Look around any hospital, and you'll see plenty of hand-sanitizer dispensers. Unfortunately, not everyone uses them, and their germs can spread rapidly on commonly-touched surfaces such as door handles. With that in mind, a University of Leeds spinoff company has created bacteria-killing door pads.

Known as Surfaceskins, the low-cost textiles cover a door's existing aluminum push plate. When someone pushes on one to open the door, the pressure forces alcohol gel out of a reservoir within the pad, and through tiny holes on its surface. This disinfects the surface of the pad within seconds, leaving it clean for the next user.

According to Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute Ltd, which is the company that makes Surfaceskins, tests have shown that the pads reduce bacteria levels by up to 90 percent, as compared to regular unprotected push plates.

Each pad can be used for seven days or 1,000 pushes, whichever comes first. When it's time to replace them, they're just slid out of a plastic holder that's mounted on the door.

A paper on the technology was recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

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