Laundry Warriors Seeking the Perfect Climate Mushroom

Group of orange fungi photographed at the King's Landing Historical Settlement in Prince William, New Brunswick, Canada.
Group of orange fungi photographed at the King’s Landing Historical Settlement in Prince William, New Brunswick, Canada. By M KubicaOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Worried about all the strange biological additives in your laundry liquid? Its about to get a lot weirder.

Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

Experts in the study of fungi are playing a bigger role in improving laundry detergents and, by extension, leading efforts to cut energy use.


COPENHAGEN — A Danish biotechnology company is trying to fight climate change — one laundry load at a time. Its secret weapon: mushrooms like those in a dormant forest outside Copenhagen.

In the quest for a more environmentally friendly detergent, two scientists at the company, Novozymes, regularly trudge through the mud, hunting for oyster mushrooms that protrude from a fallen beech or bracken fungi that feast on tough plant fibers. They are studying the enzymes in mushrooms that speed up chemical reactions or natural processes like decay.

“There is a lot going on here, if you know what to look for,” said Mikako Sasa, one of the Novozymes scientists.

Their work is helping the company develop enzymes for laundry and dishwasher detergents that would require less water, or that would work just as effectively at lower temperatures. The energy savings could be significant. Washing machines, for instance, account for over 6 percent of household electricity use in the European Union.

Modern detergents contain as many as eight different enzymes. In 2016, Novozymes generated about $2.2 billion in revenue and provided enzymes for detergents including Tide, Ariel and Seventh Generation.

The quantity of enzymes required in a detergent is relatively small compared with chemical alternatives, an appealing quality for customers looking for more natural ingredients. A tenth of a teaspoon of enzymes in a typical European laundry load cuts by half the amount of soap from petrochemicals or palm oil in a detergent.

Enzymes are also well suited to helping cut energy consumption. They are often found in relatively cool environments, like forests and oceans. As a result of that low natural temperature, they do not require the heat and pressure typically used in washing machines and other laundry processes.

In 2009, Novozymes scientists teamed up with Procter & Gamble to develop an enzyme that could be used in liquid detergents for cold-water washes. Researchers started with an enzyme from soil bacteria in Turkey, and modified it through genetic engineering to make it more closely resemble a substance found in cool seawater. When they found the right formula, they called the enzyme Everest, a reference to the scale of the task accomplished.

“We knew this was something that consumers would want,” said Phil Souter, associate director of Procter & Gamble’s research and development unit in Newcastle, England. “I think this is a very tangible and practical way people can make a difference in their everyday lives.”

Read more:

Water shortages are surely a reason to build more reservoirs, not to cut down on family water usage.

I’m not sold on all this laundry enzyme business. I’m sure Novozymes are conscientious in their safety research efforts, but my family always uses non-bio detergent due to past allergic skin reactions to laundry enzymes. Enzymes have their place in industry and waste disposal, but the thought of placing my allergies in contact with the residue of exotic new biologicals doesn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm.

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January 1, 2018 2:43 pm

ditto…..sheets and bed linens get one wash…and three rinses in my house…and I will not use a low water washer…I use a super capacity with all the water it will hold

J Mac
Reply to  Latitude
January 1, 2018 2:59 pm

I had a persistent and variable rash problem that ‘went away’ when I changed to low/no enzyme detergents for general laundry washing. I really think the detergent manufacturers should do more screenings for allergy response before fielding their ‘new and improved’ products.

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 3:22 pm

Agreed! I have to be careful, as some brands of washing detergent triggers my asthma. Environmental friendly, not so much …

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 3:24 pm

” I really think the detergent manufacturers should do more screenings for allergy response”

That’s not what is taught at Harvard Business School,
They look at – Maximum turnover for minimum outlay = greatest profit

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 3:41 pm

I had the rash…and the splitting sinus headache 30 mins to an hour after going to bed….stopped using Oxyclean….switched to a allergy detergent….1 wash and rinse…then do it again with no detergent = 2 more rinses…rash is slowly going away…but headaches stopped the first time I did that

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 3:45 pm

BTW….I’m trying ‘All Free’ right now

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 3:51 pm

When I find a detergent that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction, I stick with the brand as long as possible. If the company doesn’t go to “new and improved” too quickly, I’m okay. There are also ways to make your own detergent if all else fails (or you enjoy doing so).

