Watch wristbands vs. Bacteria: Antimicrobial solutions for enhanced cleanliness

Are watch straps harboring harmful bacteria? Discover how Microban’s antimicrobial solutions can help to protect watch wristbands against bacteria.

Uncovering bacterial contamination on watch wristbands

A recent scientific study, capturing the attention of health enthusiasts and fashion lovers alike, has raised concerns regarding the growth of product-degrading bacteria on watch wristbands.

The study examined the correlation between wristband material and bacterial prevalence. It also assessed the effectiveness of three household disinfectants in reducing bacteria on plastic, rubber, metal, and cloth straps. The study revealed that nearly all wristbands (95%) were contaminated, with rubber and plastic watch bands showing the highest bacterial counts.

Key findings at a glance:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (8143 cfu/cm2) and Pseudomonas spp. (1126 cfu/cm2) were most abundant on cloth and rubber wristbands

  • The presence of the E. coli group was associated with animal handling activity by a veterinarian.

  • The gym-goer showed the highest staphylococcal counts, highlighting the importance of cleaning post-workout.

  • Household disinfectants exhibited different levels of effectiveness across materials and application times.

The challenges of keeping up with bacterial growth

In a technologically driven era, wearing an Apple smartwatch or fitness tracker like Fitbit and Garmin has become necessary. These devices seamlessly monitor our heart rates, sleep patterns and workouts and even manage calls and notifications. According to Statista, there were 216.43 million smartwatch users in 2022, and the approximate revenue generated was $43.39 billion.

However, wearing and using wristbands fosters a conducive environment for microbial growth. This not only causes unpleasant odors and unsightly stains but also diminishes the product’s perceived quality and cleanliness.

As the study highlights, more than regular cleaning is required to keep up with microbial activity and everyday use. Dust, sweat, lotion, food, and skin oils can build up on your watchband and provide organic matter for bacteria to feed on, even with regular cleaning. If cleaning lapses occur, the band material can be further compromised.

Timeless protection: built-in antimicrobial technology

Enter the solution: built-in Microban antimicrobial technology.

Microban technology offers 24/7/365 surface protection against degrading microbes for the product’s lifetime without compromising aesthetics or functionality. Integrated at the stage of manufacture, this advanced technology reduces the requirement for harsh cleaning chemicals that could otherwise harm or degrade the watchband. The use of these powerful agents can further affect silicone watch bands and other coatings used in the manufacturing of these products. Bacteria causes persistent odor build-up or "permastink" on synthetic fibers, a common pain point for consumers.

Wristbands enhanced with Microban protection will remain cleaner and fresher for longer, ensuring improved quality, longevity, and added peace of mind.

24-hour confocal time-lapse

The video below compares untreated surfaces to those treated with Microban. Take a look!

Benefits of antimicrobial watch wristbands

Microban offers customized antimicrobial treatments that can be integrated into several watch components, including plastic, rubber, and cloth straps.

Here are some ways Microban can add additional value to wristbands:

  • 24/7/365 protection - actively protects wristbands against bacteria, mold, and mildew growth, keeping the product fresher, cleaner, and more durable.

  • Long-lasting freshness - antimicrobial technology works to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, commonly found on fabric or plastic wristbands.

  • Unique selling point - provides an added feature to differentiate product lines and answer growing consumer needs.

  • Seamless integration - can be incorporated during product manufacturing without disrupting existing processes or compromising product functionality, aesthetics, or performance.

  • Improved sustainability messaging: products enhanced with Microban technology are protected from stains, odors, and premature degradation caused by microbial growth. This means they have a longer lifespan and are less likely to add to consumer waste.

Consider antimicrobial protection today for the future of your wristbands.