Sales Helpline (Local Rate): 01827 255 500

Opening Hours (Monday - Friday): 08:30 - 17:00 

Return to the homepage
Log In / Sign Up
Return to blog list

Guide to professional laundry washing liquids and powders

09 August 2022

Jennie Hollingsworth

With so many laundry detergent options available, even professional services may struggle to know which product will give not only the best standard of clean, but also the safest and kindest to their customers and staff. Key factors of stain removal power, sensitivity to skin, cost effectiveness, safety and environmental impact – not to mention that all-important fresh, fragrant finish – need to be considered. These can determine whether to opt for a liquid or powder, bio or non-bio, and what product brand can deliver the best results.

phs Direct is an industry leader in providing complete cleaning solutions with top quality products. This includes offering high quality laundry detergents to meet a range of customer needs. Read our guide to decide which type of product is best for your organisation.

Bio versus non-bio – what’s the difference?

The big question is whether to opt for bio or non-bio washing detergent. There are some key differences which are important to note when making this decision.


  • Biological (bio) laundry detergents contain enzymes that help break down common stains, such as fatty food, grass, sweat, oil and grease.
  • These enzymes work to lift the stains out of fabrics quickly and easily, making them effective stain removers.
  • Bio detergent is best used in mid to low temperature washes (ideally between 30-40 degrees) as hotter washes can weaken the enzymes, causing them to work less effectively against stains.


  • Non-biological (non-bio) detergents do not contain enzymes.
  • Non-bio detergents contain other ingredients that are gentler on the skin and still work to tackle stains effectively.
  • When washing with non-bio detergents, especially when tackling particularly tough stains, you may need to use a slightly higher temperature to allow the detergent to do its job properly.

Whilst bio detergents work well at removing stains at low temperatures, those very same enzymes can also cause mild reactions in people with sensitive skin. Non-bio washing powders and liquids, such as Professional Fairy Non-Bio are favoured by parents and organisations that provide care to babies and small children, older people and those with health issues. They’re formulated to reduce the risk of irritation to delicate or sensitive skin, while still offering outstanding results and a fresh scent to your professional laundry.

On the other hand, if skin sensitivity isn’t an issue and you’re facing particularly stubborn stains as many service industries experience, you may prefer the convenience and power of using bio detergents, such as Ariel Professional. As these have the advantage of stain-removing enzymes, they’re very effective at deep down cleaning at temperatures as low as 30 degrees, and in quick washes.

How to use your bio or non-bio washing liquid or powder

Bio and non-bio detergents can be used in the same way, by adding the product directly to washing machines – either in the detergent drawer or into the drum itself. The method of use depends on your format of detergent, such as liquid or powder. The product’s label will provide specific instructions for use.

Top tip – care labels and washing instructions on garments can also impact how you use your detergent, particularly when it comes to washing temperature. Always follow these instructions and select the correct temperature and washing method for your garments.

Liquid versus powder – which is best for your business?

Professional bio and non-bio washing detergents are available as both liquids and powders, in quantities that are cost effective for commercial customers. Their suitability will depend on the specific needs of your organisation.

Washing powder

  • Powder detergents are particularly good at cleaning white garments such as chef uniforms, tablecloths and bed linens because the majority of powders contain bleach.
  • High quality branded powders including Fairy, Persil and Ariel use oxygen-based bleaching agents to remove stubborn stains and deliver sparkling-white results without the need for pre-treating or pre-soaking.
  • Powder detergents typically offer the lowest cost per load and come in recyclable packaging, making them a cost-effective and sustainable option.
  • Some powders can be unsuitable for wool or silk garments.
  • Care should be taken to ensure they are used at temperatures recommended by the product manufacturer to avoid build-up of undissolved product in machines.

Washing liquid

  • Liquid detergents do not contain bleach, so they can be used more safely on coloured fabrics.
  • One advantage of using a high quality liquid detergent over powder is that they dissolve quickly, penetrating and breaking down dirt faster and reducing the overall cycle length. This can provide both cost and time savings to your business.
  • Liquids can also be used as a stain remover for pre-treating stubborn or persistent stains and are particularly effective on difficult to remove marks, such as oil and grease.
  • Liquid doses should be applied accurately as overdosing can lead to residue on fabrics and washing machines.
  • Though plastic bottles can be recycled, organisations may wish to explore whether their commercial waste disposal provider participates in recycling programs.

Top tip – To get the best out of your commercial washing machine, whether it be front or top loading, care should be taken to ensure there is enough free flowing water and space in the machine drum. The dirtier the laundry, the more space you should allow for garments to clean thoroughly.

Remember that by using good quality products you will not only help increase customer satisfaction, but also make your machine operate efficiently and avoid unnecessary rewashing which shortens the lifetime of your machine.

Buy high-quality laundry detergents in bulk from phs Direct

phs Direct is an industry leader in providing high quality cleaning solutions in the right quantity and at the right time, to ensure your business never runs low. We will help you choose the laundry products that will satisfy your customers’ needs.

To buy products in bulk, create your free account to shop in our online store and for any assistance, call the phs Direct helpline on 01827 255 500.