What Is An Laundry Enzyme Presoak?

Soaking clothes
Lewis Mulatero/Moment Mobile/Getty Images

All of us want instant gratification when it comes to laundry stain removal. But that's not always possible especially if the stains are heavy or you choose to use a less expensive detergent. A presoak with an enzyme based laundry product and a bit of patience will do wonders in removing stains.

What is a Laundry Enzyme Presoak?

Laundry enzyme presoaks are a pre-washing stain removal treatment product used to break down protein stains like grass, blood and baby formula so they can be more efficiently removed during the regular wash cycle.

A presoak is necessary when clothes are heavily soiled or stained.

Before you purchase a laundry enzyme stain removal product, take a look at the ingredient components listed on the label. A good enzyme presoak product contains these specific natural or man-made enzymes:

  • amylase to break down starch stains
  • protease to break down protein stains
  • lipase to break down oil or fat stains
  • mannanase to break down food stains
  • pectinase to break down fruit stains

Brand Names of Laundry Enzyme Presoaks

  • Amway Legacy of Clean Tri-zyme Ultra Concentrated Detergent/Laundry Booster Stain Remover Pre-soak  - Tri-zyme is a cleaning booster that features three enzymes and oxygen-based bleach to remove stains and brighten clothing. It can be used in both regular and high-efficiency washers and is safe for septic systems. It can be purchased from an Amway dealer or online from Amazon.com
  • Amway Legacy of Clean Prewash Liquid  -  Plant-based liquid formula presoak. Buy from an Amway dealer or online from Amazon.com
  • Whink Game Stain Remover - Specifically designed to remove heavy soil and blood. Available in sports equipment stores and online from Amazon.com 
  • Biz  - Enzyme-based stain remover and laundry booster offered in both powder and liquid formulas. Biz is available in most laundry aisles in grocery stores and mass marketers or online from Amazon.com

    If you do not have a presoak product on hand, a heavy-duty laundry detergent that contains enzymes can be substituted to remove the stains. Not every detergent contains enzymes or enough enzymes to be effective. Choose Tide, Wisk, or Persil for best results.

    How to Use Laundry Enzyme Presoaks

    Enzyme presoak products can be used to treat any washable fabrics in the washer or in a sink or laundry tub large enough to completely submerge and hold the soiled items in water.

    As with any laundry product, it is best to read the product label and follow specific directions. For effective stain removal, use the correct amount of enzyme presoak product in lukewarm water. Mix the presoak well in the water first to make sure it is dissolved and dispersed before adding clothes.

    Allow the stained clothes to soak the recommended amount of time; at least thirty minutes. Overnight soaking may be needed for heavily stained items.

    After soaking, drain away the soaking water. The laundry should then be washed as usual following the fabric care label instructions. There is no need to rinse the clothes prior to washing.