Please clear this up for me once and for all - bio washing stuff

(48 Posts)
FreshWest Tue 20-Aug-13 21:49:10

I've read here that bio washing detergens "don't work" at higher temperatures.
Please can somebody clarify what aspect doesn't work, the cleaning part or the bio part? I'm very confused. I use bio liquid and most washes are at 30 or 40. However I wash my towels and bedding at 60, does this mean I'm wasting my time or does the hotter wash still kill germs 'n' stuff?
I feel like I'm going in circles trying to find the answer on google.

If anybody knows please share and there's cake in it for you.
<then I'll shuffle off and try to find my life>

e1y1 Tue 20-Aug-13 23:48:41

Ooh all excited, this is my area (v.sad I know). Biological detergents have enzymes in the them, enzymes are naturally occurring organisms; they are used in bio detergents to "digest" certain stain groups - as they are good at this. At temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, they start to "die off" so the enzymes that were there become less effective/not there at all. This isn't bad in itself (unless you have washing with stains on them which would benefit from having a detergent with enzymes). So when you do the towels on a hot wash, you won't have any enzymes, but the hot water will be enough for cleaning/removing germs. However, if you have a load with stains on them, you would need to keep the temp to 30 to 40 degrees as this is the temp the enzymes work best at. If you're worried about germs, what you would want to be concerned about is the type of detergent you're using, liquid detergent doesn't contain any oxygen based bleaching agents (which is used in detergents for laundry disinfection) only powder detergents contain this (except colour care or eco versions of powder) so when you use a bio liquid detergent on a high temp, because there are no enzymes anymore you're essentially using a detergent with a brightener and perfume. There's no enzymes anymore and there was never any oxygen bleaches. HTH

Terrorvision Tue 20-Aug-13 23:52:10

E1y1, what's in non-bio detergents? I was always bamboozled by bio/non-bio. Am in Australia where they don't mention it ...

VileWoman Tue 20-Aug-13 23:58:45

The main ingredient in both biological and non biological powders is sodium carbonate, or, as it's more commonly known, washing soda. And (dons pedant's hat) enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts, not biological organisms themselves. At too high a temperature they cook and so don't function anymore.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 00:03:56

ooh, this is handy cause I'm confused by this stuff.

When I lived abroad, I used normal washing powder, cause they don't have bio washing powder.

I used a colour care washing powder, and a black wash one for black clothes and jeans. I haven't been able to find the black wash one in UK yet.

Am I reading this right - the bio washing powder still has bleaching agents? So I would need a colour care one, or liquid tabs that go straight into the machine?

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:07:58

Non bio detergents are basically the exact same as bio except enzymes. What makes detergents vary is the format (whether powder or liquid based) the below may not be right for Australia, as each country has different laundry cultures and therefore detergent products vary too between markets.

I will try and explain (I will tell you the main ingredients that matter)

Bio powder = Oxygen bleach + optical brighteners + enzymes + scent + tiny bit of soap

Non bio powder = Oxygen bleach + optical brighteners + scent + tiny bit of soap

Colour care powder = Enzymes + scent + tiny bit of soap
(no oxygen bleach or optical brighteners as this is what fades colour - although some colour care products are now using optical brighterners as it can give colours a brighter look but also can cause a whitish hue over time?)

Then onto liquids (stay with me smile )

Bio = same as powder except NO BLEACH AGENTS

Non bio = same as powder except NO BLEACH AGENTS

Colour care = exact same as the powder

I will let you all sleep now grin

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:18:33

mime woolite do a darks wash detergent - seen it in Tesco also Tesco do an own brand darks wash detergent called Protect.

CointreauVersial Wed 21-Aug-13 00:23:23

I have a tiny crush on e1y1.

MrsTwgtwf Wed 21-Aug-13 00:26:50

I think she wants to marry me though, CV.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 00:27:08

So could I use bio liquid tabs for whites and colours, and the black stuff for black/denim? Or would I be better with colour liquid tabs for the coloured stuff? Don't want it to fade.

