One of the most effective Antibacterial ISO 22196 testing method to test your Non-porous products

One of the most effective Antibacterial ISO 22196 testing method to test your Non-porous products

Some international institutions and organizations are working to develop some very effective testing methods to protect our products from various antibacterial materials, which can cause harm to human life as well. Several companies are looking for antibacterial products and can prevent the growth of bacteria on its surfaces.

The International Organization of standardization has come up with various international standard testing methods which can be used to get multiple quality-related results and give you products to take some crucial decisions on.

The ISO 22196 testing method is so designed to quantitatively testability of plastic to avoid the growth of microorganisms (Bacteriostatic) or kill them (Bactericidal) within 24 hours of contact. It is a relatively sensitive test, which can detect low-level antimicrobial effects exerted over long periods. The second edition of this testing method extends its applicability to other Non-Porous Surfaces, no longer limiting it to only plastic surfaces. This test is not conducted on some of the material which is polished in nature.

Bacteria’s used for ISO 22196 testing method

While conducting this test, there are usually two bacteria used to perform the ISO 22196 test. These two bacteria are Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The samples can be tested against these two bacteria. Still, few testing companies can change the bacteria depending on the needs of the client. Some other microorganisms such as MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Campylobacter spp, or Salmonella spp, can be used for testing purposes. These bacteria react with the fabric and help to know the results very clearly after spending a time of a few days in a solution.

Testing conditions for ISO 22196 testing method

This test is the industry-standard test. It follows some standard parameters that have to be considered to determine the bactericidal efficacy on the various plastic and non-porous surfaces such as foam. While conducting the test, everything is considered, such as testing microorganisms, contact time, and interfering substances.

These test microorganisms play a vital role in determining the result of the antimicrobial activity of the product. The contact time is also noted for how much duration a product must remain in touch with the microbes for the product to get the exact and accurate results.

Procedure to conduct ISO 22196 testing

In this testing method, the sample of non-absorbent, non-porous material like plastic or foam is brought in touch with two types of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These two bacteria are with the sample for more than 18 – 24 hrs. of time. During this process, the sample is kept at a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, and it is the optimal temperature at which the bacteria can grow.

Once the exposure duration is completed, then the bacteria is removed from the sample and counted. Then the number of bacteria is measured with the number of bacteria with which it is started. Knowing the difference between them is calculated with percentage reduction or log reduction, which helps to understand antibacterial effectiveness. Several tests for antimicrobial activity on the surface, but this ISO 22196 testing method has come out to be one of the industry-standard testing methods.

Advantages of ISO 22196 testing method

  • In this testing method of ISO 22196, you can get to know about both the sample’s bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties.
  • This test is very accurate as it stipulates the triplicate experimentation, which can help the testers estimate individual tests’ precision.
  • You can quickly figure out whether your sample passed or failed the test by determining the antimicrobial activity.
  • This method is quantitative, and it is reproducible as you can cover the areas with a thin film that will not spill off the inoculum.

Drawbacks of ISO 22196 testing method

  • In this testing method of ISO 22196, it is not necessary that it will represent the actual surface contamination events when it is diluted in the liquid. Many times the surface may dry up quickly. It will then limit the interaction of antimicrobial surface and microorganism, which may differ in the result and give you wrong testing results.
  • In its second edition, it is tested over another non-porous surface it still excludes different textures which can be evaluated such as textile products, building materials, or photocatalytic material.

Alternative options of ISO 22196 testing method

After the International organization of standardization came up with the ISO testing method of ISO 22196, now the Japanese Industrial standard test for Antimicrobial activity came up with the JIS Z 2801 test, and these two tests were used to evaluate the efficacy of an antibacterial product when it is tested on material such as plastic, ceramic type materials. The JIS Z 2801 is also designed the same as the ISO 22196 test, a quantitative test that tests the ability of plastic and inhibits the growth of microorganisms or kills them when brought in contact over 24 hours of contact. But still, there are a number of companies that follow the same ISO 22196 testing method.


Various technical committees work together to prepare the international standards. These standards work all across the world. In that same way, ISO came up with this ISO 22196 testing method which gave us quantitative results and helped us evaluate the effects and propagation of bacteria on various non-porous surfaces. In this testing process, some of the antibacterial-treated textile products, photocatalytic materials, or products are also excluded. But this test has been coming up with the most accurate results and leads to knowing the product’s marketing strategy to sell it.


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