Bio-enzymatic products work well on all hard surfaces and best in restrooms, locker rooms and foodservice areas. Some products are designed for carpeting and fabrics and can penetrate these soft surfaces without discoloring them. Because of their near-neutral pH, bio-enzymatic products won’t damage surfaces.

The products can work within 30 to 60 minutes, and last at least until the area is soiled again.

“That’s why in restrooms, stadiums or arenas, it’s a big item for a cleaning service because they have a constant flow of people using the facilities,” Craven says.

And, with bio-enzymatic products, cleaning professionals don’t have to worry as much about leaving chemical residue behind. With traditional chemicals, residue causes further resoiling. With bio-enzymatic products, the residue continues to consume organic material and helps control odor for up to 80 hours.

In addition, typical cleaners do not always remove the actual odor source. In a restroom, for example, the odor typically comes from uric salts, left behind after urine has dried on the walls, floors, toilets or partitions. In a cleaning application without enzymes, many of the uric salts are wiped away and removed, but some are left behind or simply moved around by the mop, rag or brush — leaving behind solids that begin to decompose and cause odors.

“With bio-enzymatic cleaners, during and after the cleaning has stopped, the enzymes feed on the uric salts,” says Cadell. “These enzymes lie dormant in their concentrate and awake when mixed with water, and when they awaken, they look for their food source, similar to a bear waking up from hibernation. Once either the food source or water runs out, the enzymes stop feeding, go dormant again, and, for all intents and purposes, become dust that will be cleaned up in the next restroom service.”

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