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A Guide to Enzyme Cleaners

Posted on April 1, 2013 by Greenhome.com There have been 0 comments

Most of us have cabinets full of cleaning products. These colorful, soapy liquids are supposed to de-streak our windows, de-grease our stoves, or wipe away the most stubborn of stains. But what’s really in all those bottles? The truth is that many common household cleansers contain toxic chemicals that are dangerous both to you and the environment. Many, for example, can release VOCs into the air or damage natural waterways once they go down the drain. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives that can clean just as well (or better!) without the dangerous side effects.

What are enzyme cleaners?

Enzymes are biological compounds that help speed up chemical reactions, which makes them perfect for cleaning up household messes. There are thousands of enzymes involved in everything from the cellular processes in your body to the decomposition of your trash, but enzyme cleaners are made using a few specific enzymes that break down biological substances like fats, oils, proteins, and starches. That means that instead of just wiping away the food on your kitchen counter or the mildew on the shower curtain, enzyme cleaners break down those stains into elements like oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Enzyme cleaners are non-toxic and biodegradable, meaning they are safe to use in any area of your home.

How do I use them?

Enzyme-based cleaners can replace most common household cleaning products.

Laundry:Enzyme cleaners make it easy to get fatty or oily stains out of clothes. So next time you end up with a little dinner splattered on your shirt, soak the fabric overnight in an enzyme pre-treatment then wash with an eco-friendly detergent. Tough stains like chocolate, grease, and coffee will come right out.

Kitchen and bathroom: You can replace bleach and other toxic household cleaners with enzyme-based kitchen and bathroom cleaners. They’ll get rid of the proteins that stain toilets, tubs, sinks, and countertops along with any lingering odors.

Mold and Mildew: Those fuzzy looking mold and mildew stains you find on under sinks or behind appliances are actually collections of microscopic organisms that can be easily killed by an enzyme-based mold remover.

Pet stain remover: Because enzymes react with biological molecules they are perfect for cleaning up nasty pet stains on upholstery, carpets, or hard floors. The enzymes will actually break down the proteins in the stain, meaning that not only will the stain be gone but you can also get rid of any persistent smells. Just blot up any remaining moisture, spray enzyme cleaner on the stain and let it soak for a couple of days, then scrub away.

Always keep in mind that that enzymes are biological molecules, which means they work differently than other cleaning products. They can sometimes take several hours or days to finish their work, and they will be damaged by extreme conditions, so use them with warm (not hot) water and don’t mix them with soap or other cleaners. When used correctly, though, enzyme cleaners are a safe, effective alternative to dangerous home cleaning products.

This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Defining Green, Green Cleaning and was tagged with ecofriendly, environmental products, NON-TOXIC


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