Stays Clean for a Week! An Interview With the Developer of Etak®︎ Antibacterial Spray α on How it Maintains its Antibacterial Effect
Have you taken preventative measures against the winter season of viruses and bacterial infections? Here, we'll be introducing Etak®︎ Antibacterial Spray α, the perfect antibacterial spray in the battle against viruses and bacteria. We asked Mrs. Ishido - mother of three children and a developer from Eisai Co., Ltd. - about the wonders and effects of this product.
An Antibacterial Spray Born From a Mother's Love
Mrs. Ishido, Associate Director of the Eisai Product Development Department
ーThank you for letting us do this interview today.
It's my pleasure.
ーFirst, we'd like to ask about Etak®︎ Antibacterial Spray α. Can you tell us its main features?
Eisai Etak®︎ Antibacterial Spray α (250 ml) ¥1,280 + tax
Yes. This spray is an unprecedented product that can disinfect all sorts of things.
3 Features of Etak®︎ Antibacterial Spray α
1. Alcohol-free and fragrance-free
No unpleasant scents when spraying
2. Doesn't just remove viruses and bacteria
but also retains its antibacterial effect for one week
This effect remains even after wiping with water
3. Can easily be used in a wide range of places
*This product is not effective against all viruses and bacteria. Its ability to retain its antibacterial effect depends on usage.
It has three major features. I'll explain each one.
The first is that it's alcohol and fragrance-free.
―Right, it doesn't contain any alcohol!
That's right. Before, when I used Etak®'s alcohol-based spray for masks, a slight odor remained after spraying the mask until it dried, and my children hated the smell of it. As in our family's case, there are many people who loathe the smell of alcohol or whose skin is sensitive to it, so I was adamant about creating a product that was alcohol-free and fragrance-free.
― I see. The product reflects your own personal experience.
That's right. Also, since it doesn't contain alcohol, you don't have to worry about colors fading even when using it on wooden flooring or furniture.
―So this is a product that can easily be used in a variety of places. What is the second feature?
The second feature is that it not only kills viruses and bacteria but also has antibacterial effects that can last up to one week.
―One week! But doesn't the antibacterial effect fade if you wipe the surface with water after spraying it?
The antibacterial ingredients in Etak® stick to objects. This means that, once it's dried, the antibacterial effect won't quickly fade, even if you use water to wipe the surface. This is Etak® Antibacterial Spray α's greatest strength.
―How does it retain its effectiveness for an entire week?
Etak® itself is a patented, long-lasting antibacterial ingredient developed by Professor Futagawa of the Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences at Hiroshima University. In addition to removing bacteria and viruses from surfaces, the antibacterial ingredient sticks to the surface, preventing bacteria from attaching itself.
― It's not that I doubt you but...could you show us some actual results from experiments?
Of course. We have data from testing bacterial levels one week after using Etak® Antibacterial Spray α compared to not using the spray.
As you can see from the photographs and graphs of the experiment's results, there was very little bacteria attached to the doorknob seven days after spraying it with Etak® Antibacterial Spray α.
―That's true. Looking at the pictures, I was surprised to see just how much bacteria there is on an ordinary doorknob.
It is temporarily clean after being sterilized with alcohol, but bacteria attaches itself in no time at all due to the fact that it gets touched by so many people. Since winter is on its way, it's bringing the season of viruses and bacterial infections, so please use this spray and experience its effects for yourself.
―Regarding development, was it difficult to create a product that could retain its antibacterial effect for a week?
When creating the product and thinking of what features it should have, I thought, "Why not create something tailored to the life cycle of our target audience of working mothers, a group which includes myself?"
―The life cycle of working mothers?
It's tough rearing children and doing housework while you're working, right? I figured that, since it's difficult to clean every day (and manage household sanitation), most people clean at the weekend and on days off. That's why I proposed a period of one week: so the cleanliness created at the weekend would last until next weekend.
―And that's why you chose one week. But if it doesn't contain alcohol, how does it maintain its effects for a whole week? Does it contain any strong ingredients?
No; in fact, it isn't a problem even if children end up touching it. Our company has actually commercialized the ingredient Etak® for use in oral care through dentures and toothbrushes. These are sold at dentist's offices. That's why we recommend it for children's products as well.
―So this ingredient can even be used in oral care. What triggered the development of Etak® in the first place?
Professor Futagawa, the developer of Etak®, went to a facility for the disabled to check their mouths and provide them with oral care, but many disabled people are unable to brush their teeth properly. Even if he was able to get their mouths clean at the time, they were often back to a terrible state by the next visit, so the professor developed Etak® as a way for even the handicapped to maintain oral hygiene.
―Is that so?
