Keeping It Germ-Free: The Many Benefits of Antimicrobial Door Hardware

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for visiting Cori's Cozy Corner! Please make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our E-mails!

Photo by khairul nizam from Pexels
Nowadays, people are more aware than ever about how germs and other infectious agents are spread. Since the germ theory of disease became mainstream in the 19th century, we have known that our hands are one of the most common vectors in spreading illness. Washing your hands frequently is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease, as well as regularly cleaning frequently touched items, but there are other steps you can take to discourage the spread of disease. One great way is to install antimicrobial versions of frequently touched items, and some of the best candidates are your doorknobs and other door hardware. Although these should be cleaned frequently, often the cleaning may not be thorough enough or frequent enough to keep the knob from becoming a fomite, or object that is likely to carry infection. Installing door hardware that is inherently antimicrobial can help cover any gaps in your fight against germs. This article will explain some of the reasons, benefits, and tips to keep your home or business healthy and safe.

Installing New Door Hardware

Installing new door hardware can range in difficulty from extremely simple do-it-yourself to requiring a professional. When it comes to replacing locks or installing door hardware for a commercial space, it is best to hire a professional locksmith, like Action Lock Doc, to ensure that the more complicated installation is done correctly. For most simple home doorknob replacements, however, all you need is a screwdriver. First, simply remove the old knob by unscrewing it. Then do the same to remove the old latch plate on the inside edge of the door. Then insert the new latch plate and screw it in, making sure that the tapered side is facing the strike plate on the door frame. Now insert the spindle of the new doorknob through the latch and secure it. The other half of the knob should fit easily over the protruding spindle, allowing you to align the pieces and secure them in place. Be sure to test the knob after installation to make sure it is working correctly. Now that you know what you’ll be getting into by replacing your doorknobs, let’s explore the reasons for choosing antimicrobial options.

How Dirty Are Regular Door Handles?

Door handles are one of the most frequently touched, often overlooked surfaces in a home or building. One study found that a single contaminated doorknob could spread germs throughout an office in two to four hours. Because germs are invisible, it’s impossible to know by sight whether a surface or even your hands are clean. All it takes to contaminate a surface is for one person with unwashed hands to touch it. In a public setting, hundreds of hands could be touching that surface a day, and even with the most rigorous cleaning schedule there still could be a transmission of microbes between individuals.

What are Microbes?

Although the term microbe is technically any microscopic organism, “microbe” is especially used to denote microorganisms that cause disease. Generally, these are single-celled organisms and are usually bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The materials that have been tested and registered by the EPA have been found to inhibit many of these categories. Copper-alloy surfaces can prevent bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or MRSA) and E. coli. Those same surfaces have also been shown to inactivate Influenza and Adenovirus particles. As for fungi, copper-alloy surfaces have been shown to kill black mold and the pathogenic yeast that causes thrush in humans. Research into how to fight infectious disease is constantly evolving and adapting along with the microbes it studies. As time passes, we will learn new information in ways to prevent and control common diseases.

Silver and Copper are Antimicrobial

Two common metals that have antimicrobial properties, according to the CDC, and can be used in the production of antimicrobial door hardware are silver and copper. Silver has been known to kill germs for centuries, but science is only recently starting to understand exactly why. From specialized advanced imaging techniques, researchers were able to observe that silver ions were causing strands of DNA to separate, which in turn caused the cells to die. Although more research is needed, this better understanding can help improve the use of silver to kill harmful bacteria in the future. Similarly, we have known that copper can kill germs since the 19th century, but it was only recently that science understood the mechanism by which it did this. Research has shown that copper disrupts the cell function of bacteria in many ways, but there are three that are considered the most important. First, higher copper levels inside the cell cause stress and create hydrogen peroxide, which damages the cell’s structures. Second, copper can decrease the integrity of the cell membrane, and it can lose essential nutrients and even desiccate and die. Last, copper can cause essential proteins to lose their shape which means they cannot function properly, leading to cell death. These properties of copper also extend to other copper alloys, such as brass and bronze.

Caring for Antimicrobial Surfaces

The antimicrobial nature of these materials is an intrinsic property, and you usually don’t need to be concerned about the antimicrobe wearing out or wearing off. However, an antimicrobial finish is not a 100% guarantee that no germs will grow on your surfaces and you should clean them regularly. The benefit of the antimicrobial properties is that they will be easier to clean and stay fresher between cleanings. The best way to do that is simply to wipe them down with a disinfectant regularly. The frequency depends on how often they are used, from multiple times a day to at least once a week.

Keep Your Home or Business Germ-Free

Antimicrobial door hardware is a great tool in the fight against infectious disease. Not only are these doorknobs functional and relatively inexpensive, but they also come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles, so you can easily complement your home or business’s existing decor. By simply replacing your door handles, you are able to further ensure that you are keeping your family, customers, and yourself safe.

Cori's Cozy Corner Disclosure Policy

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.