What are laundry enzymes?
Laundry enzymes are protein based catalysts that effectively target specific types of dirt and stains on your clothes.
How do laundry enzymes work?
Each enzyme likes to ‘eat’ a specific type of stain. Some prefer proteins like milky coffee, while others love oily fast foods. They then break down the stain so it can be rinsed away in the washing machine.
Why is ecostore now using enzymes in its laundry products?
We’ve used enzymes in our dishwasher powders and dish tabs for years, and know they’re not only very effective cleaners, they also enable us to create hardworking products with lower levels of surfactants/additives. We previously avoided them in laundry products in case they irritate sensitive skin. But extensive research has shown us we can safely use enzymes in laundry products. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) classifies enzymes as a 1, or low hazard.
We list all our ingredients so you’re fully informed about what you’re using. Just as we don’t use fragrance in our Ultra Sensitive range, we won’t add enzymes to this range either. We take customer feedback seriously. So if there’s any indication an ingredient is affecting people, we will fix it.
Why have enzymes had a bad reputation in laundry products?
When detergent grade enzymes were first used in the 1960s, respiratory issues were discovered in workers exposed to airborne enzymes. Enzymes today use an encapsulation technology to ensure they’re not inhaled. We’re confident that the enzymes in our Ultra Power laundry products are extremely unlikely to cause irritation – less than the proportion of people affected by fragrance, for example.
What types of enzymes are used in ecostore laundry products?
Protease, amylase, mannanase, pectate lyase, and lipase.
What is Protease?
Proteases are a group of enzymes that target protein based stains such as sebum, blood, grass, milk and egg.
What is Amylase?
Amylases are a group of enzymes that target starch-based stains such as flours, porridge, corn starch, potato starch, sauces, and soups.
What is Mannanase?
Mannanase targets gums used in processed food, like tomato sauce, baby food, ice cream, chocolate and fruity drinks.
What is Pectate Lyase?
Pectate lyase breaks down pectin to help detergents remove foods like berries, bananas and avocadoes, jam, yoghurt drinks and smoothies. It even targets some components of cosmetics.
What is Lipase?
Lipase is a type of enzyme that breaks down fats and oils – from melted cheese to oil based dressings, lipstick and body lotion – to help laundry detergents remove them more effectively.
What are the benefits of laundry enzymes?
The key benefits of using enzymes in laundry products are improved stain removal, better cleaning performance at lower water temperatures, and less ecological impact by reducing the need for harsh chemicals.
Are there environmental benefits to using laundry enzymes?
Yes, better performance with minimal environmental impact. It would take far higher levels of surfactants/additives to achieve the same cleaning performance boost as very small amounts of renewable enzymes.
Are the enzymes ecostore uses the same as other laundry product manufacturers?
Our enzymes have been produced using genetically modified microorganisms (kept safely in a lab). Not all brands disclose this information, but mainstream brands probably use enzymes produced in a similar way using genetic modification.
Where do enzymes come from?
Enzymes are naturally occurring materials essential to life - in our cells, they produce chemical reactions to build things or break them down. Digestive enzymes are secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine: amylase for carbohydrates, starches, sugars; protease for proteins, and lipase for fats and oils. That’s why these enzymes are so very effective at removing food stains - they’re doing what comes naturally.
How are enzymes made?
Genetically engineered bacteria produce and excrete enzymes in a fermentation tank, which is centrifuged to separate the enzymes. The enzymes are concentrated and further processed, while bacteria are neutralised and used as fertiliser.
Will enzymes irritate my skin?
Given the very small amounts and using encapsulation technology to protect the enzyme, we’re confident it’s extremely unlikely enzymes will irritate skin - less likely than the risk associated with fragrance, for example.
Will enzymes damage my clothes?
Enzymes will not damage your everyday clothing. In fact their deep cleansing removes ingrained stains and minimises the gradual dulling of colours. However, for delicate items like silk & wool we recommend using ecostore Wool & Delicates, to protect the fabric structure.
Are enzymes biodegradable?
Enzymes are readily biodegradable.
Are enzymes suitable for greywater?
Using enzymes can actually improve greywater quality, because they enable laundry detergents to be made with lower levels of surfactants and additives.
Are enzymes genetically modified?
The enzymes themselves aren’t genetically modified; they’re a by-product of genetically engineered bacteria created safely in a lab, not in our environment.
What is the best laundry process to remove stains?
That depends on the type of stain and soil level. For most stains removing clothes and having them washed immediately before they set would be the best. Otherwise, soaking stained clothes before washing helps prevent stains from setting makes it easier to remove stains i.e., a cap to soak water and rub a small amount directly onto stains.
What is the best water wash temperature?
The optimum temperature to wash clothes with ecostore’s Ultra Power Laundry range is 30-40°C.
How long should I soak stained items?
This depends on how bad the stains are and how long they’ve been on the garment. We usually recommend soaking for two hours, or overnight if heavily soiled.