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 4:24 pm

Guys, searching on the internet I found someone that made a list all the “free and clear” detergents for allergies…and what they actually contain….including enzymes

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 4:44 pm

Uh … your link LOST ME … at … If you are just starting your cloth diapering journey, I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to choose a really good detergent

Uh … NO … I am not the least bit interested in handling my infant grandchildren’s droppings. Been there, done that. Give me some synthetic disposable CONVENIENCE. I don’t WANT to live on some primitive prairie in some romanticized fuzzy Norman Rockwell painting. My “cloth diapering journey” ENDED the day I grabbed my first Costco-sized package of HUGGIES.

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 4:57 pm

I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to choose a really good detergent”

Hanging them out in winter gets then really clean.

Frozen solid in the morning had to let them thaw a bit before you could use them..

Child always used to complain for some reason.. 😉

Reply to  J Mac
January 1, 2018 5:08 pm

kenji…roaring laughing!!
…just use the chart….LOL

Reply to  J Mac
January 2, 2018 3:45 am

@Latitude – I had a respiratory problem with oxyclean – irritated my sinuses whenever I even walked past something laundered in it. Might get the clothes clean, but if you can’t use it, what good is it. Oh, and yeah, it took several normal washings to get the clothing to where I could wear them again.

Reply to  J Mac
January 2, 2018 7:34 pm

Nothing that a huge class action law suit against the manufacturers and suppliers won’t fix….

Reply to  Latitude
January 1, 2018 4:13 pm

Mine is a 40 year old Simpson 144 Heavy Duty, massive capacity.

I fitted a reconditioned timer a year or so ago, so I reckon she has another 40 years left in her. 🙂

Reply to  AndyG55
January 1, 2018 4:14 pm

PS, only the cold tap is attached, because I don’t want to pay for the water heating.

Reply to  AndyG55
January 1, 2018 4:22 pm

…and those things will last forever too!

Reply to  AndyG55
January 1, 2018 4:55 pm

When I was living out bush, it survived through 2 mice plagues. and a lot of clothe nappies. !

Some of the windings on the motor are eaten away, and I had to heats shrink some of the wires to repair them.

But she still keeps on keeping on.. I even painted her lid when I replaces the timer.

Brand new.. sort of. 🙂

george e. smith
Reply to  Latitude
January 1, 2018 7:40 pm

If you can already wash your clothes in ordinary out from under the ground cold water (20-25 deg.C) who needs colder water to wash in.

“”””””….. Modern detergents contain as many as eight different enzymes. …..”””””

Does Company Z’s detergent brand Q contain eight different enzymes ?? or are there a total of eight different enzymes, (so far) that detergent companies can select from to put one in their brand F detergent ??

As far as I am aware, the function of a detergent is to lower the surface tension of water, which I can see would allow water to pass through even smaller holes in fabrics, and to wet surfaces that otherwise would reject the water contact.

Liquid droplets have a higher internal pressure than the external ambient pressure which in most washing machines would be essentially atmospheric pressure.

That pressure differential can be simply calculated from …. Delta (p) = 2 t/r …. where t is the surface tension in Nm^-1 (newton per meter) and r is the droplet radius in meter, so delta (p) is in newton per square meter.

So smaller droplets require a higher internal pressure. It’s the same reason why clean water resists boiling, and why rain drops don’t like to form without a long radius substrate to form on.

So if the water can’t get through the small holes between threads in a fabric; specially synthetic fabrics fibers that are likely to be hydrophobic anyway, or the dirt particles are too small for water to form a droplet around, then the cleansing won’t be as good.

It could be a better low water strategy to design a washing machine that contains a filtration unit that continually removes non water impurities from the water during the circulation process. That would also lead to a cleaner effluent water going down the drain into SF Bay or your local pristine water way.

