What does detergent have to do with saliva?

If you have a wound, it is not a good idea to lick it, or blow it, as we explained long ago: that, although it could relieve the itching a bit, It is disastrous if we take into account the microorganisms that we put in contact with the open wound.

But nevertheless, saliva does have some detergent. To the point that it could be used to portray food stains on clothing. The reason has to do with amylase, the main digestive enzyme in stimulated saliva.

As he explains Mary Roach in his book Glup:

Amylase transforms polysaccharides into sugars that the body can use. You will notice how it happens when you chew the bread. A sweet taste materializes while your saliva is mixed with starch. Add a drop of saliva to a tablespoon of custard, and in a few seconds it is liquefied as water.

In the detergents we use to wash clothes we found at least three digestive enzymes: Amylase to break up the starch spots, protease for proteins, and lipase for greasy spots. The first thing that occurred to him to use digestive enzymes for cleaning was the chemist and inventor of Plexiglas Otto Röhm, in 1913.

The detergent is essentially a digestive tract in a box. The same can be said of the dishwasher: the protease and lipase eat the food that their guests left.