Silver has been used for its cleaning properties since the days of Ancient Greece and Egypt, when people store their food in silver containers to prevent mold growth. Centuries later, during WWI, silver patches were used to keep soldiers’ wounds clean.
The magic that is silver’s bacteria-repelling technology is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Much as we’d like to believe that tiny silver particles stand on our pillow shoulder-to-shoulder with toxin-seeking bows and arrows, the reality is a bit less dramatic. Silver nanoparticles are the most widely used nanomaterials in the world for killing bacteria, yet most people don’t actually understand what a complex and difficult process it is.
Silver doesn’t kill bacteria on contact in the way that rubbing alcohol kills bacteria. It has to oxidize first, meaning it must react to another chemical and lose some of its electrons. Sweat, water, makeup, and oils can all trigger that oxidation, which cause the silver to lose ions. The ions themselves attack the germs by breaking down its surface and blocking its internal structures from reproducing.
When used in the form of extremely thin strands, silver can protect pillows from weeks of allergens, stray makeup, fungus, and mold. Combined with your normal skincare and hair care regimen, a silver-stranded pillow can help clear your acne, make your hair shinier, and improve your respiratory health, since you’re no longer breathing in all the gunk that can build up on the surface of your bed.
With clear skin, clean hair, and a good night’s rest, there’s nothing you can’t handle when your alarm clock says it’s time to face the day.
Deardorff, Julie. “Some Antibacterials Come with Worrisome Silver Lining.” Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 20 Feb. 2014, www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-nanosilver-met-20140216-story.html.
Falk, Jeff. “Ions, Not Particles, Make Silver Toxic to Bacteria.” Rice News, 12 July 2011, news.rice.edu/2012/07/11/ions-not-particles-make-silver-toxic-to-bacteria-3/.