Teens Create a Self-Cleaning Door Handle to Eliminate Germs

Hannah Keyser
iStock / iStock

Wouldn't you feel a lot better knowing that the door handles you touch at work, or at school, or at the gym, were constantly being sanitized?

Two teens in China recently figured out a way to do just that, creating a door handle that cleans itself. The device, developed by 17-year-old Sum Ming (“Simon”) Wong and 18-year-old Kin Pong ("Michael") Li kills 99.8 percent of germs automatically. The germ-fighting power comes from a commonly-used antibacterial mineral called titanium dioxide. The glass handle is coated in a thin layer of pulverized titanium dioxide powder, which instantly sanitizes it. In order to activate the mineral—which must be exposed to UV light before it can go to work—Wong and Li inserted a LED ultraviolet light into the handle.

Laura Buitrago/SSP

No need to constantly replace batteries: the light is powered by a motor attached to the door, which means the energy you use to open and close it keeps the handle-sanitizing light running. The elegantly simple set up can be constructed for no more than $13.

[h/t inhabitat]