How do antimicrobial agents work?

At Danfloor we often refer to our antimicrobial carpets and the many benefits this permanent coating brings in terms of infection control and the overall freshness and longevity of our carpets.

But what does the term “antimicrobial” or “non-leaching” really mean and how do antimicrobial agents work? So, let's break this down and shine some light on the terminology we use to describe our innovative antimicrobial carpet coating BIOME.

What are Microbes?

According to The National Centre for Biotechnology Information “Microbes are tiny living things that are found all around us and are too small to be seen by the naked eye. The human body is home to millions of these microbes too, also called microorganisms”

antimicrobial yarn treatment

The most common types of Microbes are:

  • Bacteria,
  • Viruses,
  • Algae and
  • Fungi.


An antimicrobial treatment will work to deactivate microbes and create an environment to which microorganisms can’t adapt. Whereas a treatment that is deemed antibacterial will destroy or inhibit only the growth of bacteria. Antimicrobials destroy or inhibit the growth of all microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, algae and viruses.

Such treatments can be both antibacterial and antiviral and antimicrobial – they can be anti-everything. But just because something says it's antimicrobial does not necessarily mean it's antiviral. Therefore, when talking about antimicrobial treatments it’s also important to specify what that treatment is effective against.

What is Non-Leaching?

Not all antimicrobial treatments work in the same way. Some of them are deemed as leaching whilst other treatments, like BI-OME®, are referred to as non-leaching.

Treatments that are leaching work by moving from the surface on which they are applied onto the microorganism to effectively poison it.

Besides affecting the durability and useful life of the treatment, leaching technologies have the potential to cause a variety of other problems to those that come into contact with them and the environment.

non-leaching antimicrobial treatment

Another issue with leaching technologies is they allow for the adaptation of microorganisms. Whereas non-leaching antimicrobial treatments work in a completely different way. The technology remains on the surface it is applied to and attracts the microbes to the substrate, punctures the cell membrane when it comes into contact with the surface and effectively renders it inactive.

Effective non-leaching treatments do not dimmish over time, even when subject to heavy cleaning. Ensuring that the surface offers a permanent antimicrobial layer. 


BI-OME® Antimicrobial Yarn Treatment

Taking the above into account here is a little more information about BI-OME®.

BI-OME® is a non-leaching antimicrobial coating applied to the carpet fibres of a number of our ranges, which kills the microorganisms when they come into contact with the fibre. BI-OME® doesn’t lose strength over time and creates an environment to which microorganisms can’t adapt. It’s a revolutionary technology that guarantees optimum freshness and hygiene even after intensive use and frequent commercial cleaning.

BI-OME® is important for anyone needing to eliminate odours and increase health protection. It is ideal for sectors where carpeting is used near or around food and drink, such as in the healthcare and hospitality sectors.

Getting to work straight away, the BI-OME® technology attracts the microorganisms in any spillage and starts to break it down, achieving a 4 log reduction of 99.99% in bugs and bacteria, including the ones that cause MRSA and C-DIFF, a full list of microorganisms BI-OME is affective against can be found within our BI-OME® guide.

The treatment has also been tested on enveloped viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and has demonstrated that it enhances the deactivation of viruses, on textile products.

Check out our BI-OME® video to find out more.


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