What Are Antimicrobial Door Handles?
You may be wondering how long germs or bacteria last on doorknobs. According to BBC Science Focus, most viruses will be destroyed on non-porous surfaces (like a door handle) within 24 hours. However, significant viruses can last even longer - up to several days. Since door knobs are a high-contact surface, they are also likely one of the main points of contamination in your home.
However, there are certain kinds of doorknobs that get rid of germs more efficiently than others. There are also solutions such as antimicrobial door handle covers, which you can use if your door handle is not made of the highest quality germ-fighting materials.
What Door Knobs Kill Bacteria?
While recent trends have been all about stainless steel and plastic door handles, such as those commonly used in hospitals, these materials require routine sanitation. Unless you are a fully staffed hospital, it’s unlikely these materials are being sanitized often enough at home.
Traditional doorknobs made of copper or copper alloys (brass, bronze) kill the most microbes within the shortest period of time. In fact, the oldest medical document in history references the infection-killing properties of copper, which was used by the ancient Egyptians to purify water.
For those of you who are using chrome, nickel, stainless steel, or plastic door handles, consider applying antimicrobial film to replicate this effect. These products are inexpensive and help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Are Door Knobs Antimicrobial?
Copper doorknobs came back on the radar of many as the COVID-19 pandemic precautions began to take place. With their natural antimicrobial properties, they are capable of contact-killing microorganisms in a variety of ways.
Edward Bilsky, Ph.D., at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, cites 3 main reasons copper has this ability:
Copper damages cell membranes and can actually destroy the DNA or RNA of the microbe
Copper generates oxidative stress on bacterial cells and creates hydrogen peroxide (which can kill the cell)
It disrupts proteins that keep bacterial cells alive and functioning
These properties also apply to copper alloys, such as brass or bronze. Any one of these substances would be considered antimicrobial.
Other High-Contact Surfaces to Sanitize
While it’s a relief to know your doorknobs may be fighting off germs efficiently, there are other high-contact transfer points in the home or office which are not made from these materials.
Surface covers do a great job of killing microbes on phones or handrails. There are also button surface covers which can be applied to elevator buttons, loading docks, and other relevant locations. These items guarantee antimicrobial protection for up to 6 months.
For larger or more oddly sized items, we recommend custom cover application rolls. These can be adjusted to fit more complex surfaces.
PosterSigns Antimicrobial Technology
If you have any questions regarding the application of antimicrobial covers to key surfaces around the home or office, feel free to give us a call or fill out our contact form. We’re happy to discuss the specific needs of your materials, and which antimicrobial items would be best suited to treat them.