Antibacterial Products vs. Antimicrobial Products

Discover the difference between products containing antibacterial and antimicrobial protection

The terms “Antibacterial” and “Antimicrobial” are commonly interchanged, when in fact they have very different meanings!

The primary difference between antibacterial and antimicrobial substances is the types of microorganism they act upon. While antibacterial products prevent the development of bacteria, antimicrobial agents such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers prevent the spread of bacteria, fungi, and some viruses. This is a much broader scope of protection than the protection found in antibacterial products.

Cleansing wipes are one type of product that is available as both an antibacterial product and an antimicrobial product. Antibacterial hand wipes kill bacteria, while antimicrobial wipes kill bacteria plus other microorganisms that can cause human illness. Both antibacterial and antimicrobial wipes can be a component of effective hand hygiene.

At Microban, we utilize built-in antimicrobial technology to help keep the products we protect cleaner and fresher for longer. *Using antimicrobials allows us to protect products from stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew. Our antimicrobial technology can be applied to products across a wide variety of industries, from textiles to building materials. Here are some of the most popular products that have the capabilities to contain antimicrobial product protection:

  • Towels
  • Carpet
  • Fabric
  • Healthcare Masks
  • Pens

Learn more about all of our partners who are using our technology to provide you with cleaner and fresher products! If you have additional questions about antimicrobial products, please contact us.


*Microban antimicrobial product protection is limited to the product itself and is not designed to protect the users of these products from disease causing microorganisms, food borne illnesses, or as a substitute for normal cleaning and hygiene practices. Microban International, Ltd. makes neither direct nor implied health claims for the products containing Microban® antimicrobial product protection. The information presented in this blog post is solely for the purpose of providing general information regarding Microban International, Ltd.