24 Hour Residual Cleaning Products vs. Built-In Antimicrobial Technologies

written by Emily Best, North America Marketing Manager, Built-In

Learn how 24 hour residual cleaning products and built-in antimicrobial technologies complement each other and how they differ in application, efficacy and registrations.

At Microban®, we get to work with some of the world’s finest scientific minds in our work across over 800 partners and thousands of products offered globally that utilize Microban technologies. Our in-house technical and innovation teams bring a combined 200+ years of expertise in developing the innovative and turnkey solutions we offer to our partners and prospects.

We have had the pleasure of partnering with some of the world’s leading brands like GE Appliances and Under Armour to provide best in class built-in antimicrobial and odor control solutions to create cleaner, fresher and longer lasting products. We have also joined in partnership with major category captains like PDI Healthcare and Procter & Gamble to create market disrupting cleaning solutions like Sani 24 Germicidal Spray, Microban 24 Hour cleaning products and Microban 24 Hour Professional cleaning products.

To help in the understanding of the differences between these solutions and applications and how 24 hour cleaning products can act in a complementary manner to built-in antimicrobial technologies, this blog focuses on the question – what is the difference between 24 hour residual cleaning products and built-in antimicrobial technology?

There are three key differences to know about how built-in antimicrobials compare to 24 hour residual cleaning products:

  • The way they are applied to surfaces
  • The length of time they will actively fight against bacteria growth
  • The way they are registered with global regulatory bodies

Technologies are applied in different ways

Built-In Antimicrobial Technology

Microban antimicrobial built-in solutions are “built into” products during the manufacturing process to provide Protection That Lives On®. To achieve the most seamless incorporation into the manufacturing processes of our partners, we offer our solutions in multiple forms such as polymer pellets, powders, or liquid formulations. As our partners incorporate Microban antimicrobial solutions into their finished goods, the antimicrobial technology becomes a permanent and lasting part of the product which will continuously inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing microorganisms for the useful life of the product. The useful lifetime finished goods can vary from years to decades, and we are proud to be able to provide solutions for any substrate and any surface.

Some examples of products with built-in antimicrobial product protection include:

24 Hour Cleaning Products

24 hour residual cleaning products are applied to surfaces by hand using formats such as triggered spray bottles or pre-moistened wipes. This type of application can be commonly seen in residential settings as a routine cleaning practice, in healthcare environments by medical professionals adhering to specific cleaning protocols or in other commercial cleaning service practices addressing professional environments. 24 hour residual cleaning products allow surfaces to keep killing 99.9% of bacteria for 24 hours, even after multiple touches. For residual disinfection or Continuously Active Disinfection (CAD) products, there is the increased protection of 99.999% reduction of ESKAPE pathogens over that 24 hour period.

Lifetime product protection versus instant 24 hour antibacterial performance

Built-in Antimicrobial Technology

Products that have been manufactured with antimicrobial solutions have surfaces that are continuously inhibiting the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew over the useful life of the product for long periods of time – often measured in years or decades. The antimicrobial treatment does not wash off, wear away, or leach out of the treated product. Built-in antimicrobial product protection provides unique benefits to products and product end users by offering cleaner and fresher surfaces, keeping surfaces cleaner in between cleanings, and enhancing both product durability and serviceable lifetime. The power of Microban technology is always on, working 24/7 to provide protection from stain and odor causing bacterial growth that lasts for the useful life of products.

24 Hour Cleaning Products

When a 24 hour residual cleaning product is applied to a surface, the technology instantly destroys 99.9% of bacteria and continues killing bacteria on a surface for 24 hours, even after multiple touches. This instant kill action is a key difference between 24 hour residual cleaning products and built-in antimicrobials. Other household antibacterial cleaners only kill on contact and therefore allow bacteria to start growing immediately after someone or something touches the surface again. Once applied, these 24 hour residual cleaning products can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew for up to 7 days on hard surfaces and 28 days on soft surfaces. 24 hour residual cleaning products create a protective barrier on the surface to which they are applied, and this barrier activates powerful continuous antibacterial protection in small amounts over time for up to 24 hours, even after multiple touches.

Need a visual?

Download our infographic to learn about the differences between 24 hour residual cleaning products and built-in antimicrobial technologies.

Regulatory registrations and requirements

Both built-in antimicrobial agents and 24 hour residual cleaning products are registered as pesticides with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and biocides with the Biocidal Products Regulation in Europe (BPR) and have a history of safe use. However, there are some key differences in the registration processes and requirements for each technology.

Built-in Antimicrobial Technology

Antimicrobial technology that is built into manufactured products is governed by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). These types of products fall under “treated article exemptions” which are specific for qualifying treated articles and substances that make claims to protect the article or substance itself. Antimicrobial articles are intended to protect the article itself from microbial growth and degradation, not people. Treated articles fall under this exemption when the incorporated pesticide is registered for use in or on the product itself. When our partners make marketing claims about their Microban treated products, those statements clearly state that the treatment applies to the treated product. Marketing claims support is one of the many turnkey services that we provide to our valued partners! Learn more about the services that we provide to our partners.

24 Hour Cleaning Products

The registration process for 24 hour residual cleaning products is a bit different. The key reason is because 24 hour residual cleaning products make specific claims against disease-causing organisms. In fact, the product’s ability to kill all of the organisms claimed must be scientifically proven before the EPA will allow statements to be made on the product label or in associated promotional materials. During the registration process of a 24 hour residual cleaning product, there is a targeted focus on inspection of the product labeling and efficacy claims. The language that is used on the product label of a 24 hour residual cleaning product must be supported with extensive sets of scientific data. These types of products commonly make efficacy claims against human pathogens, so it is very important that regulatory bodies are able to review and approve the product labels so that consumers have accurate information on product usage rates, applications, and specific directions for use.

In summary, built-in antimicrobials are meant to protect product surfaces from the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria, mold, and mildew for extended periods of time and for the lifetime of the treated product. Residual cleaning products instantly sanitize or disinfect surfaces to kill harmful pathogens. Therefore, the use of 24 hour residual cleaning products in tandem with products that are treated with built-in antimicrobial technologies is a proactive and complementary approach toward creating cleaner, fresher and more hygienic environments and surfaces.

Still have questions? Contact Microban today and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.