Three best enzymatic cleaners
Traditional cleaners use chemicals to wash away stains and odors, but some people worry about the potential health consequences of using these products, especially if there are children or pets in the home. If you're interested in a more natural cleaning product, an enzymatic cleaner might be right for you. These cleaners employ enzymes and good bacteria to help break down tough stains and odors while still being gentle on surfaces and fabrics. Here's a brief overview of what you need to know about enzymatic cleaners.
Considerations when choosing enzymatic cleaners
Each enzymatic cleaner contains a different enzyme, or combination of enzymes, which works to break down different types of stains. Choose an enzymatic cleaner that has the appropriate enzymes for the types of stains you regularly encounter. If you plan to use the cleaner on a variety of stains, it's best to choose a product that offers multiple enzymes. The following are the three main types of enzymes in these cleaners:
Amylase: This breaks down starches, including eggs, sugar, and some sauces.
Lipase: Lipase breaks down fats. It's effective on oil and grease stains.
Protease: This eliminates protein-based stains like wine, urine, and blood.
Enzymatic cleaner features
Delivery method: Enzymatic cleaners can come in spray bottles like traditional cleaners or pour bottles. Pour bottles are typically larger, so this is the way to go if you want the best value. But spray bottles are much easier to control. You could also consider purchasing a pour bottle and transferring the contents to a spray bottle.
Concentration: For particularly stubborn stains, you should choose a product that offers a more concentrated dose of enzymes. You might notice these formulas listed as "commercial strength" or "industrial strength."
Drying time: A top enzymatic cleaner takes somewhere between 12 and 24 hours to dry completely. It's important that you allow the area to dry completely in order to give the enzymes time to remove the stain and odor.
Scent: Some formulas are scented, but the majority are not. If you're sensitive to smells, it would be wise to stay away from scented formulas.
Enzymatic cleaner prices: You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $50 for an enzymatic cleaner, depending on the size of the bottle and the mixture of enzymes it contains. Spray bottles usually cost $20 or less, while pour bottles start at around $25.
Q. Are enzymatic cleaners safe?
A. Yes. Enzymatic cleaners don't contain potentially toxic ingredients like those found in traditional cleaners. Instead, they employ enzymes and live bacteria that work to break down stains and the chemicals that cause odors. Like any cleaning product, when not in use, these cleaners should be stored in a cupboard or somewhere out of reach of children and pets.
Q. What kinds of stains will an enzymatic cleaner work on?
A. Enzymatic cleaners are commonly used to eliminate organic stains like urine, feces, and blood. However, they're also effective on stubborn food stains like grease, cooking oil, and even wine.
Enzymatic cleaners we recommend
Best of the best: Mister Max Unscented Anti Icky Poo Odor Remover
Our take: Considered to be the best in its class in terms of eliminating pet odors and stains.
What we like: This versatile cleaner is environmentally friendly and surprisingly powerful, eliminating urine, vomit, and other odors without leaving behind a sickly chemical smell. It's also safe for use on upholstery and other delicate materials.
What we dislike: Leaves a sticky residue when used on hard surfaces.
Best bang for your buck: Nature's Miracle Just for Cats Stain & Odor Remover
Our take: Cat owners will want to move this enzymatic cleaner to the top of their list.
What we like: This potent formula is specifically designed to eliminate strong cat urine, but users report that it works on dog odors, too. It's a popular choice for those who are trying to remove stubborn pet odors from laundry.
What we dislike: The cleaner's new formula has a perfume-like scent that some customers dislike, but the company has acknowledged this and is actively working to develop a lighter scent.
Our take: This safe enzymatic cleaner is effective on common stains and odors, but it's not as powerful as our top picks on stubborn odors like cat urine.
What we like: This gentle formula doesn't leave a residue behind, and it's safe to use around pets and children. It's effective on all materials, including hard floors, carpet, upholstery, and even clothing.
What we dislike: This cleaner is a little pricey. Users have said it doesn't completely eliminate the odor of cat urine.
Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.