Between Sanitizing: Why Microbiostatic agents are the future of hygiene

With COVID-19 cases and deaths rising again across the US and globally, the world is looking for new solutions: innovative ideas, strategies, and protocols that will help finally turn the tide. Researchers are pursuing vaccines, policymakers are wrestling with tough decisions, and public health informs everything we do.

For businesses and institutions, cleaning and sanitizing practices remain a top priority to keep people protected from surface-borne pathogens and confident in their safety. Schools, restaurants, health clubs, salons, and health care facilities are all in same essential position: staying open requires staying clean. But until now, true innovation in antimicrobial technology has been scarce.

While tried-and-true sanitizing technologies are very effective at ridding surfaces of bacteria and viruses, they are only short-term solutions. Just minutes after a thorough cleaning, one cough or handprint can result in instant recontamination. Especially in high-touch environments such as schools or hospitals, conventional cleaning methods simply can’t keep up.


Protecting surfaces between cleanings with microbiostatic agents

Contaminated surfaces that can carry pathogens from one person to another are known as fomites. From an airplane seat to a door handle, any surface has the potential to harbor and transmit microbes. But there is a way to make surfaces inhospitable to microbes for up to months at a time. It’s not only effective, it is safe, proven, and environmentally sustainable.

Microbiostatic antimicrobial agents are those that stay active on a surface in their dry state long after they have been sprayed or wiped on. They adhere to the surface in a monomolecular layer that both attracts and destroys microbes by puncturing through the cell wall. Microbes in aerosolized droplets that land on the surface or that are transferred by hands or objects are instantly ruptured by spike-like molecular structures. And because the antimicrobial stays durably bonded to the surface, microbiostatic agents can be used in tandem with routine cleaning.

While eradicating coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 will take a multi-pronged public health effort, innovative antimicrobial technologies will help to provide the protection and confidence institutions need to return to normal operation. With our newfound understanding and respect for the invisible and rapid transmission of disease, such cleaning methods will likely become the new normal even after this pandemic has passed.