Enzyme cleaners aren’t your usual cleaning products full of strong scents and chemicals. Enzyme cleaners are more natural and use biology to break down stains and get rid of odors. You can use them in your bathroom and kitchen, as well as on clothing stains and the carpet.
Enzyme cleaners are an excellent choice for pet owners and parents of small children who are constantly battling stubborn stains and odors. They are simple to use, gentle on your health and easy to find. You can even easily make your own homemade version.
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What are enzymes?
Enzymes are substances in animals or plants that make biochemical reactions happen faster. Enzymes are catalysts, which means they can speed up chemical reactions. They help break down or build up other molecules. Most enzymes are proteins and each enzyme can only speed up one type of chemical reaction.
How do enzyme cleaners work?
Enzyme cleaners are made from formulas that use enzymes to break down different kinds of stains. Basically, they get rid of stains and odors by breaking them apart. Various enzymes have different functions and enzyme cleaners often contain multiple enzymes, so they’re effective on all types of stains and odors.
If you want a more specifically focused enzyme cleaner, these are the types of stains the different enzymes are most effective on.
- Lipases – break down fats like oil and grease
- Proteases – break down protein-based stains like food, urine, feces, blood and wine
- Amylases – break down carbohydrates and starches like sugar, eggs, sauce and ice cream
- Cellulases – can restore color and soften fabric
Something important to remember when using an enzyme cleaner is that you need to give it time to do its job. If you just spray and wipe it away, it wont work. It needs time for the process to happen. Enzymes can continue to work for 12-24 hours, so they’re still doing their job long after you’re done with your chores.
What are the advantages of enzyme cleaners over traditional cleaning products?
Traditional cleaning products often use strong scented perfumes to cover up odors, whereas enzyme cleaners work to eliminate the odors at the source. Many stain removal products are chemical surfactants. Surfactants make stains easier to remove by making them a bit slippery, whereas enzymes break down the stain completely.
These are some of the reasons to choose an enzyme cleaner over a traditional cleaning product:
- Less toxic
- Safer to use
- Gentler on plumbing and household surfaces
- More effective on some stains
- Removes odors rather than covers them up
Ways you can use enzyme cleaners around the house
Enzyme cleaners are a natural and effective choice for dealing with many common problems homeowners encounter. In addition to removing food stains from clothing, urine stains from pets and getting rid of odors, they have a couple other surprising uses as well.
Enzymes in your bathroom
Enzyme cleaners are a great choice to use in bathrooms where there are often many odors and bodily fluids. You can use enzymes to wash the floor by mixing with warm water. Don’t rinse the floor afterwards, as the enzymes need time to work and be absorbed into the floor.
It’s particularly important that you don’t use your enzyme cleaner at the same time as a traditional disinfectant like bleach. Disinfectant kills the enzymes, so they won’t serve their purpose if mixed together. If you want to use both for an added level of cleanliness, start with the bleach, letting it dry completely before you use the enzyme cleaner.
Unclogging a drain with an enzyme cleaner
A constant problem in many bathrooms – drains get clogged with hair and soap build up. Traditional drain cleaners are very harsh and toxic chemicals, while enzyme cleaners are a gentler, safer alternative. Enzyme cleaners can effectively break down these fats and other obstacles blocking the drain.
One big difference between enzyme cleaners and more traditional corrosive drain cleaners is that enzymes need more time to work. Allow them to do their job overnight or over a few days before you use the drain again, so they don’t get washed away.
Dealing with stains and odors on carpets
You can use enzyme cleaners on all water-safe fabrics, including carpet. Carpet is often susceptible to stains from things like wine, urine, blood or other organic materials. Enzyme cleaners can be effective on these stains and can effectively get rid of both the stain and the odor.
Make sure you penetrate the carpet fibers to truly remove the stain because oftentimes stains are imbedded all the way down to the base of the carpet, and not just on the surface.
Enzyme cleaners are great for pet owners
Unless your pet lives outdoors, you’ve definitely had to deal with stinky odors due to their toilet habits, or lack thereof. Enzymatic cleaners are highly effective on pee and poop incidences on carpeted floors. Puppies and other young animals, who aren’t yet housebroken, are bound to have accidents.
Enzyme cleaners are perfect for pet owners because they don’t just cover up the smell, but they remove the stain and odor at its source. Some pets make a habit out often peeing in the same corner of your living room, leading you to continually deal with their stinky mess.
Removing the smell completely with an enzyme cleaner will discourage animals who have a regular habit of using the same well-loved spot on your carpet as their toilet. If they can’t smell their old pee anymore, they’ll find a new spot, hopefully an appropriate one in the litter box or back yard.
Removing laundry stains with enzymes
Dealing with stubborn stains is one of the more annoying parts of doing laundry. Enzyme-based laundry detergent helps break down odor and tough stains on clothes from common things like food, grass and blood. Laundry detergents with enzymes in them usually include “bio” in their name.
Video: 👉 This is why Enzyme cleaners are great 👈
Common questions about enzyme cleaners
No. Enzyme cleaners are effective in cleaning and getting rid of smells in kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, walls, floors and almost all surfaces, but they are not disinfectants. Do not rely on an enzyme cleaner alone to protect you from bacteria or a virus, like coronavirus.
Remember if you use an enzyme cleaner in combination with bleach, the bleach will make the enzyme cleaner ineffective. Make sure the bleach is fully dry before applying your enzyme cleaner.
No, white vinegar is not an enzyme cleaner. While both are effective on similar types of stains, they are two different things. Vinegar is composed of acetic acid and water and enzyme cleaners are made of proteins. Both are effective and more natural than some standard cleaners.
You can make your own homemade enzyme cleaner with a few simple ingredients you have at home, but it will need to sit for a couple weeks before you use it. You will need 2 cups of fresh citrus peel, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp yeast and 4 ¼ cup warm water.
Clean the citrus peel and cut it into ½ inch chunks, combine the ingredients in a clean 2-liter soda bottle, and shake the bottle until all the sugar dissolves. Open the cap to release the built-up pressure and put it back on. Do this 3 times a day to release pressure. After 2 weeks, only do it once a day. Let the mixture ferment for an additional 2 weeks to 3 months. Shake gently and vent daily. Strain out the citrus peel chunks and your mixture is ready to use. Remember to store it in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to use your homemade enzyme cleaner, mix ½ cup enzyme with 4 ¼ cup water for an all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle. Shake before each use. You can use it on all surfaces – cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, carpets and more. For tougher stains, make a more concentrated version.
Consider an enzyme cleaner
If you’re sick of breathing in harsh chemicals or trying to get hopeless stains out in vain, you should consider switching to an enzyme cleaner. Instead of covering up bad odors with toxic perfumes or removing stains with corrosive chemicals, they break down them down, getting to the source of the problem in an effective, natural way.
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