Each time you visit a supermarket and pick up a box or bottle of laundry detergent you’re probably aware that there are many different brands, sizes and prices of detergent available.
Some come in large boxes, some come in small bottles, some laundry detergents are biological, and some are non-biological, but what is the difference between bio and non-bio, and which one should you use?
We’re going to take a look at this now.
Biological Laundry Detergent
Biological laundry detergent contains specific enzymes that work to break down grease, starch and fat compounds that are usually found in clothes stains.
The enzymes work by lifting the stains out of the fabric so they can be washed away, making your dirty garments clean once more.
This is just one of the many benefits of using biological detergent.
Another benefit of using biological detergent is that clothes can be washed at lower temperatures such as 30 to 50°C, and they usually wash quite well, meaning you can use a quick cycle if you wish, without worrying if your clothes are going to come out dirty.
One of the downsides of using biological laundry detergent is that it can be a little harsh on sensitive skin, and if the detergent has not been completely washed away it could be irritable to the skin and potentiality aggravate eczema.
However, you may want to think about using a fabric conditioner along with your detergent as it could help to soften the fabric and cut down on skin irritation.
Some biological detergents come with fabric conditioner built in, so you may not need to use additional fabric conditioner.
If you’re unsure as to whether you’ll need to use additional fabric conditioner why not try washing a few garments in a biological detergent first to determine if the clothes come out soft enough, if they don’t you may wish to use a fabric conditioner next time.
To summarise, biological laundry detergents are generally:
- Better at removing stains
- More effective at lower temperatures
- Harsher on sensitive skin
Non-Biological Laundry Detergent
Non-biological laundry detergent does not contain the same stain-busting enzymes as biological detergent does, but the good news is that it still works hard to get rid of those pesky stains thanks to its cleaning power.
If you choose to use non-biological detergent you may need to wash your garments at a higher temperature than you would if you were using bio detergents.
This potentially means that using non-bio detergent may not be as environmentally friendly on account of the higher water temperature, but it can be ideal if you or your family have sensitive skin, eczema or asthma.
To summarise, non-biological laundry detergents are generally:
- Less effective at low temperatures
- Kinder to sensitive skin and better for those with eczema or asthma
Which Should you Choose?
Now you’re aware of some of the benefits and disadvantages of biological and non-biological laundry detergent, do you know which one to choose? The good news is it’s quite simple to choose:
Non-biological detergents contain fewer enzymes that bio detergent, and are ideal for washing baby’s clothes and for use in homes where sensitive skin or eczema is an issue.
Biological detergents are ideal for washing very dirty clothes, particularly those that tend to become stained and need a thorough clean.
The good news is that you can use both biological and non-biological detergents in your home so you can get a multitude of garments clean, you just need to make sure you use the right detergent at the right time.
So, if you’re washing really dirty clothes opt for a biological detergent, and if you’re washing baby clothes, for example, opt for non-biological detergent.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to get your detergents mixed up, you may want to stick to non-biological detergent, and wash those very dirty clothes at a higher temperature.
Now all you need to think about is whether you want to use powder, liquid or tablets…
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!