Antibacterial Properties of Copper: The Health Benefits of an Ancient Tradition

It can be both shocking and humbling to learn that for all our advanced technology and understanding of our health, our ancestors knew a few things that we mostly ignore or have forgotten. A prime example of this is the antimicrobial properties of copper and how it can prevent the spread of disease. We often think of copper is a pretty metal to foil or leaf jewelry and architecture, something that sun can dance across. But, if something holds true in cultures around the world and has a long history of improving the health of human beings, then it is worthy of deeper exploration and application. Once appreciating all the benefits of copper, can learn more about custom made copper sinks for your home or see a wide variety of copper sinks to find some of the best pre-designed SoLuna copper products.

Let’s explore the health benefits of copper baths and sinks:

While there may have been supernatural or spiritual thoughts as to why copper benefits our health, we now understand the perks of using copper in our pipes, tubs, and counters. One such perk is copper’s electrically charged ions effect on microbes, which results in eliminating the bacteria and preventing any mutation. A dual benefit since common infections and diseases are becoming resistant to antibiotics and basic hygiene offers little protection from repeated exposure.


Copper’s ability to “contact kill” is even more important with the rise in superbugs and resistance to vaccines. Unlike stainless steel, which needs moisture to activate its antimicrobial properties, copper automatically destroys microbes that come into contact with it. Copper manages this by creating openings in the cell and destroying the RNA as well as the DNA rather than washing them away after they’ve had a chance to mutate and spread to other surfaces.


Soap and water and stainless steel are all great preventive measures against the spread of viruses, but they have their limits. Basic hygiene is taught mainly around bathing regularly and washing hands after using the restroom. It is good advice to prevent the spread of viruses like the Flu but, the problem is when you reach for that stainless steel handle or plastic door you’re re-exposed to all the bacteria that you’ve just tried to wash away. On the topic of regular bathing, many of us are told that baths are less hygienic because it amounts to sitting in your own filth. The natural benefits of a copper bathtub would negate that and not just due to the copper but because the death throes of the bacteria resist it spreading; when bacteria dies it releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, the same chemical you use to clean cuts.


With the myriad of ways that copper helps to prevent the spread of disease,  it can be enhanced in clinical or bathroom settings. Hospitals and clinics are kept cool and dry because heat aids the spread of bacteria, but with copper surfaces, it appears to aid in their destruction. European nations have taken a cue from the research coming out regarding the antibacterial properties of copper and have begun switching out stainless steel handrails, counter surfaces, and countless other items that are commonly touched for copper.


With the aid of science and clinical research, we can improve upon what our ancestors knew and further develop our understanding of materials used in preventing the spread of ailments. While ancient civilizations used copper in elixirs and fillings, we can reinfuse our world with an aesthetically pleasing metal that aids in our well-being. Read more about the “antimicrobial properties of copper here”.