How Do Antimicrobial Door Handles Work?

How Do Antimicrobial Door Handles Work?

3.3 min readPublished On: April 9th, 2024By
3.3 min readPublished On: April 9th, 2024By
How do Antimicrobial Door Handles Work

In order to understand how antimicrobial door handles work, we can begin by looking into BioCote®’s approach to creating antimicrobial products. When we consider adding our antimicrobial additives into any product, we assess factors such as the choice of material and the manufacturing process to recommend the best treatment.


When we consider incorporating our antimicrobial technology in door handles, our approach usually varies depending on the material the door handles are made from. While metal handles are common, we cannot directly treat metal surfaces. However, we can treat a coating applied to the metal, providing long-lasting protection against microbial growth and reducing the risk of cross-contamination from one surface to another.

Plastic materials are also prevalent in door handle manufacturing. In this scenario, the door handle itself can be treated with antimicrobial additives during the manufacturing process, which is the case for Salto, where we incorporate our additives directly into their material, however, we also treat their alloy-based door handle with a coating. By incorporating our antimicrobial additives into the plastic material, for example, in a masterbatch form, the door handle becomes inherently resistant to microbial growth.


Once we have identified the material being used, we need to shift our attention to the manufacturing method. Regardless of whether plastics or coatings are used to create the antimicrobial door handle, the product type, base material, and manufacturing temperature profoundly influence the efficacy of our additives. Our team evaluates these factors to come up with a bespoke antimicrobial solution that seamlessly integrates into the existing manufacturing process.

On one hand, for door handles treated with an antimicrobial coating, the additive we would recommend would be tailored to the coating type, the colour, and the coating base. Notably, there are two primary coating options: powder coating and liquid coating. Abloy Oy, for example, applies an antimicrobial powder coating to their door handles; this is a type of coating that gets applied as free-flowing, dry powder, and unlike conventional liquid paints, powder coatings do not require solvents. This offers Abloy Oy benefits such as enhanced abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and easy cleaning.

On the other hand, the process of creating plastic-based antimicrobial door handles considers the polymer type, production method (e.g., blow moulding, injection moulding), and processing temperature. Furthermore, treating the plastic itself during manufacturing and subsequently applying a coating may be also beneficial. This approach is particularly advantageous when using coatings for additional purposes such as scratch resistance or colour enhancement. In such cases, both the plastic and coating receive antimicrobial treatment, ensuring continued protection even if the coating sustains damage.


The BioCote® process of creating antimicrobial door handles gives an insight into how antimicrobial additives get incorporated into different materials. However, whether they are fully integrated into the door handles or applied as a protective coating, the effects of BioCote® antimicrobial additives are the same, with 99.99% proven reduction in microbes.

Our technology enters the cell membranes of microbes, such as fungi or bacteria, interferes with their metabolic processes, and as a result, inhibits their ability to replicate. In other words, BioCote® technology works by stopping microbes from doubling every 4 and 20 minutes, making the surface inhospitable for microbes to survive via these modes of action:

  • Enters the cell and irreversibly damages it.
  • Disrupts energy production and other essential functions of the cell.
  • Stops divisions and reproduction.


The integration of antimicrobial technology into door handles is a proactive approach to reducing the risk of microbial transmission. Whether it is through direct incorporation into the handle material or application as a protective coating, BioCote®’s solutions offer reliable and lasting protection, proven to significantly reduce microbial growth by 99.99% working 24/7 for the lifetime of the door handle.

To learn more about how BioCote® can enhance the hygiene of products, contact us today for tailored antimicrobial solutions that meet your specific needs.