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What are Enzyme-Based Cleaners? How Do They Work?

May 11, 2022

While some people use soap and water to clean their home, others choose to use specialized cleaning products such as an enzyme cleaner. But what is enzyme cleaner exactly? And how does it work? 

Enzyme based cleaners are one of the most popular, naturally derived cleaning agents in the market. The word “enzyme” may sound scary, but they're widely used in personal care products because they fulfill the same function as household cleaners, but without harsh chemicals. Washing with an enzyme-based cleaner or plant-based cleaner is like "eating" a stain. Your skin secretes an enzyme when exposed to dirt and grime, which starts a chemical reaction that removes it. Enzymes don't just clean your clothes; some are able to remove soot, dye and even horseshoe marks from walls and shoes. The Better Home’s range of plant-based home cleaners use such enzymes to fight dirt and grime expertly.  

What are enzyme cleaners? 

When it comes to cleaning the home, many consumers think that the only way is through the use of chemical products. While these may be effective for some tasks, there are a number of disadvantages of chemical cleaning products that can make this an undesirable method of cleaning. 

Most of the products on the market today contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health as well as damaging to your household items and surfaces. Even when used in moderation, these chemicals can build up over time and cause damage to your home or unwanted health effects. 

The term “enzyme-based cleaners” refers to natural home cleaning products that use enzymes to break down stains and soils. These are not the same enzymes found in your body, but rather enzymes that are created specifically for cleaning products. They are produced in a laboratory using bacteria and other substances. When they come into contact with food or other organic materials, they break them down into smaller molecules that can be easily washed away. Enzymes are safe to use around humans and pets.  

Enzyme-based home cleaning products use natural enzymes that breaks down proteins, starches, fats and oils into simple compounds that can be further broken down by bacteria. 

A wide variety of enzymes can be used for home cleaning purposes. Some of the types of enzymes commonly used include: 

Proteases – break down protein stains 

Lipases – break down fats and oils (lipids) 

Amylases – break down carbohydrates (starches) 

Cellulases – break down cellulose 

Lactase – breaks down lactose 

Because enzymes destroy contaminants instead of just moving them around, they make an excellent addition to your cleaning regimen. 

How are enzyme-based cleaners better than chemical cleaners? 

Have you ever noticed that the ingredient list on your bottle of kitchen cleaner has a bunch of words that you can’t pronounce? That’s because most cleaners use chemicals to dissolve grease and grime. These chemicals are effective cleaners, but they are also toxic to us and the environment. 

Enzyme-based cleaners are better than chemical cleaners because enzymes do not damage the environment. The enzymes in these cleaners are proteins that speed up a chemical reaction. 

The enzyme-based cleaners work by targeting specific stains or odors and breaking them down. Chemical cleaners contain harsh ingredients that can be toxic to humans and pets when inhaled or touched. 

Why you should switch to enzyme-based cleaners 

For many years, we've been taught that the only way to get a clean floor is with a soapy bucket and a mop. While this method works well in some cases, it can also make your floor dirtier than before you started cleaning. The dirty water you use to clean your floors leaves behind a residue that attracts dirt, leaving your floors cleaner for only a short time. 

  • The disadvantages of chemical cleaning products include: 
  • Bacteria growth. 
  • Chemical odors that linger for days.
  • Dangerous fumes when used in enclosed areas. 
  • Health risks for people who are chemically sensitive and pets. 
  • Poisoning from accidental ingestion of chemicals, which may happen if you have children or pets at home. 

Chemical home cleaning products contain toxic ingredients that can harm your health. Some products release volatile organic compounds into the air, which may irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Chemicals used in cleaning products have been linked to cancer, asthma and reproductive disorders. Natural cleaning products are better than chemicals because they don't cause these side effects. 

In addition to the harmful effects on humans, chemical home cleaning products are also bad for the environment. Many of them contain ingredients that are damaging to the ozone layer, while others contaminate water supplies when they're washed down the drain.

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