The Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Agents in Textiles

On unprotected surfaces, mold, bacteria and other micro-organisms can double every 20 minutes. On sweaty textiles that have been stored in a cramped gym bag or clothes hamper for hours, it’s easy to see how this rapid growth can quickly cause clothes to give off an offensive odor.

Dedicated gym-goers know laundering alone does little to combat the funky permastink common to work out gear, so the more it smells, the more you wash it. Clothing deteriorates quickly in this cycle as you try to fight the growth of microbes that are causing your odor. Antimicrobial fabrics and products, on the other hand, help prevent those odor-causing bacteria from ever taking root. What if your favorite leggings to wear to hot yoga never became saturated in odor in the first place? What if your favorite set of towels didn’t smell like mildew after one or two uses? Antimicrobial agents can make that happen.

Antimicrobial Agents & How They Work

Microban® antimicrobial agents are added to textiles during the product development process or existing manufacturing process and become an intrinsic part of the textile. When microbes such as bacteria come in to contact with the textile, our antimicrobial agents capture the offensive odors within a protective barrier, shielding the "stink" until washing and reducing odor in your favorite work out gear, thus preventing permastink.

Microban engineers formulate antimicrobial agent technology during the new product development process to continuously resist stains, odors and product degradation throughout the product’s lifetime. Your favorite work out gear can stay your favorite longer. Microban antimicrobial agents can help you offer your customers the solution they want so they can continue to live their lives free of the battle with persistent odor.

Antimicrobial Fabric Can Extend Product Life

Antimicrobial fabrics using our technology reduce odors by >90% after more than 50 typical home launderings. Because our odor control technology eliminates one of the major complaints about synthetic fabrics, it extends the useful life of clothing, increasing its value.

We work with partners to define durability requirements as part of the product development process. We then evaluate durability with industry standards or with customized methods. For example, for textiles and clothing that is washed, standard published methods such as AATCC 61-2A or AATCC 135 are used. For articles exposed to light, ASTM methods using accelerated weather meters (e.g. Xenon-Arc) are used.

In addition, we are able to conduct customized experiments to simulate the actual use environment of the article. These include shower simulations, hot vapor exposure, solvent exposure and repeated washing in a washing machine. With our rigorous testing methods, you will be able to confidently present durable odor control products with long lasting antimicrobial agents to your customers that they are sure to love for a long time.

Contact Microban today for information about our antimicrobial agents and turn-key solutions that supply your consumers with textiles that last longer and stay odor-free between washes.