July 19, 2024

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Antiviral Activity of Copper Surfaces: A Water Pitcher that Does More than Help Make Hydration Easy

The timing of this really couldn’t be more fitting, although when Shantiva reached out to me about their copper water pitchers, the COVID pandemic had yet to hit North America.  At that point, I was still super interested in their products, but I have to be honest:

I didn’t realize copper drinkware has been around a lot longer than just for serving the ever-popular drink, The Moscow Mule. 

Copper water vessels are rooted in Ayurveda, which I’m not very well acquainted with so I found learning about this history of the use of copper water vessels pretty interesting, and the Shantiva website does a great job summarizing it. 

My original plan for this post was to discuss the role of copper in the body, however in light of current events I am actually super excited about using this copper water pitcher in our house during and long-after the COVID pandemic. 




Because copper surfaces don’t allow the coronavirus germs to “live” as long as other surfaces.


In the midst of writing this post, I also saw someone else express an interest in how long the virus can be active on different surfaces, and that person happens to be one of our local doctors.  He recently shared an article from McGill on his Facebook Page called, “How Long Can a Virus “Live” Outside the Body?”

If you’re interested in any of the references I’m citing on this post, I’d highly suggest the one that came out of McGill as it explains how a virus can “live” on a surface and what inactivates it.  It is written in a simple way that makes it easy to understand.  The article explains how copper surfaces have copper ions that have an antiviral activity. 

Copper water vessels have also been studied as an antimicrobial water holding devices. At the Centre for Biological Sciences in the United Kingdom researchers tested one variant of coronavirus on a variety of common surface materials, including Teflon, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ceramic tiles, glass, silicone rubber, and stainless steel. In their study they found a particular strain of coronavirus was rapidly inactivated on a range of copper alloys.  They concluded that the exposure to copper “destroyed the viral genomes and irreversibly affected virus morphology.”  The concluded that “copper alloy surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce transmission of respiratory viruses from contaminated surfaces and protect the public health.” 

I find this really fascinating. 

While I was working on this blog post I did some searching through literature hoping to find more studies that looked at the antimicrobial and antiviral effect of copper and found a few research articles.  In another study published in the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers injected E. coli, salmonella and cholerae into copper pots and into glass bottles that contained a copper coil, then 16 hours later they tested the water for the bacteria and it was no longer recoverable.  For the control in this study they used a glass bottle without the copper coil and they were able to recover the bacteria in the non-copper containing bottle after the same 16 hours.

Pretty interesting, right?  I’m super excited about having our copper water pitcher in the house.  Right now I’m sanitizing surfaces often (like most of us) so it is nice to know the handle on the pitcher is one place I don’t need to feel so germophobic about.  The other great thing about using this water pitcher is that it helps me to make sure I drink enough water in a day. Many people try to count the number of glasses they drink in a day, but it is easy to forget or lose track. Having a simple goal of drinking all the water from my pitcher by the day lets me know I’ve drank enough water.

Our brains are busy enough right now, counting glasses of water isn’t a priority for me, so I know that each morning when my pitcher is full that by the end of the day when it is empty I’ve drank about two litres of water.

If you’re not sure about how much water you should be drinking, recommendations are as follows:

For healthy men over the age of 19:  3 litres (about 100 ounces)

For health women over the age of 19: 2.2 litres (74 ounces)

Antiviral Activity of Copper Surfaces: A Water Pitcher that Does More than Help Make Hydration Easy

Keep in mind that there are some reasons that people might need more fluids in a day:

  • if the weather is hot and humid

  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, and

  • physically active individuals

Fluid helps us stay healthy and energized. It helps the body by controlling our temperature, aiding digestion, carrying nutrients throughout the body, helping to get rid of waste and promote regular bowel movements along with cushioning our organs and joints. 

Our bodies lose water by sweating, breathing and getting rid of waste. If we lose more fluid than we take in it leads to dehydration. Often dehydration begins ever before the signs appear, so it is important to drink fluids regularly before you even feel thirsty.

Signs and symptoms of mild dehydration include:


So my friends, stay safe and happy hydrating!




How Long Can a Virus “Live” Outside the Body? (2020, April 8). Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19-health-general-science/how-long-can-virus-live-outside-body?fbclid=IwAR1c6sR7SIRfiH0PEbOvzJAJTPrHu9nA-9xUL2-vRm_wcMIzrH90aKYzARg


Sudha, V. B. P., Ganesan, S., Pazhani, G. P., Ramamurthy, T., Nair, G. B., & Venkatasubramanian, P. (2012, March). Storing drinking-water in copper pots kills contaminating diarrhoeagenic bacteria. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312355/


Sudha, V. B. P., Singh, K. O. Prasad, S. R., & Venkatasubramanian, P. (2009, February 23). Killing of enteric bacteria in drinking water by a copper device for use in the home: laboratory evidence. Retrieved from https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1379/7571/files/Copper_Pitcher_Study_C.pdf?2178647258316641833


Warnes, S. L., Little, Z. R., & Keevil, C. W. (2015). Human Coronavirus 229E Remains Infectious on Common Touch Surface Materials. MBio6(6). doi: 10.1128/mbio.01697-15