NewsLocal News


Colorado’s Meritech keeps workplaces, play areas clean with automated hand-washing machines

Posted at 11:28 AM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 15:07:51-05

DENVER — As we enter the heart of cold and flu season, stopping the spread of germs is paramount.

You’re in good company, because one of the world leaders in hygiene technology is from right here in Colorado.

Meritech’s automated hand-washing machines have been keeping workplaces and play areas clean for decades.

It’s a new generation of sanitation.

“The goal of us is to wash the hands quickly, concisely, every single time,” said Meritech Chief Technology Officer Paul Barnhill.

Meritech has transformed the rather mundane process of hand washing and given it a luxurious spin.

“It’s a little bit like a spa feel,” Barnhill said.

Barnhill leads the team that designs their touch-free automated system. He says it removes 99.98 percent of harmful pathogens from the skin with a 12-second clean and rinse cycle.

“It’s quality control for hand hygiene,” he said. “You just put your hands into these two open cylinders, and there's literally 20 nozzles per hand.”

Originally the brainchild of a car wash executive and a doctor 30 years ago, Meritech now designs and builds their sophisticated machines from their facility in Golden. And they are an integral part of so many industries.

“You see it a lot in food manufacturing facilities. It’s a large part of our business,” Barnhill said. “You also see it in pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical device manufacturing.”

You can also find their hand washing machines on cruise lines, at theme parks, and restaurants — areas most prone to passing germs.

“From shaking hands, door knobs, pushing buttons of elevators,” Barnhill said. “The first thing the CDC ever says, or the FDA, when there's some type of problem, is wash your hands often.”

It’s the first line of defense in staying healthy with some good, clean fun.

Their devices range from $2,500 to $25,000 dollars each.

They also develop a footwear washing machine.