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Next Generation Probiotic Degreasers v. Conventional Alternatives

Dec 1, 2022

In the commercial cleaning industry, there is demand for cleaning products that can eliminate stubborn grease soils completely. Degreasers might come to mind first, but probiotic cleaners are becoming more and more popular. But what are the differences? Continue reading to learn more.


To begin, it is important to understand what enzymes are and how they work. Enzymes are specialized proteins created by bacteria that catalyze or speed up specific biochemical reactions. The substance the enzyme acts upon is called a substrate. Most enzymes are unique 3-dimensional configurations based on their amino acid sequence, which is attributed to the shapes of the enzyme’s active site and the shape of the substrate.

There can be various types of enzymes, such as proteases, amylases, and lipases, which break down specific soils.

  • Proteases break down protein-based soils including blood, food, feces, wine, and other beverages
  • Lipases break down fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerol which can be easily washed away
  • Amylases break down starch molecules like eggs, sugars, sauces, ice cream, and gravy
  • Cellulases target paper soils
  • Uricases target uric acid

Enzyme proteins are highly specific to the type of material they work on and are only active when the specific substrate is present, and conditions are correct. Enzymes work to break down the complex substrates into smaller molecules via a chemical reaction. Each type of enzyme is different and will catalyze only one type of reaction. Enzymes are not living organisms, but they are produced by cells in living organisms to help digest soils quickly. Once the enzymes are depleted, no more will be generated and there is no residual cleaning benefit.

Probiotic Cleaners

Bacteria are living cells that produce their own enzymes and must eat to survive. Probiotics are a type of bacteria that do not cause illness and provide benefits, like aiding with digestion and immunity. They are found in soil, water, and even stomachs.

Different probiotic strains produce different enzymes, and the effectiveness of those enzymes varies against different soils based on their unique 3-dimensional shape, as previously explained. If bacteria did not create enzymes, complex food would take too long to disintegrate into consumable components, and the bacteria would not be able to eat enough in a short enough period of time to survive and reproduce.

As a cleaning technology, probiotics remove all types of organic soils by consuming them. Studies show that bacteria can digest petroleum-based soils as well as fats, oils, greases, and other food-based soils. In addition, certain probiotics break down and digest volatile fatty acids, the cause of malodors, and eliminate malodors by attacking them at the source. When bacteria consume soils, the only byproducts are more bacteria, carbon dioxide, and water.

"Probiotics produce the correct enzymes needed to digest the right food source when it is needed and continually, which makes them more effective and longer lasting. "

No waste is left behind because bacteria continually feed on and digest the food source until there is nothing left. This stands in contrast to “free enzymes” in enzymatic cleaners, which are used up in the cleaning application and do not provide continuous cleaning. Instead, probiotics produce the correct enzymes needed to digest the right food source when it is needed and continually, which makes them more effective and longer lasting

Traditional Degreasers

Degreasers remove grease from a surface. There are different types of degreasers, both waterbased and solvent-based that use different mechanisms in order to work. Most traditional degreasing products use a combination of ingredients to lift grease, tough debris, and stains easily without much wiping or scrubbing, obtaining the desired cleaning and degreasing effect.

Traditional degreasers use nonrenewable petroleum-based ingredients, have a high pH, are corrosive to the skin and eyes, and do not provide any residual cleaning benefits. Due to the high PH, the used cleaning solution must be treated before it enters the municipal waste stream.

Some probiotic cleaners have degreasing properties and eliminate grease and odors. Lipase and protease enzymes have been found to be effective at breaking down petroleum soils and have been used effectively in major oil spills. As the probiotic degreaser works to clean up grease, it will continue to keep pipes and plumbing grease- and clog-free by continually working after initial application.

EnviroZyme® Probiotic Solutions

Enzymes, probiotics, and surfactant chemistry are combined in our newest product line, EnviroZyme® Probiotic Solutions. We ferment our own beneficial bacteria to produce targeted probiotic cleaning solutions that are proven to continue working for 21 days post application. Strains are selected based on their efficacy against specific soils, including fat, oil, grease, and other organic soils. Proprietary nutrient packages boost probiotic growth for better, faster results in multiple applications, including:

  • Drains
  • Floors
  • Loading Docks/Dumpsters
  • Tile and Grout
  • Grease Traps
  • Beverage Tower Trays
  • Garbage Disposals
  • Urinals

For more information about EnviroZyme Probiotic Solutions, products, and how it can help tackle grease and other organic soils, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.