Antibacterial Touch Screen Antimicrobial Treatment

By | March 19, 2020

AntiBacterial Kiosk Touch Screen

touchscreen suppliers

touchscreen suppliers

From Kiosk Industry March 2020 — One of the notes we will stress is that purchasing antimicrobial coatings for your touchscreen really serves no purpose except for what we call “hygiene theater”.  If it makes customers feel safer then that is its purpose.  Antimicrobial coatings serve to inhibit germs, and given enough time actually encourage them to die.

The problem is you are assuming the touchscreen will not be used in the meantime (or with oily fingers).  

Ultimately, in order to provide a clean environment for customers, a little soap and water every day is the most effective (99%) solution available.  Screens should be cleaned every day in any case.  Tell your customers you have antimicrobial treated screens but don’t spend another $150 a screen to add nothing.

March Coronvirus Update:

By now we have all seen and read countless articles on how best to protect ourselves and others from bacterial infection. Before we begin we want to list some recommended resources right off the bat that can help educate your point of view on antibacterial, antimicrobial and of course, the coronavirus.

Our current recommendations:

  1. Clean surfaces with warm soapy water. That breaks down the viruses and removes it.
  2. Another option — wipe down with bleach wipes and after several passes of that wipe down with Easy Screen.
  3. Bleach – figure 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water for mix ratio
  4. Avoid highly concentrated solutions of alcohol based.
  5. If you want to “double-clean” then consider getting handheld UVC product like the Blade below for localized and safe UVC cleaning (after surfaces have been wiped down).  Oily fingers are one of the complicating factors to consider.

Recommended Resources

Some recommended sources of internet resources include:

PDI Update

PDI has been monitoring the COVID-19 epidemic (SARS-CoV-2 virus), previously identified as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), to provide you the most current information to help manage this outbreak. The CDC has recently issued additional recommendations for surface disinfection, including recommendations for the use of an EPA-approved disinfectant with emerging viral pathogens claims. This letter supersedes previous letter issued on January 30, 2020.

Super Sani-Cloth ® Wipes, Sani-Cloth ® AF3 Wipes, and Sani-Cloth ® Bleach Wipes meet the criteria for the EPA emerging viral pathogens claim. PDI has submitted the addition of the required language for this claim on these master labels to the EPA and is awaiting expedited approval. Recently launched products, including Sani-Cloth ® Prime Wipes, Sani-Prime ® Spray, Sani-24 ® Spray, and Sani-HyPerCideTM Spray already have the EPA emerging viral pathogens claim on their master labels.

Recommended Wipe

Super Sani-Cloth is what we would recommend. It is the most equipment friendly wipe that is on the list.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus still has not been made readily available by the CDC for testing. The CDC states: “If there are no available EPA-registered products that have an approved emerging viral pathogens claim for COVID-19, products with label claims against human coronaviruses should be used according to label instructions.” The following PDI products have label claims against human coronaviruses:

Click for full size

Handheld cleaning would include after-hours with handheld UV device (example here is Blade). $500

Don’t Believe It

Bad Data Tabloids

A year or so ago an article on “dirty” McDonalds touchscreens came out in London tabloid and while proved inaccurate there are those that have used it to create a certain fear factor. The intent of the article was essentially “clickbait” for sensational traffic.

We have articles here on the site from legitimate sources which disproved and countered. Companies will also use this article as “fear factor” for buying their products. If this article is their primary credential then that tells you something.

While some fantastical things like your Marketing people making decisions at midnight in the company parking lot via chicken bones and marbles  can be considered possibly true, we like to think they utilize factual analytic data.


  • Training employees to clean their hands and then to clean the public surfaces on regular basis is best practice
  • Do employees get paid sick time or do they have to come into work and potentially infect people?
  • You’ve opted not to use the cleaned kiosk and go to the counter. How close is that McDonalds person to you talking to you and how many people have been talking in that zone? Drive Thru’s get a lot busier.

But what about your cellphone?

Because phones get so dirty, they’re as important to keep clean as your hands. But you can’t lather, rinse, repeat your phone with soap and water — so that’s where alternative cleaning methods come into play, such as UV lights that disinfect your device.

A new study conducted by PhoneSoap, a company that sells UV sanitizing devices for your phones, has found that the surface of the average device is 18 times dirtier than a public restroom. In an interview with Mashable, co-founder Dan Barnes says PhoneSoap calls phones “the third hand you never wash.”

Difference between Antimicrobial and AntiBacterial

Antimicrobial and antibacterial solutions for touchscreens and kiosks have been around a long time and there has been improvements over the years.  Important in the self-service terminal that the treatment does not affect the touchscreen

The primary difference between antibacterial and antimicrobial substances is the types of microorganisms they act upon. While antibacterial products prevent the development of bacteria, antimicrobial agents such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers prevent the spread of bacteria, fungi, and some viruses. This is a much broader scope of protection than the protection found in antibacterial products.

Cleansing wipes are one type of product that is available as both an antibacterial product and an antimicrobial product. Antibacterial hand wipes kill bacteria, while antimicrobial wipes kill bacteria plus other microorganisms that can cause human illness. Both antibacterial and antimicrobial wipes can be a component of effective hand hygiene.

Antibacterial Kiosk Solutions

Wipes – PDI Easy Screen

Compatible touchscreen cleaner that works.

