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Laundry Enzymes: The Secret to Treating Tough Stains

Even the most casual label readers among us have seen the term "laundry enzymes" or "biological detergents." Although they've been around decades, enzyme-boosting laundry detergents are absolutely having their moment, and with good reason: they're fabulous for removing tough stains.

Here at Heritage Park Laundry Essentials, our Fine Laundry Detergent liquid contains a proprietary blend of enzymes. These all-natural ingredients act as cleaning catalysts that bring extra stain-fighting power to our products to leave your clothing and linens sparkling clean.

Let's take a closer look at what enzymes are and how they work in biological detergents.

Cleaning Enzymes 101

Cleaning and stain removal are a team effort. Think of enzymes as position players, each one trained to do a special job. Stains come in many forms, including proteins, starches, and lipids. Our enzyme detergent contains a range of enzymes, individually targeted to attack specific types of tough stains.

Protease (Subtilisin): Protease enzymes target protein stains. These include food stains such as egg and milk; grass and mud; and blood and other body fluids.

Alpha-amylase: These enzymes are formulated to remove starch stains such as those left by gravy, cereal, or pasta.

Pectate Lyase: Pectate lyase enzymes attack pectin stains, which are left by fruits and vegetables.

Lipase: As you may be able to tell by the name, the lipase enzyme targets fats or lipids. Lipase enzymes work on greasy food stains such as butter and oils and on other oil-based stains such as from lipstick or certain cosmetics.

Mannanase (Mannan endo-1,4-beta-mannosidase): This enzyme attacks mannans, a form of sugar used to thicken and stabilize food items such as ketchup and ice cream and personal care products like deodorants, all of which are major stain culprits.

cleaning enzymes hard at work cleaning and removing stains on fabric fibers

Similar to the various enzymes in our bodies that help digest the food we ingest, laundry enzyme activity works to break down stains. A soiled mass is broken into smaller molecules that are taken away in the rinse cycle. When treated with enzymes, even stubborn stains can be washed away.

Maximizing the Effectiveness of Enzymes with Warm Water

Heritage Park Fine Laundry Detergent is formulated to perform in a variety of water temperatures. However, washing in warm water -- which makes the enzymes move faster -- will unleash their power more quickly on a stain. For example, if you run a wash at 40 degrees for two minutes and a wash at 100 degrees for two minutes, you would see better results from the warmer wash.

How about cold or hot water? The enzymes in our detergent will also work in cold water; however, they may take longer to remove. Hot water, while being effective on water-soluble stains, is not an ideal environment for enzymes, which can degrade at high temperatures. When tempted to go hot, use warm instead, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for laundering and temperature.

Using Enzyme Detergent as a Prewash Stain Remover

A well-formulated enzyme detergent like Heritage Park Fine Laundry Detergent can also be used as a prewash stain remover either alone or in combination with other methods. For lighter stains, dissolve a capful of detergent in a cup of warm water and put in a spray bottle; spray liberally over the stain and let sit at least an hour prior to washing. For more serious stains, moisten the fabric, and apply detergent directly; rub gently to remove the stain. Rinse and repeat before washing if needed.

Click here for a guide to removing common stains.

Use an Enzyme Detergent as a Prewash Stain Remover

Note: Always use caution and check the manufacturer's laundering instructions before attempting to treat any stain. Begin with the least aggressive method first, such as pretreating with detergent or stain removal treatment. Spot test areas of fabric for colorfastness before using any chemical treatment, including hydrogen peroxide, oxidized bleach, or even baking soda, which can remove the color from some fabrics.

Enzymes and Protein-Based Fabrics Such as Silk and Wool

Enzyme-based stain treatment products and detergents like Heritage Park Fine Laundry detergent are highly effective at removing stains (particularly protein-based stains such as blood, body fluids, dairy products, egg) and can be used regularly to launder most fabrics. These enzyme-based treatments and detergents can also be used sparingly to treat stains on protein-based fabrics such as silk or wool. For regular laundering of wool and silk, we recommend an enzyme-free detergent such as Fine Silk and Wool Detergent from Heritage Park.

Welcome to the World of Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

Here at Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and table linens, we found that while many of the commercially available "gentle detergents" could still harm fabrics, or they didn't get the job done, leaving tough stains such as lipstick, coffee, gravy, and salad oil stains. We believed we could do better and decided to fill that need. After more than a year of intensive research and product development, we created Heritage Park Laundry Essentials.

Our unique formulations have the perfect balance of powerful, yet safe, ingredients to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on clothing, bedding, towels, synthetic fabrics, and even heirloom linens. Heritage park contains NO sulfates, dyes, phosphates, chlorine, bleach, or caustics. It has a neutral pH and our Original Fragrance-Free wash has been dermatologist and pediatrician approved for those with sensitive skin or allergies. It is biodegradable and is Leaping Bunny Approved to be 100% cruelty-free and never tested on animals. Suitable for regular and HE machines, and proudly made in the United States. We are delighted to have you as our customer and welcome you to contact us toll-free at 800-977-1841 or info@heritageparklaundry.com with any product feedback or questions.