We have had our washing machine and tumble dryer put into a cupboard and now discovered that the drawer doesn't fully open so it is a real faff to get powder into it (and gets the drawer messy, which I can't clean without removing both machines from the cupboard!)

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:29:20

blush thank you both, didnt think my laundry obsession would get me admiration smile

KellyHopter Wed 21-Aug-13 00:29:22

Me too!

KellyHopter Wed 21-Aug-13 00:30:50

Love that you got all excited about the subject grin

So is powder better then? If you were to have just one laundry detergent which should it be?

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:36:41

Liquid tabs are not the ultimate best for whites as no uk liquid detergent at the moment contains bleaching agents, so overtime whites would go dingy as no bleach being used. The best would be powder or powder tablets for whites and then liquid or colour care detergent for colours.

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:37:25

If I had one and only one. I w

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:42:07

Oops posted to early, if I had one and only one, it would have to be bio powder, as it has enzymes for stain removal, bleaching agents for brightening and disinfecting. I'd have to put up with a tiny bit of fading. To be fair though, a normal detergent isn't go to completely strip colour from your clothes - they just won't be as colourful as they could be if you used a non bleach or colour care product, and even then, colour care can only do so much - after so many washes the fabrics will lose some colour. Only way of it not doing is not to wash them

MmeLindor Wed 21-Aug-13 00:47:44

[joins in the girlcrush]

Thanks, will steer clear of the liquid for the whites then.

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 00:53:52

Head won't fit through door now, grin

Liquid will do an ok job as it still has optical brighteners, but not as good as powder will do it, as that has bleaching agents (obv except colour care powders).

The ariel adverts angers me, as does the vanish adverts - as if you use detergent (whatever type) and add the ariel/vanish stain/whitener product - you're basically adding whats already in a normal bio powder anyway (granted its in a slightly higher concentration, but it's still the same ingredients)

LongTailedTit Wed 21-Aug-13 01:31:14

I remember a thread from ages ago where a poster gave us her DHs top tips: he was a washing machine repairman.

Basically, always use powder, straight into the drum (or in a ball thingy).

He reckoned liquid in the drawer was a biiiig no-no, as it gunked up the insides, and powder in the drawer wasn't great either.
I think he just hated all liquid detergents due to the residue they left behind.

I switched to putting it straight in the drum, and our washing doesn't go stinky if left overnight anymore, so maybe he had a point!

tharsheblows Wed 21-Aug-13 04:16:02

Total hijack, although I hope no one will mind:
e1y1, what causes those oily looking stains on clothes sometimes? It's not oil, I mean, it's not from something oily spilled down my top. I seem to get it when I use powders, although it might be something else. It definitely is from the wash!

I am totally loving this thread. I am in the US in the moment and have been amazed at how well the laundry detergents here now work. It used to be that the UK ones were better. A few days ago I was wondering if some sort of environmental standard has been relaxed...

This thread is useful! I never thought about my laundry choices before tonight. I just use liquid in the drawer because it's less messy. I use non bio for no particular reason, because I always have. Should I switch to bio powder? I might give it a go! It looks like that's the best for stain removal and brightening?

Now, is it the bleach in the powder that stops it causing mold in the machine like liquid does?

I'm trying to make my DM use powder as she gets mold and she closes the door after every wash, tight, and leaves things to soak overnight.

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 09:01:41

tharsh yes I know exactly which oily stains y

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 09:09:22

... This phone.
starts again smile

tharsh Those stains are caused by fabric softeners usually. If its this, pretreat with a boy of detergent on the stain and rewash

ehric Yes powder is better at brightening as this contains bleaching agents

mrs terry Yes powder will do much more to prevent mould due to the bleaching agents being present. No UK liquids contain bleach, and not certain if other countries formulations do, but in the UK they literally cannot manufacture bleaching agents into liquid detergents (at the moment anyway)

e1y1 Wed 21-Aug-13 09:11:14

*bit of detergent, not boy smile

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