BUT ! I would never be against any profit making enterprise trying to improve its products and profitability by being able to make a better product.

That does not include being able to write more catchy weasel words in a TV ad.

Many household products consist of mostly nothing but inert ingredients that don’t do anything but take up space in the package.

If for example you make a powder detergent, and a half a level teaspoon of that powder is enough to wash the biggest load of clothes you can get in a typical washing machine, there may be a problem getting that small amount of active material distributed throughout the wash water in the time it takes to run the machine.
So often, a company (maybe even Dupont or Monsanto) makes the active detergent powder ingredient, and a consumer marketing company (maybe even P&G) simply adds powders of a totally inactive non-toxic ingredient, of a size that mixes well with the active ingredient particles in the box to get the active ingredient well mixed, so it doesn’t end up all in one location like CO2 in the atmosphere.
It would not surprise me if we discovered that perhaps Monsanto themselves would actually mix in the do nothing ingredients and supply the mixture to a P&G or other Supermarket distribution company. Not that I am suggesting the above example actually happens but something along those lines could easily make sense for the participants.

Products like Scott’s ” Surf and Turf “, OOoops wrong example, I meant ” Weed and Feed” are similar to poder detergents in that most of the material is inactive but serves a VERY IMPORTANT usage distribution function.

I don’t see mushrooms gobbling up stuff before my very eyes, although they can grow on my lawn overnight, so I don’t know how quickly some carnivorous toadstool can devour the critters in your laundry washing machine, while your clothes are washing.

My sister had a really tiny laundry washing machine and drier unit in her apartment in Geneva. I never figured out how to use it, but it wasn’t much bigger than a coffee pot.

Clever Swiss engineering I presume.

I’m sure that the Snake Oil industry has never gone away, so I am not going to rush out and invest in mushroom detergents; weel you know how they grow mushrooms.


Reply to  george e. smith
January 2, 2018 2:41 pm

If these enzymes cause so many problems why not make human saliva enzymes?
Fewer problems surely?

Dr. Bob
January 1, 2018 3:14 pm

When you are saving the world, it doesn’t matter who you irritate along the way. It takes a lot of energy to heat water which is just dumped down the drain, so think of the huge Life Cycle energy savings you can claim with only a rash to take care of afterward. No one will care if some people have to scratch a little more as long as the planet is safe from the evils of CAGW.

Reply to  Dr. Bob
January 1, 2018 3:33 pm

So build another nuke than and enjoy clean clothes

We are more short of water, than energy

Reply to  Dr. Bob
January 1, 2018 4:17 pm

“from the evils of CAGW.”

You mean BNRW. ?

(Beneficial Natural Regional Warming)

Bruce Cobb
January 1, 2018 3:16 pm

Ah yes, the old “saving energy = saving the planet” angle. Modern-day snakeoil salesmen.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 2, 2018 11:18 am

All that hot air could heat their water. But wait, the elite have billions of other peoples money to spend on heating their water. Have yet to see a single climate scare monger practice what they preach. I’m beginning to think they aren’t sincere! lol Aren’t they the same people who claim the planet is over populated and the magic number is 500 million souls maximum? Therefore, if climate change is so catastrophic, then just let it happen! Can’t do that because they know it ain’t so, thus the agenda.

January 1, 2018 3:17 pm

Enzymes are also well suited to helping cut energy consumption.

Lack of basic knowledge or a tool to fool the ignorant public! Energy is, as it is not possible to create or consume/destroy. Only transforming is possible …

I mentioned this to my electricity supplier awhile ago, as the word ‘consumed’ was used in several places on the electrical bill. Mentioned the legal implications and since that point, the word ‘consumed’ has been replaced with ‘transfered’.

Extreme Hiatus
January 1, 2018 3:18 pm

Oooh! Climate-Magic Mushrooms! And what psychedelic colors!! Far out man.

I think whomever wrote this must have eaten some:

“Enzymes are also well suited to helping cut energy consumption. They are often found in relatively cool environments, like forests and oceans. As a result of that low natural temperature, they do not require the heat and pressure typically used in washing machines and other laundry processes.”


