What's the Difference between Biological and Non Biological Washing Powder? How to choose the right laundry detergent
What a dilemma
We’ve all been there - standing in the laundry isle of the supermarket staring at all the different washing powders. Shelf after shelf with colourful labels all promising to get your laundry squeaky clean.
But there is a problem - not only do you have to choose the right laundry detergent brand at the right price, but you also have to understand whether you need a biological or non biological washing powder, which option cleans whites better, or removes stains but not the colours of your favourite t-shirt.
Plus you need to consider the environmental impacts of your choice and if you have family members with sensitive skin you have to think about their needs too. What a dilemma.
The difference between Biological and Non Biological Washing powder
The major difference between the two products is that a Biological washing powder contains enzymes, whereas the non-biological powders don’t. Both products contain bleach to remove stains like grass, but because not all stains can be bleached, the manufacturers add enzymes to the biological washing powder.
The enzymes are great for removing fatty or protein based stains such as blood and egg, but may also fade the colours of your laundry. The enzymes are thought to cause skin reactions in people with sensitive skin, so people who have allergies usually stick with non biological products.
A Quick overview of the Pro’s and Con’s of Biological vs. Non Biological Washing Powder Products
Biological Washing Powder
- Contains both Enzymes & Bleach for stain removal
- Not so good for sensitive skin as the enzymes could cause a skin reaction
- Better at removing all types of stains
- Harder on colours which may lead to fading
- The enzymes in a biological wash powder may take longer to disperse within the environment, but the temperatures for washing can be lower than for a non-biological powder.
Non Biological Washing Powder
- Contains bleach for stain removal
- The better choice for people with sensitive skin
- Gentler on colours, but less effective on fatty stains
- The non-bio powder needs a higher temperature to get your laundry clean, which uses more electricity and water
Now you know the basics, but hold on - there is more!
Laundry powder manufacturers know how to keep themselves busy and come up with new products every week. Here is an overview of what you can expect from some of the most common types of laundry products:
Non Bio Washing Powder or Tablets
- Contains Perfume, Bleach, Surfactants, Polymers & Builders (softners)
- Good for naturally occurring stains such as sweat, bark, grass, mud
- Good for sensitive skin
- Contain Perfume, polymers, Surfactants, Builders & enzymes but NO Bleach
- Good for your colours, but removing stains from your white t-shirts will be very difficult without the bleach
Biological Washing Powder or Tablets
- Contain all components to get your clothes clean. Bleach, Perfume, Enzymes, Polymers Builders & surfactants.
- The best choice for your whites & very pale clothing
- After ten or so washes you will start noticing the detrimental effects the powder has on the colours
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