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Biological washing powder- what is it, exactly?

(19 Posts)
pinkmunkee Thu 11-Sep-08 12:24:09

Today is my day for asking lots of stupid question on MN. As a child, we always had non bio washing powder and so as an adult I have always bought it. Better for the skin, I hear- especially as I'm so damn sensitive wink.

But then yesterday I thought to myself that actually I don't know the difference. Can someone explain it to me please?

Many thank yous

Cadelaide Thu 11-Sep-08 12:31:39

it has enzymes that dissolve stains, afaik.

sorry for bluntness, multitasking.

bloss Thu 11-Sep-08 12:53:31

Message withdrawn

zippitippitoes Thu 11-Sep-08 12:56:22

i dont find that it is the difference between bio and non bio that cause me skin fare ups but just different formulas

DaisySteiner Thu 11-Sep-08 13:01:02

There was some research published recently which showed that bio was no more likely to cause skin sensitivity than non-bio. You can buy bio specifically for coloured clothes so they shouldn't fade as much, and 'normal' bio for whites.

You shouldn't use bio on wool or silk as these are made from protein and the enzymes will degrade them and damage the fabric.

pinkmunkee Thu 11-Sep-08 18:47:48

Ah- I see. I might just give the bio stuff a go. Sounds like it'll get rid of those food dribbles more efficiently (not mine, you understand- DSs) Thanks everyone.

SqueakyPop Thu 11-Sep-08 18:55:24

Biological uses enzymes to assist in removing dirt and stains.

Non-bio powders compensate for the missing enzymes by having more chemical cleaners, including more bleach, surfactant etc.

I believe that bio powders are milder because they actually contain fewer or lower levels of chemical cleaners.

The only reason to avoid bio powders is if you are sensitised to the specific enzymes, which is unlikely for the vast majority of the population.

Most countries don't actually care about the enzymes - they use them and that is that.

Anna8888 Thu 11-Sep-08 18:57:57

Ah, so the distinction between bio and non-bio powders is specifically British?

Which would explain why I don't see the distinction in the shops here in France...

BBBee Thu 11-Sep-08 19:00:47

IIRC enzymes break down proteins - so any egg, blood, food, er, organic stains will be broken down by the enzymes and easily dissolved. Without enzymes rely on more 'soap' type cleaners.

When bio first came out I was little and reacted badly - have used non-bio ever since.

zippitippitoes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:00:50

i use tesco bio

im allergic to their for coloureds tho

in the past i have had reactions to bold..too perfumey i think

persil and surcare and ecover

ariel has been ok

but they do change the formulas

lardybump Thu 11-Sep-08 19:15:10

Should you use non bio on baby bits?

lardybump Thu 11-Sep-08 19:15:10

Should you use non bio on baby bits?

zippitippitoes Thu 11-Sep-08 19:15:48

imo opinion it doesnt make any difference

expatinscotland Thu 11-Sep-08 19:16:51

i use Lidl/Formil bio on bedding and towels.

on clothes, Lidl/Formil non bio. if the load is particularly soiled, then half non-bio and half washing soda crystals with a bit of white vinegar mixed with lavender oil in the fabric softener drawer.

RandomIdiot Thu 11-Sep-08 19:20:19

I have always gone for a non-bio for baby clothes.

TBH when DDs are/were under 18-24m I use non-bio for everything. I chnage back to bio when they get over hte baby stage. I don't want to sensitize delicate skin.

I don't faff about doing baby things in one and adult things in another. I only ever buy 1 at a time IYSWIM.

Overmydeadbody Thu 11-Sep-08 19:21:19

expat is the Queen of laundry care here on MN grin

I just use bio on everything, and always have done but neither DS nor I have sensitive skin.

lljkk Thu 11-Sep-08 19:22:11

These links are quite good for describing all the relevant enzymes:
Housekeeping channel
MAPS biotech com
London South Bank Uni

expatinscotland Thu 11-Sep-08 19:23:45

dd1 has sensitive skin. she can't use bath products or shampoos with SLS, for example.

so because of her i use the non-bio, but i use powder.

bio i use liquid.

also make sure the machine is cleaned out once a quarter.

lardybump Thu 11-Sep-08 19:33:13

thanks for that....

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