Today it seems like you hear the word “enzyme-based” in lots of different applications. From oven cleaners to carpet stain removers, enzyme biotechnology is now a part of everyday life. Enzymes are everywhere! But what are enzymes, exactly, and what makes them so special?
First of all, enzymes really are everywhere—and they have been for quite some time. Enzymes are natural. All living organisms produce these proteins, which function as a catalyst to help control metabolism and growth. Enzymes control the rate of certain chemical reactions and help these and other processes to occur more efficiently.
Enzymes are very useful ingredients, particularly in cleaning and laundry products that aim to be Earth-friendly as well as effective. Here’s why:
In laundry detergents, enzymes help remove stains and odors, increase whiteness, eliminate fabric pills and help prevent resoiling. Enzymes in the formula also allow for shorter wash cycles and lower water temperatures. The result? Clean, fresh laundry and energy savings too!
The introduction of enzymes into the formulas of cleaning and laundry products has been a significant game-changer. Now fewer harsh chemicals are necessary, such as lye or sodium hydroxide, so your family and the environment stay safer. This is especially good news as it relates to getting your clothes, towels and sheets their cleanest—since all of these items come into frequent contact with your skin!
Here’s a quick look at some enzyme groups and their specific areas of stain-fighting expertise.
Proteases break down protein stains, like grass, egg, blood, coffee, tea, dairy, wine and fat, as well as odors.
Amylases help break down starch-based stains, like those from pasta and potato dishes, and cereals.
Lipases accelerate the breakdown of fatty and oily stains. They help remove body stains on cuffs and collars, as well as stains from lipstick, butter, gravy, vegetable oils and other non-mineral oils and fats.
Cellulases help maintain brightness by reducing pilling and fuzzing that can trap dirt. In other words they help your whites and brights stay that way.
Mannanases break down food stains caused by thickening agents like guar gum and locust bean gum.
Pectinases disintegrate stains from fresh fruits and berries, as well as processed foods, tomato-based foods and sauces, jelly, and more.