know is that detergent enzymes could already be part of your daily life without you even knowing it.

Let’s dive into whether these naturally occurring substances are healthy to use and if they offer any benefits beyond their non-biological counterparts.

What Exactly Are Enzymes?

Enzymes are essential proteins commonly found in living organisms. They perform various functions. In the human body, for example, they help build muscle. But they’re also found in plant life and in all animal species.

Enzymes can be harvested or grown for various uses around the house and have been used in multiple industries for decades, including dairy and brewing. In fact, nearly 400 household products contain enzymes in some capacity.

Think of the last time you were at the store. How many “green” products did you see? An enzyme-containing detergent falls into this category. Enzymes, an active ingredient in biological detergents, present an organic alternative to the various chemical ingredients in non-biological detergents.

It’s possible to find laundry detergents that contain enzymes and non-biological ingredients. But if you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, choose an option that only contains enzymes and other organic materials. Always check the ingredients before buying.

Why Put Enzymes in Detergent?

Now that you know what enzymes are, let’s take a look at how enzymes work in your laundry detergent. What makes them such an effective ingredient for fabric care? Mainly that they do the same job in your laundry that they do in the body. They break down proteins, fats, and other substances, letting them remove protein stains and food stains with ease. A biological detergent—one that contains enzymes—will remove stains more effectively than their chemical-based counterpart without the negative environmental effects.

Enzymes also target fibers in clothes deeper than ingredients in non-biological detergents and prevent any dirt particles from sticking to the threads. All this is done in a natural and harmless way, protecting your clothes for longer. This process breaks dirt down into smaller particles to create clean clothing.

Stubborn stains like grass stains, baby food, and more aren’t a worry with biological detergents. If you’re not satisfied with how your laundry detergent performs, then you might find the stain removal power of a biological detergent is better able to meet your needs.

Let’s explore the specific benefits of the enzymes in your laundry detergent. 

Practical benefits of enzymes

Many “eco-friendly” products benefit the environment but pose less convenience to you—sometimes they’re more expensive or harder to use. But detergents that use enzymes as an active ingredient rather than toxic chemicals are easy to use and effective and will pay off in myriad ways.

Removing stains

Enzyme activity in your laundry machine is as effective—if not more effective—on tough stains as their chemical-based alternatives. They’ll break down and wash away any organic stain faster than you’d expect from an eco-friendly detergent, including food stains and grass stains. If your current detergent lacks stain removal power, you could find yourself spending a lot of time washing and rewashing the same clothes. Save yourself the effort with an enzyme-based laundry detergent.

Getting rid of tough stains doesn’t need to be a fight. Rub a small amount of the detergent onto the stain and leave for a while, then rinse it with water after a few minutes. Check the garment’s washing instructions first, though, and if they differ from the above, go with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Improving color and brightness

A chemical detergent will harm clothes each time you wash them. This not only affects the strength of the fabric itself, but also its brightness and color. Your garments will appear duller and fuzzier after just a few washes. Biological detergents work to protect the color and brightness of your clothes. They’re strong enough to remove