Anti-bacterial, anti-viral or anti-microbial?

Posted by Lee Bessell on

Hygienic Handles - Anti-bacterial, anti-viral or anti-microbial - Handsfree door and foot handles

With an increased emphasis on good hand washing techniques and the introduction of sanitation stations in most retail outlets, it begs the question; what should we be looking for when protecting ourselves and others against the likes of Covid-19?



Anti-bacterial usually refers to an antibiotic, a specific type of anti-bacterial agent used mainly against bacteria; it may kill or inhibit them. Such products frequently include chemicals such as chlorine which destroy a broad spectrum of bacteria and other organisms.

Most hand sanitising products on the market today are anti-bacterial. Hand sanitisers with an alcohol content over 65% act as a disinfectant and therefore kills germs. Hand sanitiser and other anti-bac products do not physically remove germs from your skin like soap and water can. Soap is a detergent, and detergents work by dissolving both water and oil, so it simply washes the microbes off your hands like it would wash the fat and food waste from a plate. However, it is important to mention that antibacterial products do not reduce the risk for symptoms of viral infectious diseases in otherwise healthy people.



Anti-viral is a class of medication used for treating viral infections. Most antivirals target specific viruses like that of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA currently in development in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, while a broad-spectrum antiviral is effective against a wide range of viruses.

Unlike most antibiotics, antiviral drugs do not destroy their target pathogen; instead, they inhibit their development. Similarly, products promoting their antiviral properties have actually an anti-microbial coating or are chemically impregnated to inhibit and neutralise viruses over time.



Anti-microbial products kill or slow the spread of microorganisms. Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi such as mold. Along with antiseptics, antimicrobial products are used to treat or prevent diseases on people, pets, and other living things.1


Antimicrobials work at a cellular level to continually disrupt and prevent the growth of microorganisms over time. They achieve this by creating an inhospitable environment for microorganisms like bacteria and mold. Antimicrobials like the silver-ion used on our Hygienic door handles, help to protect everyday products like countertops, hospital equipment and toys.


In conclusion

When it comes to protecting ourselves and others from the spread of infection, using clean soap and water is still the best defence against germs. Products that have antimicrobial coating should only be viewed as a secondary barrier due to time required to neutralise microbes upon it. The alternative is to avoid contact with your hand which is one of the main sources of viral transmission.






Hygienic Handles


Easily Convert Doors to “Hands-Free” Opening. Facilities & Office Managers: Protect staff by making workplace robust to COVID-19 cross-infection: make doors “hands-free” with our easily installed products. Designed & produced in Britain and in stock, ready for despatch. Learn more at



Hygienic Handles is the new division of Astor Bannerman Ltd of Cheltenham, medical/care equipment suppliers with over 25 years’ experience & expertise. The new range of Hygienic Handles equipment enables doors to be opened and closed by arm or foot, removing the need for hand contact with the handle, to create a safer workplace and protect your people. #handsfreedoors #workplacesafety #protectingpeople #stopthevirus #stopthespread #stopcovid19


Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

0 comment

Have your say

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.