While the term 'antimicrobial' is common amongst the Microban team, it still doesn't roll off the tongue easily for most people. One of the fun parts about exploring the world of antimicrobial technology is how many ideas come to mind when you learn what it is. The idea that you can touch the surface of a product knowing that it is protected against the growth of bacteria and mold is quite exciting and usually leads to the question, "What products can antimicrobial technology go into and where can I find them?"
By the end of this blog post, you'll have a top-level understanding of how antimicrobial technology is engineered into materials. You'll also be able to name at least five commercialized antimicrobial products.
What Are Antimicrobial Products?
In general, the term 'antimicrobial' can be defined as the substance that destroys or inhibits the growth of microorganisms, including pathogenic microorganisms. At Microban®, an antimicrobial product is defined as a product that contains an active ingredient to protect it against microbial growth. The antimicrobial properties do not become the primary purpose of the product and are simply a secondary, complementary feature.
Once an antimicrobial additive is introduced into the manufacturing process of a product, it stays within the molecular structure of the product material for its useful lifetime. It’s not surprising that antimicrobial flooring systems, medical products, and food-contact equipment are becoming increasingly more popular worldwide.
Why Should You Consider Creating Antimicrobial Products?
Unlike standard disinfectants - which provide a limited residual activity once a treated surface dries - integrated antimicrobial technology works to continuously minimize the presence of microbes in-between cleaning. Antimicrobial products offer a whole host of benefits, including:
- Protected against bacteria and mold growth for their expected lifetime
- Stay cleaner and fresher for longer and in-between cleaning
- Easier to keep clean
- Have an extended usable lifetime
- Resistant to stains and odors caused by bacteria
- Help to reduce the risk of microbial cross-contamination
- Contain a proven technology that has a long history of safe use
- Help you gain a distinct competitive advantage
Antimicrobial Product Examples From Microban
Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for Microban antimicrobial products has risen exponentially. Construction, healthcare, food service, and consumer industries have all launched products with antimicrobial features, helping to address the everyday cleanliness anxieties expressed by consumers. Below, we have listed examples of antimicrobial products powered by Microban technology.
Floors are walked on all day every day and are one of the most common hotspots for bacterial growth. Luckily, more and more flooring system manufacturers are taking proactive steps to produce smarter and more innovative flooring products.
In the United States, Florida Tile enhances a variety of their beautifully designed flooring systems with Microban antimicrobial technology. These systems include traditional and laminated porcelain-treated materials and are the perfect application for restaurants, retirement homes, healthcare environments, wellness centers, and public spaces.
Let’s not forget about floor coatings. Buckeye International manufactures their Clarion® 25 Floor Finish, complete with Microban technology of course! Floor finishes by Buckeye® are formulated to produce the highest gloss, last longer, and resist dirt becoming embedded into the finish. Clarion 25 has a high gloss, is self-leveling, and dries quickly. It will not powder or yellow and holds up under extreme conditions. Clarion 25 may be used on vinyl, rubber, asphalt, vinyl composition tile, terrazzo, slate, marble, concrete, and quarry tile.
Durable Medical Products
Hygiene critical environments like the healthcare space call for a systems approach to cleaner products, cleaner surrounds, and cleaner processes. Durable medical products are the perfect antimicrobial product example.
World-class organization and efficiency experts, Metro, are a valued Microban partner and treat a wide array of their products with Microban technology. Many of these treated products are used in hospital environments including advanced polymer shelving, medical and special application carts, high-density shelving, wall storage systems, and much more.
Engineered to aid infection prevention with built-in Microban® silver technology, MARLUX recyclable privacy curtains provide superior antibacterial product protection in the healthcare environment. Think of all of the hands that touch privacy curtains among the many medical professionals, patients, and visitors moving in and out of healthcare environments.
Touchpoint Medical manufactures a variety of antimicrobial products for the medical environment that are treated with Microban technology. These carts, dispensing systems, and workstations offer enhanced durability and peace of mind for medical staff who can worry less about unwanted bacterial growth and focus more on the important job at hand.
Public health is an important topic worldwide, and many people believe that the use of treated medical products such as these are a positive step towards reducing the amount of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) that occur in healthcare spaces.
