DETERGENT ENZYMES

By far the largest volume of detergent enzymes is used in ‘heavy-duty’ laundry detergents for household use (powders, liquids and tablets). There is also some penetration in ‘light-duty’ laundry products for washing fine fabrics, although some enzymes are too aggressive for washing wool and silk.

The main task of enzymes in laundry is to remove stains of animal or plant origin. Another important task is to prevent soils from spreading throughout the laundry. This is often referred to as ‘general cleaning’ or ‘whiteness maintenance’. Enzymes can also be used to give care effects by acting directly on cotton surfaces. This helps to make garments look new for longer.

The following guidelines show what type of enzymes classes should be considered to tackle specific kinds of cleaning and fabric care issues:

Cleaning and fabric care challenge

Enzyme Class

Protease

Amylase Mannanase Lipase

Cellulase

Blood and protein based stains

X

       
Food stains-general

X

X X X

 

Food stains with starch  

X

     
Food stains with guar gum    

X

   
Food stains with dairy products

X

    X

 

Animal fat and/or vegetable oils      

X

 
Particulate soil removal        

X

Whiteness maintenance

 

X X X

X

Color care – reduce fabric pilling        

X