FOREST, Va. – A local company is working to make public surfaces cleaner while cutting down on the spread of germs.
It's called NanoSeptic and uses a self-cleaning technology to protect some of the most commonly touched surfaces like door handles, check-in desks and even tissue boxes.
Dennis Hackemayer, a co-founder of the company, says when any type of light comes into contact with the material, it self-cleans. He says the surface creates an oxidation reaction stronger than bleach.
"It's not about large-scale contaminants, like mud or spaghetti sauce," says Hackemayer. "NanoSeptic cleaning surfaces work at the nano-level. So think of a billionth of a meter. It's super small, which is where the bad stuff lives, it's in the small world. It's actually oxidizing those contaminants 24-7 just with the use of indoor light."
It's a technology that's seeing support from all over the world, including dozens of companies at home.
The Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine sees more than 500 people each week. That huge number of visitors is what led to the decision to install NanoSeptic technology to door handles and check-in desks over the winter.
"We felt like it was a good thing, especially around flu season," says Kevin Bolden, the director of operations at LUCOM. "It's been helpful throughout the year. We get a lot of visitors and a lot of touching in the same common areas."
While some of the most popular uses for the NanoSeptic cleaning strips are door handles, creators are working to get the technology into even more spaces.
A recent study of germs in airplanes and airports surprised many travelers. It found the dirtiest touch point wasn't in the bathroom but at the check-in kiosk, which had 10 times as many contaminants as a toilet seat.
That's when NanoSeptic creators began developing a clear self-cleaning adhesive film that could be applied to everything from the airport touch screen kiosks to checkout screens for servers at restaurants and even iPads in hospitals.
Now the technology is about to expand even further, with a new product created to keep phones clean.
"We're putting our cell phones in some really bad places, resting them on some dirty places that we don't even know are dirty," says Hackemeyer. "These self-defense dots stick on the back of the phone or the back of the iPad or wherever, they're just some of the things we have in the works."
We can expect to see the cell phone protectors for sale on Amazon within the next month, for less than $20.
For more details on NanoSeptic and products available, click here.