Clients often ask about Norwex’s exclusive BacLock formula and how it works to fight bacteria on our microfiber cloths and mops.
Believe it or not, the key ingredient is silver.
Throughout history, humans have known about the antibacterial properties of silver. Ancient civilizations used the metal to treat wounds. They purified their water by storing it in silver jugs. In fact, the expression “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” came into use because people believed silver utensils — which only the wealthy could afford — would keep food fresher and protect babies from disease.
Silver kills germs when it oxidizes and releases silver ions, which are lethal to bacteria and yeast. Although there are many complex ways silver works, the simplest function is its ability to disable the enzyme that one-celled bacteria, viruses and fungi need for their oxygen metabolism. The way it works in Norwex microfibers is that it kills bacteria present in the cloth, preventing the buildup of dirt, mold and mildew and ensuring that you do not spread these microbes around your house while cleaning.
Norwex’s hard-working cloths get glass, mirrors, granite, jewelry, stainless steel, floors and just about any other hard surface in your home sparkling clean with only water because of the high-quality, dense microfiber. What sets them apart from any other microfiber product out there is that they also self-purify and then prevent bacteria from being reintroduced into the home the next time you use them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about the silver in Norwex products:
- The unique technology that Norwex uses embeds our silver agent in each thread within the cloth. This keeps the antibacterial power in Norwex microfiber working much longer than in cloths where antibacterial agents simply “coat” the outside of the thread.Over the lifecycle of the Norwex microfiber (a minimum of 2 years), the small amount of silver (less than 1mg) in the cloth gradually breaks down and some of it is washed away. This amount of silver is very small. In fact, it actually amounts to the same quantity of silver that you may consume from your food over a 30-day period of time.
- Micro silver is different from nano silver, which researchers have raised some concerns about. In micro silver the particles have a particular micron size of 10-6 m, versus 10-9 or smaller in Nano silver. This means that the particles in the silver agent Norwex uses in its products are significantly larger than nano silver particles and cannot penetrate the skin.
- The silver agent in BacLock is an EPA-approved antimicrobial additive for self-cleansing purposes only. The agent is solely designed to inhibit bacterial odor, mold and/or mildew growth within the cloth. So it is not a cleaning agent, but it does ensure that the cloths you use in your home are clean and aren’t transferring bacteria onto surfaces.
- If someone has a silver allergy, can they use our microfiber? Allergies to silver (jewelry) are mostly because of another element in the jewelry, namely nickel. However, if you have such an allergy, we recommend you consult with your physician before using Norwex BacLock products.
- Keep in mind that your microfibers must be wet to activate the silver agent. So, if you have been dusting with your cloth or mitt, make sure you rinse it out with water to start the antibacterial process.
- It generally takes up to 24 hours for the BacLock to eliminate bacteria. After each use, rinse out your cloths with hot water and allow them to dry completely before using them again.
- At times, there is more bacteria in the cloth than the silver can handle, especially when you are wiping up greasy surfaces. Regular laundering (once a week) in hot water with a chemical-free detergent such as Norwex’s UPP will ensure that the BacLock can continue to do its job! (Do not use detergent with chemical fillers when you are caring for Norwex cloths as they counter the effectiveness of the BacLock.)