How Do Bio Enzymatic Cleaners Clean?

It is recommended that parents and schools teach children about proper hand washing when they are five years old, preferably earlier if possible.  These lessons are usually accompanied by a song and printed instructions with terrifying cartoon bacteria.  Having been taught from such an early age that bacteria are inherently harmful, it should come as no surprise that using bacteria for cleaning (Bio Enzymatic Cleaners) and sanitation sounds counterintuitive.  After all, words such as ‘bacteria’, ‘germs’, and ‘disease’ are often conflated and simplified.  Right now in the midst of this pandemic we are constantly talking about ways to kill germs, fight bacteria, stop the spread, and so on.  So how is it we can count on bacteria, of all things, to remove waste products and the offensive odors they create?   

Diversity of Bacteria

First and foremost it is important to remember that not all bacteria are bad for humans.  If they were we would be washing our hands more often and for much longer than twenty seconds.  Different types of living bacteria can be found on just about every surface imaginable, and some of them actually need to be there.  This is one of the reasons why hand sanitizers claim to kill ‘most bacteria’ and ‘99.99% of germs’.  If they killed all bacteria that they came into contact with, they would kill the bacteria naturally living on our skin.  As it stands using hand sanitizer too often can be harmful to your hand’s microbiome.  These beneficial bacteria are referred to as ‘non-pathogenic’ to differentiate them from harmful bacteria which can cause disease.

The Role of Enzymes

As the name would imply, a biological enzyme cleaner (often shortened to bio enzymatic cleaners) requires more than bacteria to function.  Nonpathogenic organisms are reliant on enzymes in order to fulfill their role as cleaners.  They produce these enzymes to break down the molecules of the soil that the cleaner is being used on.  Once these molecules are broken down the bacteria consume them, digest them, and break them down into one of two basic compounds- carbon dioxide or water.  It’s important to note that, contrary to popular belief, enzymes are not alive.

The bacteria will continue to multiply and break down the soil until there is nothing left of their food source.  When nothing remains the population will level off or slowly decrease.  They can then either continue working on new soils they encounter, or can be washed away the next time you clean.

There are hundreds of different types of enzymes.  The categories used to distinguish them do so by the types of soils that they interact with.  Examples of ten basic enzymes include: 

  • Proteases- protein-based soils such as blood, food, urine, feces, and wine

  • Lipases- fat molecules such as oil and grease

  • Amylases- starch molecules such as eggs, sugars, and sauces 

  • Cellulases- fibers made of cellulose material to soften fabric, restore color, reduce pilling, and remove soil

  • Pectinases- pectin, the most abundant carbohydrate found in food 

  • Phytases- phytate, releasing phosphorus in a form that is digestible for microbes and other living organisms

  • Uricases- uric acid, a crystal-forming substance that can cause kidney stones, and other compounds found in waste products from humans and animals 

  • Ureases- urea, a nitrogen-containing compound that releases nitrogen when broken down, making it available for digestible by microbes and other living organisms 

  • Nitrate Reductases- nitrate, which becomes nitrite when broken down and makes nitrogen available for digestion by microbes and other living organisms

  • Catalases- hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen and water

Whether or not bio enzymatic cleaners work is heavily dependent on whether or not the right enzyme is being applied to the right type of soil.  When these enzymes interact with the soil product, breaking it down to speed up a nonpathogenic bacteria’s ability to consume it, the process is called catalyzation.  Enzymes are capable of catalyzing only one type of reaction.

How a Bio Enzymatic Cleaner Works

These cleaning products are designed to be both safe and effective in equal measure.  So long as they are applied under the right conditions, the bacteria and enzyme duo will continue to work hours or even days after the initial application.  The required conditions are the presence of soil, the right enzyme is being used on the soil, and that the surface remains damp enough.  It is very important that you do not introduce another cleaning product with a high pH onto the same surface that the bio enzymatic cleaner has been used on, as this may neutralize the enzyme’s ability to function.  

If you want your cleaners to keep working at optimal efficiency, you will need to be mindful of shelf life.  These products have expiration dates, usually of one to two years.  You will also need to store it properly, away from extreme temperatures. 

Bio Enzymatic Cleaners

The Benefits to Using a Biological Enzyme Cleaner

It Can Find What We Cannot

We can detect soil through our sense of smell better than sight.  Because enzymes actively seek out the soil they are meant to break down, the cleaning product does not need to be applied directly onto the source of the odor.

It Needs One Application

Traditional cleaning products often need multiple applications to do a thorough job.  Bio enzymatic cleaners work until the bacteria runs out of ‘food’, so there is no need to apply more.

It Is Safe

Bio enzymatic cleaners are more environmentally friendly and safer for human use.  There are no harsh chemicals that can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and skin like those found in traditional products.

It Can Displace Harmful Bacteria

Nonpathogenic bacteria will be competing with pathogenic bacteria for a food source.  Pathogenic bacteria can, indirectly, be removed from surfaces and surrounding areas as a result.

It Can Reach Every Spot

Nonpathogenic bacteria are tiny enough to reach the cracks and crevices that traditional cleaning products might not.  It can clean more evenly throughout the area as a result.

The Best Applications of Bio Enzymatic Cleaners


Urine stains are very difficult to remove, and the odor is even harder to remove.  This is especially true of animals like cats who do not drink as much water as humans, the uric acid is less diluted.

Laundry Detergent

Enzymes can be used independently in laundry detergents.  The process of breaking down stains from wine, grease, and oils is triggered by other chemicals in the detergent. 

Carpet Cleaning

It can be difficult to remove stains from carpeting, and it becomes frustrating when the product you use discolors the carpeting.  These Bio Enzymatic Cleaners will not alter the color of your carpeting.  Because of how safe they are and the longevity of the bacteria, they can be used in places with high levels of foot traffic without issue.

Garbage and Dumpsters

The smell of rotting food is never pleasant, and it can become particularly atrocious in the summer time.  These cleaners will easily fight the malodor in garbage bins, trash cans, and compactors.

JBMbio is a world leader in the formulation and manufacture of sustainable microbial products. We manufacture, blend, formulate and package select strains of 100% natural bacteria.


JBMbio Agriculture products are select strains have been chosen for their ability to thrive in the root zone (rhizosphere) of plants where they break down organics quickly so the plant can process those nutrients in a more efficient manner. Resulting in a higher yield and stronger resistance to disease.

Animal Direct Fed Microbes (DFM)

JBMbio Direct Fed Microbes products reduce and control intestinal imbalances in livestock, including swine, dairy and poultry. Our strains of direct fed microbials (DFM’s) ensure a better feed conversation rate, resulting in healthier, more marketable animals over a shorter period of time.


JBMbio manufactures blends of 100% natural bacteria and enzymes that remediate hydrocarbons, fats, oils, greases, organics, odors and starches. Our JBMbio products are formulated for specific problems found in wastewater, ponds, lakes, livestock waste, sewage, and industrial & household cleaning.

Contract Manufacturing and Private Label

JBMbio offers premium contract manufacturing – as well as private label packaging – from contract fermentation to finished good products.  Our ability to deliver top to bottom product outsourcing saves you time and money and allows you to be more efficient in taking products to market.

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