Are Brass Door Knobs Antibacterial – The Benefits and Science Explained

Photo of author

Door Vigilant

Brass door knobs are a popular choice for both residential and commercial buildings due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, with the growing concern about the spread of germs and infections, the question of whether brass door knobs are antibacterial has become increasingly relevant. In this article, we aim to explore the antibacterial properties of brass and evaluate their efficacy in preventing the spread of germs.

What Are Brass Door Knobs Made Of?

Because of their strength and functionality, brass door knobs are a more preferred alternative in many homes and businesses. Since antiquity, brass has also been utilized for its antimicrobial properties. The copper and zinc alloys that make up most brass door knobs give the material its antibacterial properties.

Because they need to be cleaned less frequently, brass door knobs are the greatest choice for any home or business looking to reduce cleaning costs or the spread of germs. In hospitals and healthcare facilities, brass door knobs have recently taken the place of plastic or steel ones due to their increased antibacterial properties.

Furthermore, brass door knobs can be refinished or polished periodically to keep them looking fresh and new for years. By investing in brass door knobs now, you can rest assured knowing your property will benefit from the longevity and hygienic properties of this classic material.

Antibacterial Properties Of Brass

Brass is an alloy made up of copper and zinc, two metals that have been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Copper has been shown to kill a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, within a matter of hours. Zinc has similar antimicrobial properties and can help to enhance the efficacy of copper in killing microbes.

In the battle against Covid-19, brass is becoming more popular as a material due to its effectiveness in killing germs. Besides preventing the growth of bacteria, brass doesn’t have to be coated with any chemical substance in order to maintain its germ-killing power.

It is also non-toxic and can be used in any environment without posing a health risk or degrading with time. The brass alloy’s natural offensiveness towards bacterial life makes this metal a go-to for constructing anything from doorknobs to elevator buttons that come into contact with our hands on a daily basis.

As we strive towards creating healthier and safer environments within our homes and businesses alike, brass could become an even more pervasive part of our lives than ever before.

Previous Studies On Brass And Antibacterial Properties

Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the antibacterial properties of brass. In one study, conducted by a group of scientists at the School of Biological Science, University of Nebraska, brass was found to significantly reduce the growth of bacteria, yeast, and viruses, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, compared to other materials such as stainless steel and plastic.

Professor Keevil and his colleagues discovered that bacteria on copper surfaces destroyed their DNA more quickly at room temperature than those on stainless steel surfaces, according to a study that was published on the website of the University of Southampton.

He also said: “We live in this new world of stainless steel and plastic, but perhaps we should go back to using brass more instead.”

Another study found that brass surfaces were effective in killing 99.9% of bacteria within two hours. These findings suggest that brass has the potential to be an effective material for preventing the spread of germs in high-touch areas such as door knobs.

The connection between brass and antibacterial properties has been widely considered due to its widespread use in medical applications. These studies have shown that brass induces antibacterial properties, making it an ideal material for use in surgical instruments and other medical and household devices including door knobs, fixtures, etc.

How Do Brass Door Knobs Kill Bacteria?

Brass door knobs are a great antibacterial tool as they kill germs without having to ever use harsh chemicals. But, how do brass door knobs kill bacteria or other microbes? This is mainly because of the high percentage of copper presence in brass that reacts with oxygen in the air and produces copper oxide.

Copper oxide is proven to have antibacterial properties and will help keep your home clean and healthy by killing potential harmful germs on contact.

However, there have been several findings on how brass do contact killing rather than any single mechanism. Some researchers claim that the hydroxyl radical reaction is to blame for microorganism harm, while others claim that the copper ion reaction on the membrane of microorganisms is to responsible.

In any case, copper ions have a significant impact on the protein and lipid cells of bacteria, destroying their metabolism. It also binds to the enzyme function, which inhibits microorganism activity.

Because of this, it is thought that the antibacterial nature of brass door knobs aids in the prevention of the spread of illnesses such as influenza and coronavirus through person-to-person contact. This makes spending time at home much healthier for everyone in your household.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Brass Door Knobs?

While fighting germs is one of the primary advantages of utilizing brass door knobs over other materials, it also offers other advantages. Let’s look at the benefits of using brass door knobs in your home or business.

1. Aesthetic Value

Brass door knobs have an aesthetic value that is unmatched by any other material. Brass has a natural luster that can make any door look more elegant and sophisticated. Additionally, brass door knobs are available in a wide variety of styles and designs, so you can easily find a knob that matches the rest of your home’s décor.

2. Durability

Brass is also a very durable material, so you can expect your brass door knob to last for many years. Unlike other materials, such as wood or plastic, brass is not susceptible to cracking or breaking. Additionally, brass is resistant to corrosion, so you won’t have to worry about the finish on your door knob wearing away over time.

3. Easy To Clean

Another advantage of using brass door knobs is that they are very easy to clean. Brass does not collect dust or dirt like other materials, so you won’t have to spend time polishing your door knob to keep it looking its best. When cleaning brass door knobs, simply use a soft cloth and mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the finish on your door knob.

4. Value For Money

When compared to other materials, such as stainless steel or bronze, brass offers excellent value for money. Brass door knobs are very affordable and will not break the bank when you are updating the hardware in your home.

5. Antimicrobial Properties

One of the most unique benefits of using brass door knobs is that they have antimicrobial properties. Brass is naturally resistant to bacteria and other microorganisms, so it can help to reduce the spread of illness in your home. If you are concerned about the spread of germs, then using brass door knobs is an excellent way to help protect your family’s health.