January 1, 2018 3:27 pm

Rashes, itching, and nonspecific dermatitis have been problems associated with enzymes in laundry detergent since they were introduced. I think it was Fab that introduced enzymes and then had to withdraw the product.

On the other hand, I think the search for a better cleaning method is preferable to the typical green solution which seems to be running around in dirty clothes using a rag instead of toilet paper. So much for the benefits of advanced civilization.

January 1, 2018 3:32 pm

AS if we were short of energy…

January 1, 2018 3:38 pm

Most laundry detergents on the market today have at least some enzymes in them. The amount and type used vary for different products. Gain and Tide are both made by P&G but they have different enzymes and Tide generally has more. Gain has more perfume.

george e. smith
Reply to  SMC
January 1, 2018 8:04 pm

Detergent marketing companies are not going to wash your clothes for you. They just want you to buy their detergent and more of it than you buy from their competition.

So their recommended usage quantity is likely to be more beneficial for them than it may be for you.

There’s a company that sells coffee making machines that use a packet full of ground Starbucks coffee that you use once to make maybe 4 ounces of coffee, or maybe 8 ounces; you push the button.

What is the likelihood that if you tried to run nine ounces of water through that packet, the last ounce will turn to mush ?? No chance. So you could push the 4 ounce button, then save the packet for next time, and simply add hot water to the four ounce mixture.

The machine maker is selling you coffee in packets not making coffee for you.

PS I push the 8 ounce button AND save the packet to use again later for another 8 ounce cup of coffee.

Reply to  george e. smith
January 1, 2018 9:57 pm

Spread the WORD, Brother George! A man with psoriasis that does his own laundry because the wife believes in following the directions on the detergent bottle.

Reply to  SMC
January 2, 2018 9:08 am

What I hate in any cleaning product is the perfume! I also have asthma, and can not even enter the store section with cleaning products. My girlfriend picks up what little I do use.

My late husband demanded that things be washed in Tide, and I finally convinced him that was not a good idea when he saw my peeling skin. For the last 20 years, I’ve used one of the least expensive liquid laundry products, called “Sun” – and pour about 1/3 the suggested amount into a large load. It does an excellent job. Lately, it also has far too much perfume, but I don’t know what to do about it. Tried washing clothes in baking soda and dish detergent a few times, but the results were very poor.

Bruce Cobb
January 1, 2018 3:53 pm

“Planet-saving enzymes” has a certain ring to it ya gotta admit.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 1, 2018 6:11 pm

Recall the movie “The Andromeda Strain”….now think about the enzyme end game. First, get used to the enzyme being your friend, then, switch enzyme to_____________ (use your imagination here). Being critical has it’s merits.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 2, 2018 11:44 am

Yes. WBAGNFARB. (See Dave Barry for definition)

Crispin in Waterloo
January 1, 2018 4:01 pm

Will the products be marked as genetically engineered?

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
January 1, 2018 11:11 pm

Researchers started with an enzyme from soil bacteria in Turkey, and modified it through genetic engineering


Komrade Kuma
January 1, 2018 4:04 pm

Thinking laterally Eric, I think you are onto somehing here.
Fungal infection of the brain in certain sections of the ‘science’ community would be a most compelling explanation of the CAGW alarmism phenomenon.
Spending too much time with ones head up ones rear end would be the most logical vector with too much time in a groupthink ‘ideological sauna ‘ a very close second. Spending most of your waking hours in the latter while adopting the former posture would have to be the most compelling though and there is ample evidence of this occurring, the IPCC, NYT, BBC etc.

Tom Bakewell
January 1, 2018 4:12 pm

Whatever happened to “Enzyme Activated Axion” ?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Tom Bakewell
January 2, 2018 9:59 am

THAT was the product I was trying to remember!! It was a great product; my mom was a big fan (doing laundry for a family of seven). I think it fell victim to the phosphorus scare. Lots of pond and river algae blooms and subsequent eutrophication were blamed on high-phosphorus detergents, and IIRC Axion had a tremendous amount by percent weight. You didn’t use much of it though, it was a booster, not a full detergent product itself.

