Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Microban’s antimicrobial and odor-control solutions and how they can be used as part of your business strategy.

What is an antimicrobial? The antimicrobial definition.

An antimicrobial is any substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms by suppressing microorganism reproduction. Microorganisms are unicellular or cell-cluster microscopic organisms, including eukaryotes such as fungi and protists, and prokaryotes such as bacteria and certain algae. 

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What is Microban?

Microban International is the global leader and most trusted brand in the antimicrobial additives industry. We engineer antimicrobial, odor control, and surface modification technologies that are incorporated into products worldwide. Microban technologies keep product surfaces cleaner and longer-lasting by preventing the growth of microorganisms like bacteria, mold, and mildew.

What is the difference between antimicrobial and antibacterial?

The primary difference between antibacterial vs. antimicrobial substances is the types of microorganisms they act upon. Antibacterial technologies are effective against a broad spectrum of harmful bacteria including E. coli and MRSA. 

Antimicrobial technologies minimize the presence of bacteria, mold, and algae. In contrast to antibacterial agents, antimicrobial substances offer a greater level of product protection against a wider range of microorganisms. Their broad-spectrum performance makes them perfect for use in hygiene-critical environments such as schools, hospitals, and commercial kitchens. 

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How do Microban antimicrobial agents work in products and surfaces?

Microban antimicrobial treatments are built into products during the manufacturing process. When microbes come into contact with a product surface, Microban antimicrobial protection penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism, ultimately preventing its growth and reproduction.

Does Microban manufacture products (i.e. phone cases, food storage containers, etc.)?

No, Microban does not manufacture products. Microban specializes in the production of antimicrobial additives. We then partner with brands and manufacturers around the world to incorporate these additives into a range of products and surfaces. 

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What types of microorganisms do Microban antimicrobial agents work against?

Microban antimicrobial protection is effective against most common bacteria, yeasts, molds, and fungi that cause stains, odors, and product degradation. Microban has also been proven to reduce viral loading on products and surfaces. 

How do I know that Microban antimicrobial product protection is safe?

Consumer safety is a fundamental concern for Microban. All of the antimicrobial and odor-control technologies used by Microban Products Company are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and are notified with the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) in Europe for their specific use.

All Microban technologies have a long history of safe use in consumer, commercial, and healthcare product applications around the world. Risk assessments by independent scientists, scientific bodies, and governmental agencies (including EPA, FDA, and regulatory authorities in Europe and Canada) have consistently reconfirmed the safety of our antimicrobial additives at the levels approved for use in consumer, commercial, and healthcare products.

Microban antimicrobial additives are engineered directly into materials and surfaces. Therefore, using products protected with Microban technology does not result in user exposure or transmission directly into the environment in the way that products like disinfectants or liquid antibacterial soaps can during use. In addition, the size and specific biological systems of microorganisms make them susceptible to antimicrobial agents at levels of exposure that are not harmful to humans.

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Do products featuring Microban protection need to be cleaned?

Yes, products featuring antimicrobial protection still need to be cleaned. Microban technology is not a disinfectant and does not replace regular cleaning practices specified by product manufacturers. Instead, our antimicrobials complement regular cleaning by keeping products cleaner in between cleanings.

Does Microban protection begin working immediately?

Microban product protection begins to work as soon as a microorganism comes into contact with a product surface. The antimicrobial protection then works continuously to maintain a consistently lower bio-burden than would be expected on a product without Microban antimicrobial protection.

How long do Microban antimicrobial agents work?

Microban product protection is built-in during the manufacturing process and will not wash off or wear away on most hard surfaces. Microban technology on textiles is durable for over 50 home launderings. Microban protection is engineered to provide continuous antimicrobial and odor-control product protection for the useful lifetime of the product, keeping treated products cleaner and more durable than non-treated products.

Does the use of Microban antimicrobial technology cause resistant strains of microorganisms?

After more than 30 years of use in numerous consumer, commercial, and healthcare applications around the world, there has been no evidence to show that the use of built-in Microban antimicrobial technology causes the development of resistant strains of microorganisms.