Sorry guys, we’re having some trouble with our scheduling right now as we have changed platforms to support our upcoming blog design changes.  Some of you may have seen this blog last week in your emails!  We live and we learn!

We get asked this question a lot by all kinds of healthcare customers so we decided to try and find out from every manufacturer we could just how these antimicrobial devices actually work.

After a whole load of tweeting (you guys have to engage more socially!!!) and searching and asking questions, this is what we found:

1. Antimicrobial coating deter microbes

So in some cases, we were told that the housing actually has a full antimicrobial coating that helps to prevent build up of microbes in the first place.  This would indicate that the plastic is made of something a bit more than just being more resistant to washing etc.  However not all manufacturers seemed to confirm or deny this on their spec sheets.

2. Resistant to washing

Antimicrobial devices are however more resistant to being washed with harmful disinfectants.  All the nasty things that clean things down in hospitals would normally damage the plastics quite quickly on even a rugged device, however the AB plastics used were designed to not let that happen.  The plastics will degrade over time but they will last and look better for a lot longer.

I managed to get a list of common substances and brands that are tested against.  This was from the eMotion range of tablets so check for specifics of your device.


Sodium Hypochlorite 6%
Ammonium Chloride 10%
Cavi Wipes
Super HDQL 10
Cloro-Wipe Towelette
70% Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohol Prep Pads


Multiple suppliers
Multiple suppliers
Multiple suppliers
PDI, others


Screen Cleaner
70% Isopropyl Alcohol
Tuffie Wipes
Alcohol Prep Pads

Office Depot, others
Multiple suppliers
PDI, others

3. Waterproof

All Antimicrobial devices are IP rated by default so they are resistant to water and can be washed.  However some are more equal than others so always double check that the IP rating allows for the specific style of water immersion you need.

4. Bleach

I have to admit we still haven’t found a specific answer to this.  Anything bleach based does seem to appear as an exception on many brands so for some reason it’s not desirable to use to clean a device down.  It might be that it is too corrosive to the rubber elements of the device, and at least that would be my guess at why but other than that we’re not sure.

5. Accessories

Accessories you have to be careful with and always check as some devices extend AB to all parts of the device and some don’t. Also make sur eyou understand what you can and can’t wash.  For example the battery is unlikely to be washable, however it is probably washable if secured and part of the device. The hand strap and stylus are also features that you need to think about and in Motorolas case for example you can buy rubber hand sttaps that are more suitable for a clean environment.

So tomorrow Friday we’ll complete the themed healthcare week with some questions we’ve had coming in this week. If you want to ask us anything then tweet “ruggedandmobile using #RAMQQ and we’ll help the best we can!

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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