Hygiene, disinfection, and ventilation – the three basics needed to make sure indoor spaces are safe places for us to be. These three things protect us from the universe of microorganisms that we live with every day when we are at home, at work, in leisure spaces, and everywhere else.
The COVID-19 outbreak has made us much more careful and these three things have become our best weapon when it comes to protecting ourselves from the virus.
In this quest to guarantee safe and hygienic spaces, we have some important allies. These include hygienic materials such as fabrics that purify the air, antibacterial surfaces, and floors that clean themselves. We put together a list of five practical applications for these intelligent materials that will make our lives easier.
Door handles that are always clean
Doorknobs are particularly critical spots right now. Imagine not having to constantly clean them thanks to a door handle that disinfected itself? Two students from the University of Hong Kong have actually made one. It’s a door handle that uses light to continually self-sterilise. A glass tube with aluminium caps at each end, it can destroy 99.8% of bacteria using a chemical reaction that is activated by the ultraviolet light.
Chinese University of Hong Kong student Sum Ming Wong and Kin Pong Li have designed a door handle that uses light to constantly sterilise itself.
Copper for your bedsheets
There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep, and nature has given us the perfect material to achieve this – copper. Its antibacterial properties keep fungi, viruses, and bacteria away without using any chemical products. The copper fibre fabrics from Copper Clothing include bedsheets for a healthy night’s sleep. It also eliminates odours and helps keep our skin nice and cool.
Good air quality is essential for a healthy home. There are many options, both natural and technological, to help you achieve this, but can you imagine having curtains that purify the air in your home? This isn’t some utopian fantasy. Swedish company Ikea has put some on the market. They are made of an innovative fabric that is activated by light and renews the air in a room.
What if we could add ecopaint to the room with the air-purifying curtains? Because our walls, as well adding a bit of colour, can also provide hygiene and comfort. One of the most revolutionary materials out there is a paint that helps destroy unwanted microorganisms. It has photocatalytic properties that purify the air in a similar way to trees, removing toxic substances using sunlight. Ecopaints eliminate up to 99.99% of surface bacteria.
Working in silence
Aside from viruses and bacteria, what about protecting ourselves from another big problem for our health: noise pollution? Let’s talk about using wool for this. Tante Lotte Design brings the wool directly from Tyrol and places it on walls and ceilings in homes, hotels, and restaurants. It’s in the form of decorative panels that absorb sound, creating a more relaxing environment. On a smaller scale, it can also be used as a divider between workspaces in offices.