Most people would agree that any surface that touches our food during the supply chain process should be as clean as possible. In fact, the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011 encourages the use of technology to improve food safety. Many manufacturers of food and beverage equipment have helped their customers to improve compliance with food safety standards through the introduction of antimicrobial products.
Great Dane, a leader in the transportation industry, introduced its ground breaking refrigerated reefer liner with powerful Microban antimicrobial technology built into the liner material. The presence of the antimicrobial technology prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface of the reefer liner that transports food containers and food products. Food supply companies now look to Great Dane as the standard in hygienic and clean food transport.
JCP Plastic is a Thailand-based manufacturer of kitchenware products. Their Super Lock antimicrobial food storage containers feature built-in Microban protection, making them resistant to the negative effects of bacteria. Consumers who purchase Super Lock food containers can rest assured that their food items are nestled inside of a protected container that will not harbor bacteria on its surface.
Also in Asia, leading Taiwanese manufacturer Felli® has engineered proven Microban antimicrobial product protection into its range of Premium-Tite food storage containers. Not only do the containers stay hygienically cleaner, but they are also protected from stains, odors, and premature degradation caused by bacterial growth. This means the containers are less likely to be prematurely disposed of and end up in landfills.
Omada by Adamo launched the Sanaliving collection - a unique range of antibacterial kitchenware products boasting style, functionality, and built-in antimicrobial protection. Manufactured with Microban technology, the colorful collection of tableware, lunch boxes, and food storage containers benefit from a lasting resistance to harmful bacteria, making them the perfect addition to modern-day life on the go.
Another great example of antimicrobial products is Neoflam cutting boards. As consumers bring out these treated cutting boards in their home kitchens to prepare dinner, they benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing there is an extra layer of protection infused into the cutting board minimizing the presence of harmful bacteria.
When it’s time for ‘operation cleanup’ in the kitchen, EGL Homecare is there to make the job easier. A market-leading manufacturer of cleaning products, EGL has developed a range of next-level cleaning utensils powered by built-in Microban technology. Their range of antimicrobial products currently includes sponge scourers, heavy-duty dishcloths, and microfibre pads that are proven to resist bacterial growth by up to 99.9%. This means consumers can worry less about transferring bacteria from one surface to another via contaminated cleaning tools.
Home appliances - including refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines - can be some of the dirtiest and most odorous items in our home. This is typically the result of bacterial growth caused by a combination of frequent use, moisture, food residues and cleaning lapses.
Microban is partnered with GE Appliances on a laundry system with a complete systemic approach to effectively address moisture in the front load washers.
The UltraFresh Front Load Washers, engineered to stay fresh and clean, use a first-of-its-kind technology to help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria without the need for owners to wipe down their machine or leave the door open after each load.
According to research by Which?, seven out of ten fridges contain harmful bacteria. Without appropriate interventions, these bacteria can thrive considerably, posing cross-contamination risks to food items and key surfaces within the fridge.
In a bid to offer consumers a happier and more sustainable food journey, Whirlpool® has developed a range of antibacterial refrigerator air filters enhanced with built-in Microban® technology. Microban® is integrated into the filter at the stage of manufacture and helps fight the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the surface of the filter.
How To Create An Antimicrobial Product
Utilizing industry-leading, independently tested technologies, Microban can offer a proven antimicrobial formulation to fit your specific manufacturing process - so you don't have to change a thing!
In addition to determining the best solution for your product early on, Microban considers its likely end-use application and environment before developing a bespoke antimicrobial additive that can be formulated into a powder, liquid, or masterbatch pellet. Microban’s antimicrobial solutions become a built-in feature of your product, maintaining its aesthetic appeal and functionality without compromising on quality and performance.
The four stages of developing an antimicrobial product:
Plan the creation of your antimicrobial product: we’ll ask you a series of questions to understand your product’s material type, end-use, and intended country of sale
Design a suitable additive: we take the information you provided during stage 1 to design a custom additive.
Develop the additive formulation: we ensure full compatibility with your manufacturing process and product type.
Integrate the additive into your product: Microban engineers provide advice and guidance on how to integrate the additive into your manufacturing process. This can include on-site support, where required.
Get Started Today
Creating an antimicrobial product shouldn’t be a complicated process, providing you work with the right partner. Talk to a member of the Microban team to discover how we can help you develop antimicrobial products and surfaces.