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Used with care


Cellulases are a group of enzymes that can be used to target grass stains and other cellulose-based stains. We use these in some of our products to improve cleaning performance and efficiency.

Enzymes are a kind of protein that occur naturally in plants and humans, but have also been engineered for use in commercial cleaning products for many decades. Cellulases can be derived from microbial sources, such as fungi or bacteria, through a fermentation process.

In laundry detergents, cellulases help to remove and break down stubborn stains and dirt that are composed of cellulose, such as grass stains, food stains, and other organic residues. The enzymes weaken the structure of the stains, allowing them to be easily lifted and removed during the washing process. Developments in enzyme production have led to increased activity at lower temperatures, improving detergent cleaning performance in cold water washes.

Regarding their safety profile, extensive testing in large scale human studies has shown no evidence of the ability of enzymes in cleaning products to induce skin sensitisation. The large molecular weight of enzymes suggest they are not able to penetrate intact skin. Any contact with wash solutions is not linked to significant irritation or allergy and residues on fabrics are so low they are not known to materially contribute to any skin effects. The combined evidence of substantial research has been sufficient to establish a long history of safe consumer use of enzyme containing products.

Enzymes also have a good environmental profile - they're readily biodegradable and are inactivated to a large extent under washing or cleaning conditions, minimising their impact when they reach the environment. Using enzymes can improve cleaning performance, increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of water and other surfactants required.

Other names: Enzyme

Chemical class: Proteins


D.B. Wilson. (2009). Cellulases. Encyclopedia of Microbiology (Third Edition). P 252-258.

Basketter, D., Berg, N., Broekhuizen, C., Fieldsend, M., Kirkwood, S., Kluin, C., Mathieu, S., & Rodriguez, C. (2012). Enzymes in cleaning products: an overview of toxicological properties and risk assessment/management. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP, 64(1), 117–123.

HERA Human & Environmental Risk Assessment. (2005). Amylases, Cellulases and Lipases. Retrieved on November 26, 2021 from

Basketter, D., English, J., Wakelin, S. and White, I. (2008), Enzymes, detergents and skin: facts and fantasies. British Journal of Dermatology, 158: 1177-1181.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 440950, Cellulase.

INCI Name:
Ingredient origins:
Microbial Fermentation, Soybean
Common name:
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.