January 1, 2018 4:17 pm

Actually, was once deeply involved in those molecular biology issues. Protein enzymes will always do what they are supposed to given evolution, but then will do much more when in unnatural places and concentrations. Definite two edged sword. We dropped all enzyme added laundry detergents in favor of a pure anionic syndet gemisch (Ironically named 7th Gen Natural because all the scents are natural essential oils ) some years ago. You need more, buy an enzyme rich prespray and use as little as posslble, then double the rinse cycles.

January 1, 2018 4:36 pm

What about the customers who are NOT looking for a … “natural way to clean clothes” ? Me ? I am not the LEAST bit interested in beating my clothes against a rock in the local stream. Nor, do I want to put my shirts through a hand-cranked ringer. I don’t have ANY romantic notions of yesteryear when NATURE dominated MAN. No … I quite like the MAN over NATURE model. Sorry, college professors … your over-romanced version of a “simpler” life was just so much crap. I will go with the BEST enzyme to clean my clothes. I like my WHITES looking WHITE … not “mushroom-colored”

Reply to  kenji
January 1, 2018 6:20 pm

“I am not the LEAST bit interested in beating my clothes against a rock in the local stream.’

Especially when, in places that is the only option, it is highly likely that the stream contains FAR worse than you will ever find in washing powders etc.

george e. smith
Reply to  kenji
January 1, 2018 8:12 pm

Kenji wear shirts ?? Sometimes it gets cold enough in Kenji land to need a shirt on Kenji !

And those river rocks will put holes in Kenji’s shirts.

Somebody once discovered a geyser in New Zealand while washing the laundry in a hot spring. The soap started the thing off. Now they soap it for tourists.

Kenji should be careful in the laundry.

Happy new year Kenji !

G (g 2)

January 1, 2018 4:42 pm

“We knew this was something that consumers would want,” said Phil Souter, associate director of Procter & Gamble’s research and development unit in Newcastle, England.”

Really? Please show me that research as that is the statement of many, many failed entrepreneurs who haven’t done their homework.

Reply to  Craig
January 1, 2018 5:13 pm

I think with all the manufacturers pushing this green should read “something that manufacturers would want”

Reply to  Latitude
January 1, 2018 6:00 pm

Whether to lower the cost of manufacture or increase prices.

Reply to  Latitude
January 1, 2018 6:03 pm

…or the dividends for stock holders. Profit vs Ethics.

Reply to  Craig
January 1, 2018 6:01 pm

Marketing 101…throw enough money at it, and the public will swallow it… think big pharma.

Reply to  Craig
January 2, 2018 3:46 am

Nobody asked us….

jean inconneau
January 1, 2018 5:44 pm

What is the cloying stink added to almost all Chinese products? It’s especially noticeable on those ‘cling free’ dryer additives, most detergents, and many plastic products. It’s become so ubiquitous that many people don’t even notice it. I find the “ChinkStink” particularly objectionable and I doubt if products are tested to see if it’s toxic or harmful, so I use ‘scent free’ detergents exclusively. Scent-free liquid laundry detergent is an especially effective dish detergent.

January 1, 2018 6:40 pm

Denmark must have some weird ass forests if they are filled with mud and mushrooms when the forest is “dormant”. Oyster mushrooms come out around the equinoxes. I guess if a forest only consists of trees then it might be nearly dormant at those times of year, but if the mushrooms are growing, I wouldn’t consider the forest to be dormant. And why is the forest muddy? Where is the moss, the forest floor and the litter. Sounds like a seriously anthro-modified forest.

January 1, 2018 6:42 pm

But there is an even better solution to the problem of wasting hot water and using all that detergent. On the market now is a pair of magnets that you set inside the washing machine and they will attract all the dirt and stuff without soap. Don’t remember the cost but, gosh, look how much money you could save.

Reply to  barryjo
January 1, 2018 10:09 pm

{/sarc} I presume?

Reply to  daveburton
January 2, 2018 7:27 pm

Unfortunately, no. That is a real “product”. But a google search turns up a number of negative findings on them. I believe the word fraud occurs in several of them. Gosh! You think?

