In your search for environmentally friendly cleaning ingredients, you’ve likely come across the term ‘biosurfactants’. Do you know what they are – and what they do in bio-enzymatic cleaners? Read on to become armed with the knowledge you need to make informed formulation decisions.

What is a Biosurfactant?

A biosurfactant is a biologically derived substance that helps reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it’s dissolved. In the context of industrial and institutional cleaning, biosurfactants can be produced by a variety of microorganisms and help breakdown difficult-to-degrade materials like fats, oils and grease (FOG).

The biosurfactants produced by microbes in bio-enzymatic cleaners are considered safe with few environmental repercussions surrounding their use. They are widely considered to be non-harmful to both human and animal health and are easily degradable.

How Do Biosurfactants Work in Bio-Enzymatic Cleaners?

Biosurfactants can help boost the degradation of stains within bio-enzymatic cleaners. First, they reduce the surface tension between two otherwise unmixable liquids (think oil from a stain and water from the cleaner base), combining the two liquids together. With the two liquids blended, the microorganisms within the bio-enzymatic cleaner can digest the oil molecules, helping to remove the stain.

Additionally, like traditional cleaners without microbes, biosurfactants in bio-enzymatic cleaners help break apart stains and lift them from a surface in the same way synthetic surfactants do. This makes stains easier to wash away.

At Microbial Discovery Group (MDG), we incorporate scientifically selected species and strains of a microorganism called Bacillus in our customers’ formulations as they produce biosurfactants.

WeGotYourBac with Bacillus

In the world of cleaning, we’re passionate about helping you find the right ingredients for your bio-enzymatic formulation. For microbial formulation guidance and a look at our SporActiv® ingredient line, contact us and a bio-enzymatic cleaning expert will be happy to help you.