6. Allergy Friendly

Another benefit of using brass door knobs is that they are allergy friendly. If you suffer from allergies, then you know how important it is to avoid materials that can trigger your symptoms. Brass is a hypoallergenic material, so it will not cause any irritation or breathing problems for those with allergies

How To Clean And Disinfect Brass Door Knobs?

Though cleaning brass door knobs is a simple task, there are a few things to keep in mind. Check to see if your knobs have any shiny coating or liquor on them. Glossy shine knobs are usually coated or liquored, and they are vulnerable to harm if you use harsh chemicals or a wire brush.

In the case of gleaming coats, a soft cloth and warm water are all that is required to clean your brass door knob. If your brass door knobs are composed of solid alloy, however, you can clean and disinfect them using the procedure outlined below.

1. What You’ll Need

To clean brass door knobs, you will need the following supplies:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • A soft cloth
  • A toothbrush
  • A clean rag
  • Wax (optional)

2. Remove Any Dirt Or Grime

Start by using a soft cloth to remove any dirt or grime from the surface of the door knobs. If there is any stubborn dirt or grime that won’t come off with a cloth, you can use a toothbrush to gently scrub it away. Be sure to rinse the door knobs well after cleaning them.

3. Make A Cleaning Solution

Next, you will need to make a cleaning solution. To do this, mix together equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl.

4. Apply The Cleaning Solution

Once you have made the cleaning solution, dip a clean rag into it and then use the rag to wipe down the door knobs. Be sure to cover the entire surface of each door knob. Let the solution sit on the door knobs for several minutes before moving on to the next step.

5. Rinse The Door Knobs

After letting the cleaning solution sit on the door knobs for several minutes, it’s time to rinse them off. To do this, simply run some warm water over the door knobs and then dry them off with a clean towel.

6. Polish The Door Knobs (Optional)

If you want to polish your brass door knobs, you can do so by applying a thin layer of wax to them. Once you have applied the wax, buff it into the surface of the door knob using a clean rag. This will help to give your brass door knobs a nice shine.

Cautions: Use of chlorine bleach or any other harsh chemicals that could include chloride is prohibited. Due to their abrasive nature, bleach, and other strong chemical products can damage and stain your brass handles.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Brass Door Knobs?

Brass door knobs are a common feature in many homes and buildings due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, there are concerns about the potential health risks associated with brass door knobs, particularly in terms of exposure to lead and other toxic metals. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems if it is ingested or inhaled, and it is often present in brass alloys in trace amounts. Additionally, some brass alloys may also contain other toxic metals, such as cadmium, which can pose a health risk if the door knobs are not handled or disposed of properly.

Exposure to lead and other toxic metals can occur through various routes, including skin contact, inhalation, and ingestion. For example, lead can be released into the air when brass door knobs are handled, and it can then be inhaled into the lungs. Lead can also be released into the environment when brass door knobs are disposed of, and it can then contaminate soil and water, leading to exposure through ingestion.

For machinability, some good companies employ a very little (2.5%) proportion of lead with copper and zinc alloy while making brass door knobs. As a result, selecting brass door knobs from a reliable company may significantly lower your risk.

Furthermore, cleaning and maintaining brass door knobs on a regular basis can assist to prevent the buildup of lead and other hazardous metals on the surface. As a result, if properly cared for, brass door knobs may be a safe and functional addition to any home or building.

Tips For Installing Brass Door Knobs

If you have decided to put brass door knobs in your house or business to take advantage of the potential antibacterial properties of copper or zinc, the following advice will be useful.

1. Choose the Right Knobs

The first step in installing brass door knobs is to choose the right knobs for your doors. There are a variety of different styles and designs to choose from, so it is important to select the ones that will best complement your home’s décor. Additionally, you will need to make sure that the knobs you select are the correct size for your doors.

2. Prepare the Doors

Once you have selected the appropriate brass door knobs, you will need to prepare the doors for installation. This includes removing any existing door hardware, such as handles or screws. You may also need to sand down the door surface in order to create a smooth surface for the new hardware.

3. Install the Knobs

After preparing the door, you can now install the brass door knob. Start by attaching the knob to the inside of the door using screws or other fasteners. Once the knob is secure, you can then attach the plate that goes on the outside of the door. Again, use screws or other fasteners to secure the plate in place.

4. Test the Door Knob

Once you have installed the brass door knob, it is important to test it to make sure it is working properly. Try opening and closing the door a few times to ensure that the knob is functioning correctly. Additionally, check to make sure that the screws or other fasteners are holding everything in place securely.

5. Adjust as Needed

If you find that there are any issues with your brass door knob, such as it being loose or not functioning properly, you may need to adjust it. This may involve loosening or tightening screws, or making other adjustments as necessary. If you are unsure how to make these adjustments, consult a professional for assistance.

6. Clean and Polish

Once everything is adjusted and working properly, you can then clean and polish your new brass door knob. This will help to keep it looking its best and prevent tarnishing over time


In conclusion, brass door knobs have been shown to have antibacterial properties, making them a potential solution for preventing the spread of germs in high-touch areas.

However, further research is needed to fully understand the efficacy of brass in preventing the spread of germs, and regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial in maintaining the antibacterial properties of brass door knobs.

With proper care and maintenance, brass door knobs can be a valuable tool in preventing the spread of germs and maintaining a healthy and safe environment.

5/5 - (1 vote)