January 1, 2018 7:46 pm

Not sure by my comments are in moderation. But then, I’m not sure about a lot things. 🙂

January 1, 2018 8:46 pm


J Mac
January 1, 2018 8:52 pm

Uuuhm….. what kind of a ‘magnet’ do they have that works on grass stains or old bearing grease? Must be ‘paranormal magnetism’….. /s

Tom in Florida
Reply to  J Mac
January 2, 2018 5:23 am

Perhaps he is confusing using magnets to soften water so that less detergent is needed. And along those lines, softer water rinses better and leaves less residue.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 2, 2018 7:40 pm

I am not confused.
check out “The magnetic laundry system”. Then read the comments on google. Then use your critical thinking skills.

January 1, 2018 8:57 pm

Have any of you thought how much detergent and washing up liquid goes down the drain every single day. Its effect and what it does to the environment. Why is the same used by oil companies to clean up oil spills so very very bad?

jean inconneau
January 1, 2018 8:58 pm

What is the cloying stink added to almost all Chinese products? It’s especially noticeable on those ‘cling free’ dryer additives, most detergents, and many plastic products. It’s become so ubiquitous that many people don’t even notice it. I find the stink particularly objectionable and I doubt if products are tested to see if it’s toxic or harmful, so I use ‘scent free’ detergents exclusively. Scent-free liquid laundry detergent is an especially effective dish detergent.

January 1, 2018 9:34 pm

Our family has used Amway’s SA8 for over 35 years. It is bio-degradable, like all Amway products. Never had a bit of problem with allergies, etc. Good stuff.

Robin Hewitt
January 2, 2018 1:33 am

IIRC there was a problem with nurses using low temperature alternatives for their uniforms because it didn’t kill the bacteria, it merely gave the impression of clean. A bit like whitewashing a cess pit.

January 2, 2018 1:44 am

I’m using a 1/4 of “normal” dose of any posh detergent with a spoonful of washing soda. Works perfectly all the time, and on a plus side the laundry is free from those nasty smells they put into detergents.
If I want to smell nicely, I put on some fine cologne.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Hlaford
January 2, 2018 5:24 am

Viva the Borax!

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 2, 2018 7:29 am

Borax is Unavailable in Europe as it is considered a dangerous chemical.
Dangerous that is to the chemical industry as it improves laundry detergent effectiveness, is an excellent mould and fugal suppressant, kills termites and ants, and is so non-toxic it is in eyewash and the like.
Good old EU keeping the kleptocracy and crony capitalists healthy!

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 3, 2018 2:23 am

Need to use Tri-sodium phosphate in Europe, readily available too.


