Enzyme cleaning products are the new trend in domestic products, and everyone who have used, love them!
So, what is this about these enzyme cleaning things?
For starters, an enzyme cleaner is a special type of cleaning agent used especially for biological stains such as food residue, pet urine and stool, stained fabric (such as carpets and upholstery), stained clothing, among others.
Enzyme cleaning products are not new on the market, but they have become one the favorites today due to their powerful cleaning action and convenient mode of use.
What Are Enzyme Cleaners
An enzyme cleaner is a cleaning agent that utilizes biological enzymes (molecules that speed up a chemical reaction) to break down soils quickly and effectively. These cleaners are filled with “good” bacteria which, when sprayed onto a surface, multiply fast and start to produce these enzymes.
The soils, once broken down, are consumed by the bacteria with the only by-products being carbon dioxide and water. Enzymes are the same chemicals in your stomach that help to break down foods into molecules that can be absorbed.
Types of Enzymes in Cleaners
There are six major types of enzymes found in cleaners, each of which helps break down a specific type of soil:
Mannanase – this is a plant enzyme that is derived from sugars. It is useful in breaking down soils from coffee, soup, ice cream, and similar foods
Amylase – amylase is used to break down starch into sugars, which can then be used for energy by bacteria. It helps to deal with tomato sauce, chocolate syrup, and baby food
Proteases – proteases are enzymes that help to break down proteins from grass, blood, meat, baby formula, pet urine, among others
Pectinase – Pectinase is an enzyme used to break down fruits stains such as would be made by wine, watermelon, fruit juice, and berries
Cellulase is a general-purpose enzyme that is used to break down mud and dust. It also used in detergents to brighten up the fabric
How Enzyme Cleaning Products Work?
Unlike chemical-based acidic and alkaline cleaners, enzyme-based cleaners are very specific in action and have no unintended side-effects.
They deal with very specific soils when all else has failed, which is why enzyme cleaners are often the last course of action when it comes to eliminating tough stains and persistent odours.
As chemical catalysts, enzymes help bacteria to break down complex molecules in starches, proteins, and other compounds into smaller molecules. The bacteria use these molecules for food. After digestion, they release carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.
Once the food supply (aka, the stain or soil) is gone, the population of the bacteria reduces and eventually dies out. However, there will be residual bacteria actively even after 80 hours, which ensures that the stain is completely removed.
These bacteria are so small that they can penetrate the deepest of any cleaner. When you have thick fibers such as carpets and upholstery, these are often the only type of cleaner with the necessary deep action to ensure complete success.
What Cleaners are Enzymatic Cleaners?
Since each enzyme is highly specific, manufacturers like to blend them into mixtures so that these cleaners can have a broad range of useful effects.
They can also incorporate some of these enzymes into traditionally chemical-based cleaners for maximum effectiveness.
This means that household cleaners such as vinegar, lemon, and baking soda are not enzymatic cleaners. However, you can prepare a weak enzyme cleaner at home by adding some yeast, brown sugar and lemon scraps into some water.
Always check the labels of commercial cleaners to see whether they are truly enzyme-based. Doing this also helps you to confirm what type of soils the cleaner is effective against.
How to Use Enzyme Cleaners
The most common applications of enzymatic cleaners in the average household include:
- Floor cleaning – usually with neutral pH, enzyme based cleaning products are great to take care of any type of floors (wood and marble for example), living a perfect finish.
- Mould removal – the right selection of enzymes can be very effective against mould and mildew (check some videos on our Instagram to see the results)
- Clogged drains – As effective as acid drain cleaners but more gentle
and safe for everyone. It is the best eco-friendly cleaning solution for
blocked drains in restaurants and kitchens
- Cleaning pet urine – pets, especially cats, have urine that smells awful and is especially hard to remove from carpets, upholstery, clothes, and fabric items. Enzyme cleaners react very effectively against pet urine, eliminating odours and visible stains
- Stain Removal – Some of the great carpet cleaners and carpet shampoos are enzyme based, acting greatly to take care of wine stains
- Laundry – detergent-free laundry cleaner is usually enzyme-based. Regular detergents also use enzymes to improve their effectiveness. When using enzyme cleaners, remember to follow these important steps.
1. First, make sure to remove as much of the original soil as much as you can without using any chemicals. Use a brush, spoon, or spatula to break down the stain into chunks and lift it off the surface
2. Soak the soil with warm water. This helps to dilute and break it down further into smaller molecules that are easier for the bacteria to digest
3. Use a microfiber cloth to blot out the stain as much as possible.
4. Use a spray can and spray the enzymatic cleaner on the stain until it is sufficiently saturated. Leave it for at least an hour for regular cleaning, and up to 48 hours for stubborn stains such as pet soils. It will dry up itself with no stains or odors.
5. For food counters and other sensitive surfaces, wipe down the area clean with a wet microfiber cloth.
Enzyme Cleaning Products: FAQs
1. Are enzyme cleaners anti-bacterial?
No. Enzymatic cleaners contain “good” bacteria themselves, which can outcompete harmful bacteria and microorganisms. However, these cleaners do not disinfect a surface in the sense of killing bacteria
2. Is vinegar/lemon an enzyme cleaner?
No, both lemon and vinegar solutions are acidic cleaners that work by dissolving greasy, sticky, and similar soils from a surface and allowing water to wash it away.
3. Can I make a homemade enzymatic cleaner?
Yes, but it will not be as effective as commercial versions. Mix 2 cups of lemon peels and scraps, 4 cups of distilled water, ½ cup of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of yeast and shake thoroughly. Strain into a spray can.
4. Can I use detergent and enzyme cleaners together?
No! The chemical makeup of these two cleaners is very different. The detergent will kill the bacteria in the enzymatic cleaner prematurely. Use one or the other, never both. The same applies to baking soda, lemon, vinegar, and other common household cleaners.
Professional Eco-Friendly Cleaning Services
Enzyme-based cleaners operate courtesy of living organisms, so they are a little technical to use. They are also the ultimate in powerful but eco-friendly cleaning, so if they fail to work, you might need to call in the professionals.
At Make it Clean, we are experts in all forms of residential and commercial cleaning. We are expert handlers of enzymatic cleaners to ensure that you get the ultimate in effective and environmentally-friendly cleaning power.
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