Are biological or non-biological detergents better for the environment?

Have you ever wondered what the difference actually is between a biological and non-biological laundry detergent? What about if a biological or non-biological detergent is better for the environment?

A biological detergent is one that contains an enzyme (a reaction catalyst) that speed up the removal of stains in the washing cycle.  Biological detergents can therefore be more effective at removing stains.  A non-biological detergent does not contain enzymes but this is better for sensitive skin.

The environmental impact is not so clear.  Whilst the enzymes contained in a biological detergent may take longer to disperse within the environment, the temperatures for washing can be lower than for a non-biological powder.  The non-bio detergent may require a higher temperature for the same effect, therefore using more energy.  However developments in non-biological detergents mean that they can increasingly offer the same washing effect at a reduced temperature e.g. 30°C.

Recommended environmentally-friendly detergents

Ecover Concentrated Non Bio Washing Powder

Ecover Zero Laundry Liquid

Method Fresh Air Liquid Laundry Detergent

Ecozone Soap nuts

Ecos Laundry Detergent

Ecoegg Laundry Egg

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