So we thought, as this is such a great ingredient, it would be good for products that can be used in everyday life as well, and that's why we decided to develop Etak® Antibacterial Spray α.
―I see. Are there any places using this Etak® Antibacterial Spray α?
It's used at care facilities and places like that. It's also used for disinfecting dining tables and restroom areas. Etak® Antibacterial Spray α also works against odors, so when you're hanging clothes to dry inside, just spray the room and you won't have to worry about unpleasant odors anymore.
―It even works against odors?
Yes. The third feature of Etak® Antibacterial Spray α is that it can easily be used in a wide variety of places.
―In what kinds of places do you recommend using it?
We are introducing it as a spray that can disinfect the entire house. For example, it can be used in the kitchen and bathroom, around the foyer and doors, as well as on bedding, children's toys, and near pets.
―It sounds like you really mean the whole house.
It actually makes cleaning (and household sanitation management) much easier. Like I said a moment ago, cleaning daily while also working and raising children is difficult, so I do most of my cleaning at the weekend. But using this spray helps because it keeps things clean for a week and, more than anything, makes me feel protected.
―Of course. It gives you some emotional space.
How has the reaction been from customers?
We have had positive reviews, such as how easy it is to use around babies or pets since it is alcohol-free, or how it makes cleaning easier because it's harder for slime to accumulate around sink drains and wastebaskets. The fact that it remains effective for one week has also been well-received.
―Are there any other ways to use this spray that you recommend?
I recommend spraying it on your clothes as well. When we walk around outside or take the train, all kinds of bacteria stick to our clothes. That's why I recommend spraying it on your clothes before you go out to prevent bacteria from attaching itself, and that way you can also avoid the viruses that will be going around this winter.
―I see. I was taking measures after returning home, but taking measures before you go out is important too, isn't it?
I also recommend it for things that are not washed frequently, such as bath and toilet mats, carpets, and curtains.
―I find it especially hard to know how to take care of carpets.
I recommend thoroughly disinfecting carpets, since improper carpet care spreads bacteria due to the fact that a lot of bacteria lives on the bottom of the feet. Also, as a countermeasure against bacteria sticking to you, it's a good idea to spray anything that gets touched by many people, such as doorknobs.
―Bacteria sticking to you?
For example, do you sometimes touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with a hand that touched a doorknob, which has in turn been touched by countless people?
The possibility of contracting a virus in that way is extremely high. That is why it's a good idea to disinfect and use antibacterial spray not only at home but on doorknobs and elevator buttons at offices and other such places.
―That's terrifying! I want to get some for the office! Did you experience any difficulties in developing the product?
Because it's alcohol-free, it's water-based, meaning it doesn't dry very easily. We undertook all kinds of development processes in order to create something that dries easily. That said, it still takes a little time to dry. When using it on flooring or desks, spray it on then spread it evenly using a cloth.
―Doesn't spreading it with a cloth reduce its effectiveness?
There's no need to worry about that.
Now, are there any cases in which you would not recommend using this product?
Do not use this on mirrors, especially in humid areas such as near the bath. Etak® chemically bonds to water, meaning that it will make glass cloud. On the other hand, this does prove that it sticks to objects...
―It does, doesn't it! But what about things like TVs, smartphones, and humidifiers, for example?
Since it is water-based, it's better not to use it on any kind of delicate equipment.
For humidifiers, we do recommend using it to disinfect the humidifier itself, but do not add Etak® to the water inside the humidifier. Although it's safe to touch, Etak® Antibacterial Spray α itself works by sticking to objects, so do not put it in water.
―I see. Mrs. Ishido, you have long been involved in development at Eisai. Is that knowledge reflected in this spray?
That goes without saying, but I was developing it more from my perspective as a mother. I felt very strongly that I wanted to create something that was useful for protecting my family in terms of keeping the house clean and managing their health.
Once the product was complete, I had friends telling me how helpful it was, and knowing that everyone felt the same way as I did made me very happy and encouraged me.
Of course, I want everyone - not just mothers or housewives - to experience its antibacterial effects.
―This really is a product born from a mother's love. Finally, do you have a message for your customers?
I am a parent, so I know that raising children takes time and effort. Parents want to spend as much time as possible with their children, so I think they'll be happy if they can reduce the time spent cleaning and doing housework, even if only slightly. That is why I hope that this spray will let you spend more time with your children while it keeps your house clean and protects your family. I hope Etak® Antibacterial Spray α will help you create quality time from here on out. Please try using it in a variety of places.
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*Please note that prices and specifications are subject to change and that availability may be limited.
*Photos may include items that are only for display purposes.
*Product pricing information is accurate at the time of posting.