Antony Berry
January 2, 2018 3:36 am

I’m regular reader of WUWT but don’t usually comment because most of the info is outside my expertise (chemistry, biological chemistry). However, I felt I must comment on this article about enzymes in washing powder. Whilst I can see the logic of adding proteolytic enzymes to cleaners this ignores the potential risks. Described below:-
First a little diversion with some back ground in allergy (one my areas of expertise) which I will illustrate with a description of one of the most potent allergens, house dust mite (HDM), and it’s most probable mode of action. HDM are primitive creatures which are ubiquitous to human habitation their source of food is human dead human cells, mainly epithelial cells. Their digestive tract cannot process the cells completely so HDM excrete in their faeces an enzyme referred to as DERp1. This enzyme is one of the most potent proteolytic enzymes known and rapidly breaks epithelial cell walls. All this would be fine if this only occurred on the furnishings and furniture, however HDM faeces are present everywhere including bedding for example and easily transferred to skin. Unfortunately, this brings DEPp1 into contact with the skin resulting in damage to the epithelial cells and breaking the tight junctions between cells. The result in particularly sensitive individuals is allergic (atopic) dermatitis. Genetics have some effect here so not all individuals are affected. The damage to the cells has two main effects firstly exposing the dermis to the enzyme and secondly causing the release of a ubiquitous immune signalling protein from the epithelial cells known as thymic stromal lymopoietin (TSLP). This protein is a key messenger of the innate immune system acting via dendritic cells on epitopes processed from foreign proteins macrophages. The combination of foreign epitopes and TSLP causes the antibody cascade via dendritic cells, T-cells and B-cells to produce IgE specific to DERp1 and other proteins in mite faeces ( bystander effect). IgE when bound to mast cells produces all the recognised allergic symtoms on further exposure. It’s also a vicious circle because mast cells when triggered by HDM allergens also produce TSLP reinforcing the allergic response and, of course more memory B-cells, continuing to produce HDM specific IgE for ever!
So my concern about P&G producing a more robust and stable proteolylic enzyme for washing powder to work in cold water is obvious. There were allergy problems with the previous bacterial enzymes used (pronase) in powders both in workers making the enzymes and customers. I can’t believe that these new enzymes will be any better and probably a lot worse if they are more stable. Don’t us biological washing powder
Finally as an aside. Atopic dermatitis most commonly starts in childhood of in children below 2 years where the immune system is least developed. This can result in a predisposition to allergies for life. Asthma is one of the main consequences…… about 80% of asthmatic are sensitive to house dust mites. This mechanism is also involved with other allergens which also damage epithelial cells.
For those interested there is public access monograph on TSLP from the NIH which is also published in:
The biology of thymic stromallymphopoietin (TSLP)
Ziegler et. al.
Adv Pharmacol. 2013;66: 129-155. Doi.: 10.1016/B978-0-12-404717-4.00004-4

Reply to  Antony Berry
January 2, 2018 5:30 am

Interesting and disturbing.
Has P&G etc. been formally warned of this potentially significant problem?
Registered letters to executives and board members can do wonders.
They remove the “I didn’t know” defense.

Reply to  Antony Berry
January 2, 2018 6:02 am

“rapidly breaks epithelial cell walls”
Humans don’t have cell walls, epithelial or otherwise.

January 2, 2018 4:48 am

If they just put the phosphorus back in our detergents, they would actually wash our stuff CLEAN, & cause no problems elsewhere.

Peta of Newark
January 2, 2018 4:54 am

Some random points:
Isn’t it a kinda bad idea to be adding something (enzyme) that digests cellulose and its like (old forest bits) to things that are made of cellulose and its like (clothes)

Wasn’t The Real Problem with laundry products the amount of phosphorus (Trisodium phosphate) that goes into such things – resulting in toxic algal blooms in the waterways, courses, lakes and Gulfs Of Mexicos that this stuff ultimately finishes up in.
(For which of course ‘The Farmers’ invariably catch it in the neck. Sometimes even folks who are imagined to eat a lot of meat)
If you need sodium, which you do for its surfactant properties, be really eco-friendly and use salt (as per most dishwashers) or simply just use Sodium Carbonate (Soda Crystals) in your washer.
Cheap as chips and wont grow your local pond/lake/ocean into a toxic green swamp

And not least, (see who is missing from this discussion?) Washing/Laundry Powders/detergents/soaps/smells/colours/flavours/pretty packaging/whats on telly/what her friends say etc etc..

——————This Is A Girl Thing———————-

Boys are well advised to steer well clear, only having to make some yay-or-nay acknowledgement when asked:
‘Do like this/that/the other fragrance’ or ‘Does my bum look big in this’

Some things are best left as mysteries.

January 2, 2018 5:09 am

Mushroom enzymes in my washing powder … hummmm? Will I start tripping when I wear my tie-dyed tee shirt? What happens if I give a double dose to my underwear … hummm?

January 2, 2018 5:18 am

sure is a difference in nations.
we Aussies have been using coldwater to wash in for decades to save power and hot water for more useful things like showers;-) and we dont have a problem with non white or other claimed problems, bleach works just as well in cold if you must use it
ive still got and use sometimes old wringer washers and they are THE best machines to really get whatever time you want the load agitated for and a decent tub size also, and yes the wringers dont get clthes so dry but then you can throw the semi pressed clothes into a new spinner machine if you summer its NOT an issue down here;-)
washing soda some borax grated soap and eucy oil will clean just about anything rust blood oil grease and even beeswax of of work clothes.
i developed allergies and rashes from some commercial products years ago. i swapped to an american product Melaleuca brand (yes the aussie t treename did make me smile) which i still use but the home options above, is good for when i run out.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 2, 2018 5:23 am

We use cold water as well, along with borax.
Thanks for the tip on eucalyptus!

