Guide to Antimicrobial Home Hardware and Housewares
A wide range of antimicrobial home hardware and housewares may make the high-touch surfaces in your home safer from bacteria and viruses. Here are our favorites.
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What to Know About Antimicrobial Hardware and Housewares
Antimicrobial is a buzzword of the pandemic. Simply defined, an antimicrobial product, like a disinfectant spray, or a surface, like a doorknob, can either kill microorganisms or inhibit their spread. Microorganisms include mold, fungus, bacteria, and viruses like SARS-CoV-2 — the one that causes COVID-19.
During the pandemic, hardware and housewares manufacturers capitalized on consumer concerns by introducing a slew of products with antimicrobial properties. Some items, like real copper and bronze fixtures, are naturally antimicrobial, while others are treated with antimicrobial additives.
Antimicrobial products don’t take the place of proper personal hygiene and household cleaning practices — those are still essential. And antimicrobial surfaces can’t kill the coronavirus. But by creating a hostile environment where microorganisms disintegrate more rapidly, antimicrobials help protect your home and the people in it, That gives you another line of defense against COVID and other disease-causing organisms.
Here are some of our favorite antimicrobial hardware and housewares, with an explanation of how they inhibit the spread of microorganisms.
Best Antimicrobial Doorknobs
Because doorknobs are among the dirtiest places in a house, Kwikset has introduced a broad range of antimicrobial interior and exterior doorknobs and deadbolt sets. Look for those featuring Kwikset Microban SilverShield technology, which uses ionic silver to inhibit bacteria and virus growth. Microorganisms die more quickly on these surfaces, and the germ-killing properties don’t wash off or wear off the product surface.
Best Antimicrobial Kitchen Faucets
Antimicrobial technology was already gaining popularity in the home fixtures market, even before the pandemic made us more aware of how many surfaces we touch in a day. Delta Faucets featuring SpotShield Technology are treated with an antimicrobial finish. Bonus: They’re resistant to water spots.
Best Antimicrobial Cabinet Pulls
Copper alloy metals like bronze and brass are naturally antimicrobial. Studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can live for days on plastic, stainless steel and cardboard surfaces, dies within four hours on copper alloys. Shop for solid brass cabinet hardware like these beauties from Signature Hardware, or look for brass or bronze-finish hardware made from zinc.
Best Antimicrobial Showerhead
While dirty hands aren’t likely to touch a showerhead, that warm, wet environment is prime territory for the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Look for a showerhead treated with antimicrobial surface. We like the looks of this AquaDance model, with six spray settings plus Microban technology.
Best Antimicrobial Light Switches
If you’ve ever cleaned the light switches and wall plates in your home, you know how filthy they can get. Leviton has been making their Decora and Decora-Plus lines of products antimicrobial since before antimicrobial was a buzzword. We like their screwless snap-on plates and rocker switches. Both provide fewer nooks and crannies for dirt and germs to hide.
Best Antimicrobial Toilet
If you’re really serious about household germ warfare, go all out with a swanky toilet with a heated (yes!) antimicrobial seat. This deluxe model from high-end fixtures maker Moen has all the bells and whistles, including a touchless flush sensor, a built-in bidet with instant warm water and self-cleaning nozzle, plus a nightlight.
Best Antimicrobial Cleaning Caddy
Filled with disinfectant sprays and cleaning solutions, your cleaning caddy should be one of the cleanest spots in your house, right? Well, that caddy gets wet. Throw a dirty cleaning rag or sponge in there and it can become a regular bacteria pit.
Madesmart’s Carbon Collection Tote is made from ventilated, non-BPA plastic treated with antimicrobial properties. That keeps your cleaning caddy virtually germ-free.
Best Antimicrobial Sinkware
Your hand-washed dishes may be squeaky clean, but your dish drainer might be a microorganism super-spreader. Rubbermaid’s four-piece antimicrobial sinkware set features Microban technology in the rack and drain pad, so dishes sitting out to dry stay in a germ-free environment.
Best Antimicrobial Shower Curtain
Like any wet, warm environment, your shower curtain can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Keep the crud at bay with an antimicrobial shower curtain, like this one from LiBa, made from odorless PEVA plastic.