• Features the power of 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA)
• Fast-drying, No residue, Anti-fogging, Anti-streaking
• Rapidly cleans dirt, grime, fingerprints, and smudges
• Compatible with touchscreen healthcare equipment, including Corning® Gorilla® Glass (3 and 4)1, Sapphire glass, Aluminum silicate, Acrylic Glass, Etched glass, Stainless steel, and more!  MSDS Sheet

Spray & Coating – Sanitech Information

SurfaceClean is a hospital-grade cleaner disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces.

SurfaceClean- enhances the effectiveness of our antimicrobial coatings by properly preparing surfaces for antimicrobial treatment

SurfaceClean is designed for use prior to the application of long lasting antimicrobial products. It is also recommended for regular maintenance cleaning.

SurfaceClean is a cost effective and easy to use solution. SurfaceClean is available in 32 ounce spray bottles and 1 or 5 gallon containers.

 SurfaceClean Disinfects and Eliminates:

      • 99% of Germs and Bacteria
      • Healthcare associated MRSA
      • Community associated MRSA
      • H1N1 Flu Virus
      • SARS
      • Avian Influenza
      • Hepatitis
      • Mumps
      • Rhinovirus
      • Rotovirus

For how long?

SurfaceAide XL delivers durability, safety and affordability to protect vital surfaces from the growth of bacteria, mold and fungi 24/7 for up to 90 days.

SurfaceAide XL

  • Generates an environmentally friendly, non-leaching antimicrobial barrier on surfaces that is non-toxic and non-sensitizing
  • Promotes long-term reduction of harmful bacteria, mold and fungi on surfaces
  • Minimizes the presence of microbes on touch points that can serve as transfer routes for bacteria from surface-to-skin
  • One application effectively fights the growth of bacteria, mold and fungi, non-stop on surfaces for up to 90 days
  • Proactively and continually prevents odor, staining and deterioration caused by bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew
  • Can be safely and easily applied without affecting day to day  operations
  • Invisible, odorless and will not affect the appearance or performance of treated surfaces
  • Since SurfaceAide XL does not leach, the organism cannot emerge as a new resistant microbe or “super bug”
  • Essentially dimethyl ammonium chlorides

Clorox Professional

– Link – competes with PDI.  Using “Quat Alcohol”.

Here is the Clorox info.  Same as PDI but percentages are not revealed.  Price is different I am guessing.



Treated vs. Untreated Surface — The unique AEGIS Microbe Shield is a fabric enhancement that gives the treated surface active antibacterial action. The germ-killing action is the result of a micro polymer coating, which mechanically destroys bacteria, mold, fungus and their allergens on contact. AEGIS contains no chemicals, is not consumed by microorganisms, and remains effective for the life of the product.



Copper alloys have the advantages of not only killing “bad bacteria” but they continue to kill it.  Chart compares copper, brass and stainless.

And yes copper has an ROI model based on cost savings.

UV-C Antibacterial Light

Another antibacterial  tool is UV-C light. It however has many cautions.

What Are Germicidal Lamps?

Germicidal lamps emit radiation in the UV-C portion of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum, which includes wavelengths between 100 and 280 nanometers (nm). The lamps are used in a variety of applications where disinfection is the primary concern, including air and water purification, food and beverage protection, and sterilization of sensitive tools such as medical instruments. Germicidal light destroys the ability of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens to multiply by deactivating their reproductive capabilities. The average bacteria may be killed in 10 seconds at a

Blade UV-C cleaner
The handheld, portable UVC Blade deactivates bacteria, viruses and fungi in hard to reach places and in environments that only need occasional exposure to UVC light. It is also an effective solution for mold remediation.
The Blade features an on/off safety switch, and a comfortable handle that minimizes grip discomfort.
Hazard and Risks from Germicidal Lamp UV Radiation

UV radiation (UVR) used in most germicidal bulbs is harmful to both skin and eyes, and germicidal bulbs should not be used in any fixture or application that was not designed specifically to prevent exposure to humans or animals. UVR is not felt immediately; in fact, the user may not realize the danger until after the exposure has caused damage. Symptoms typically occur 4 to 24 hours after exposure. The effects on skin are of two types: acute and chronic. Acute effects appear within a few hours of exposure, while chronic effects are long-lasting and cumulative and may not appear for years. An acute effect of UVR is redness of the skin called erythema (similar to sunburn). Chronic effects include accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. UVR is absorbed in the outer layers of the eye – the cornea and conjunctiva. Acute overexposure leads to a painful temporary inflammation, mainly of the cornea, known as photokeratitis. Subsequent overexposure to the UV is unlikely because of the pain involved. Chronic exposure leads to an increased risk of certain types of ocular cataracts. Working unprotected for even a few minutes can cause injury. It is possible to calculate the threshold for acute effects and to set exposure limits. It is not possible, however, to calculate threshold for chronic effects; therefore, because no exposure level is safe, exposure should be reduced as much as possible.

UV-C Handheld Blade FAQ
  1. How does one use it?

With the Blade unit, all you need to do is get it as close to the surface as possible and pass it over the surface. Being one inch away, a few seconds exposure kills all bacteria and virus.

  1. How long does it take?

Some take a little longer than normal but a few seconds is plenty if 1 inch away

  1. What is the wrong way to use them?

You don’t shine the light up or at anyone and the operator should wear safety glasses which we include with every unit

  1. How does it handle oily fingerprints and smudges?

The surface should be wiped down for the best application

  1. These should be used in off-hours when no customers or patients around?  Example: the front lobby of VA where check-in’s are taking place.

They can be used 24 hours a day, you just need to have people stand back while you run the unit over the surface

UV-C Resources