January 2, 2018 5:22 am

Modern detergents and washers do clean better with less water and energy use.
That is good, period.
That the company must genuflect to the new climate god is annoying.
Water use and water infrastructure will always be a huge issue:
Pipes and water plants wear out.
Water use changes.
Media seems to only present us with fear and doom, and seldom with rational contextual reporting.
This article is typical if midern media’s nonsensical approach to infirmation.

Reply to  hunter
January 2, 2018 6:44 am

Well maybe not “period”.
Non-rational thinking that has allowed climate obsession to metasticize into the destructive force it has become.
Over emphasis on climate yields solutions that create more problems than they solve.
It will be sad if even clothes washing is damaged by the climate obsession.

Dave in the UP
January 2, 2018 9:17 am

OMG!!! Now we have GMO laundry detergent, where will it all end (up)……

January 2, 2018 1:25 pm


Global sales of passenger cars and trucks likely surpassed 90 million for the first time in 2017, the latest indicator that demand for conventional automobiles remains strong even as driverless cars and ride sharing get increasing attention.

The results, based on preliminary data provided by, were fueled in part by a continued rebound in Western Europe and recovery in major emerging markets, including Brazil and Russia. Asian buyers are the main engine for sales growth with more than a quarter of the cars sold last year going to Chinese customers, up from less than 15% a decade ago.

James Bull
January 2, 2018 10:49 pm

We use a non bio own brand for all our washing and when I load the washing machine I wet every item before putting them in as if I load it to near it’s capacity with dry items there is the chance that there will be dry patches on items at the end of the wash— so much for “super water saving machine” it’s no good if you have to put everything through twice bit like those “water saving toilets” that you have to flush mutiple times to clear the pan!!

James Bull

January 3, 2018 5:11 am

This is really an interesting topic for me. I have been a fan of this site for a number of years. I haven’t had time to read all of the comments on enzymes, but I have been in the detergent business for the textile industry since 1976.
When the EPA first determined that Freon was causing problems, I was commissioned to find a suitable replacement for Freon used in quality control labs to determine the amount of lubricating oils had been applied to yarns in the manufacturing process.
My company, Sutherland Products, came up with a residue free detergent blend to be used with distilled water. The replacement had to be totally water soluble and extremely effective as any residue would skew the lab results. We never considered using enzymes. Our detergent blend also had to be compatible with the existing waste water treatment used by the industry. Our replacement was satisfactory and astute lab employees began to take some home for their own laundry needs. That, and the demise of US textiles industries, led us to consider entering the consumer markets. Given the origin of our products and our practice of third party testing, we have enjoyed a measure of success among discerning customers and have grown our business far beyond expectations. We now sell our Charlie’s Soap across the US and in several countries including China. Our powered detergent has been #1 on Amazon continually for the last 5 years beating all competition mentioned in the article who feel they have to use enzymes.
This hasn’t added much to the discussion of enzymes, but the fact that our products can compete without them might be of interest to sincere environmentalists.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Charlie Sutherland
January 3, 2018 12:38 pm

And a [not] bad plug for your products.

[Fixed it for you. -mod]

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 3, 2018 12:39 pm

Should be “And not a bad pug for your products”.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 3, 2018 8:24 pm

Not a bad plug indeed. Thank you for noticing. There is a genuine desire for reasonably priced, effective, non-irritating, truly green and safe laundry detergents. But, there is more ” green” research going into marketing and hyping various assortments of fruit salads than real laundry products. Our household liquid and powdered laundry detergents are used to clean out clogged municipal sewer lines, grease traps, and grinder pumps without harming the bacteria that is necessary for effective waste water treatment.. Now, that’s as green as you can get. Look us up. If you want flowers, go pick some.. .

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