Biochemical and Biological Cleaners are Nature's Green Cleaning Products

Biochemical Products

Enzymes are nature's green cleaning products, and you can usually identify a biochemically active product by their presence on the label. Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts, kick-starters to help other complex chemical reactions take place.

In the human body, enzymes are most often used to help the body digest and process nutrients. That's why when you see a marketing image of enzymes at work they are often shown as hungry little monsters chomping away at dirt and stains.

Cleaning products that are enzyme-related usually contain enzymes (protease and amylase are common ones), enzyme activators and/or enzyme inhibitors.

Activators get the enzyme process started, and inhibitors might stop an existing enzyme process. They do not cause artificial chemical reactions, but encourage normal ones.

One of the great things that makes enzymes one of nature's green cleaning products is that enzymes are very fussy. They only work under very specific circumstances. Once the dirt or stain they break down is gone, they stop working.

Enzymes are primarily used to break down stains, protein 'dirt', or odor-causing deposits in fabrics and soft furnishings.

Biological Products

True biological green cleaning cleaning products are relatively new for housecleaning. They are being developed by a number of small European companies looking for safe alternatives to the dangerous chemicals that we use for tough jobs such as removing carpet stains and cleaning ovens. Biological products work a little like yeast. Yeast is a single-celled plant that is dormant and 'brought back to life' when mixed with water and food (usually sugar). Once it is 'activated' we use it to make baked goods rise in the presence of heat. Once the 'food source' is gone, or the environmental conditions change the cells stop reproducing and the population dies off.

This means that biological products offer some of the same benefits as enzymes - wisely chosen, they are naturally self-limiting.

Biological products are effective, but tend to be expensive because they are so new. They are available as oven cleaners, sanitizers, removers of hard water deposits and for other tough cleaning tasks.

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