Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Have you done the laundry lately?
I do the laundry almost every day now when I get home to give me more time to enjoy the weekend with my family. Husband also usually helps by putting all the washing in the machine before I get home. So, two days ago, we were in Tesco's to do a little bit of shopping....I needed more detergent to do my washing! I was in the laundry/cleaning items isle when two lovely ladies came up to me and asked, 'Excuse me, do you know what's the difference between a 'bio' and a 'non-bio' detergent?' I wanted to help....but I also wondered what the difference was but never bothered to look it up. So I was speechless for a few seconds because (1) nobody has ever asked me for anything in a supermarket (2) people seem to think I do not speak English because of my Asian looks and (3) it is very seldom in Norfolk that I get to encounter a friendly stranger's face. So I was stunned for a few seconds, couldn't believe someone was, in fact, talking to me...After a few seconds that seemed like eternity, I said, 'I also wondered...and thought it could be something to do with the chemicals affecting the environment? Also heard that non-bio is a lot better but to be honest, it is a lot more expensive and I tried it once and saw not much difference in the result so I am sticking to bio.' What a stupid answer! How can you not know this, Len? How? I shrugged and looked at them innocently. The two ladies both politely smiled and thanked me...thanked me for what? I didn't give them any useful answer! I felt useless. No one has ever asked for my help in the supermarket. Now that someone did - I couldn't help???? I felt utterly and totally useless. So I thought now I should look it up. Who knows I might get asked again! Perhaps now that I've lived in Norfolk for almost 4 years, I may be starting to look like I do and can speak English :-) so of course people are friendlier and likely to talk to me. Ok...so now what's next? I looked it up of course. What's the use of the internet? This is what I found on Wikipedia: A biological detergent is a laundry detergent that contains enzymes. The description is commonly used in the United Kingdom, where other washing detergents are described as "non-biological". The terms are sometimes abbreviated to "bio" and "non-bio". The purposes of the enzymes is to break down protein, starches and fat that may be found in dirt and stains upon clothing to be laundered, for example food stains, sweat or mud. Some people may be allergic to the enzymes as the enzymes can be transferred to the skin when wet clothes that have just been cleaned with biological detergents are touched. The enzymes then restart the breakdown reaction on the skin- particularly protease. The selling point of non-biological detergents is that they are gentler, causing less irritation to skin ("kinder on the skin") and less damage to the fabric. Some studies refute the claim that non-biological detergents are gentler. I don't buy this though. I am not going to start using bio detergent, simply because non-bios are unbelievably expensive, I think it is a rip-off! So, if the two beautiful ladies who came up to me two days ago are reading this, forgive me for not being able to give you an answer. I hope the above is sufficient enough. See you again at Tesco's!