It seems the COVID-19 nightmare isn’t going to conclude anytime soon, since we’re months into the pandemic and are projected to have months, if not years, left to go. Given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, many people have begun investigating how best to protect themselves from whatever biological threats may await them in a world that’s more scared of germs and bacteria than ever before. One solution people are gravitating toward is ultraviolet light.
UV light is used as part of a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI for short. The idea is that short-wavelength emissions of UV light can kill bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful microorganisms. For that reason, simply waving a UV wand’s light over a surface for a brief period of time is enough to sterilize it and eradicate the most potential threats to your health.
So, now that you know what UV light is for, you might be wondering what sort of UV device is best suited for your personal, day-to-day germ-fighting needs. Here’s a roundup of UV devices that’ll help you in a variety of situations.
Monos’ CleanPod UVC Sterilizer
Monos has a UVC sterilizer for sale for $90. It’s called CleanPod, and it kills bacteria with ultraviolet C. The “C” classification means its ultraviolet wavelengths are between 290 and 100 nanometers (290-100nm). This is the hardest wavelength and is commonly used as a disinfectant. In CleanPod’s case, the specific wavelength range is 265–275nm.
Monos’ CleanPod is a small wand that measures a little under nine inches in length. It’s thick, but not cumbersome, and is lightweight enough to be easily carried in a handbag or backpack. Plus, it has a smartly implemented safety lock, so the odds of it accidentally turning on are nil.
I was provided with a unit for testing purposes and used it on a variety of mail that arrived at my doorstep, as well as other bits and baubles scattered around the house, and I’ve yet to contract any life-threatening illnesses, so perhaps the UV light really is doing its job! Hopefully I never become evidence to the contrary.
Seriously speaking, though, as long as the CleanPod keeps doing what it’s doing, I’m inclined to like it. It’s great for sterilizing objects of all sizes in a few minutes flat, and since it’s supposed to deliver three hours of use per charge, a single charge should last well beyond what most people will likely ever need in a day.
My gripes are few. One complaint is that the charging cable included with the unit is quite short and mildly inconvenient as a result, and the other nitpick is that there aren’t instructions for securing the included safety strap to the wand, which isn’t as straightforward of a process as one would hope. Still, you won’t be swinging the CleanPod around like a Wii remote, so having the strap on in the first place isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you need your UV sanitizers a little more specialized, there’s PhoneSoap 3. It’s basically a large phone case that not only cleans your phone with UVC lights, but also charges it. It’s sized to fit all phones currently on the market, as well as credit cards, keys, cash, and other small items. And it has two charging ports, which allows it to double as a universal charger.
PhoneSoap 3 is a bit on the chunky side—as are the other PhoneSoap models—and about the same length as the already listed Monos CleanPod, so don’t think this thing will fit comfortably in any pockets. But PhoneSoap does serve a unique, phone-centric niche, and the charger aspect helps set this sanitizer apart from the competition.
Mini sanitizer traveling wands
There seem to be a lot of generic sanitizing wands floating around that look like this one. Though they lack a cool brand name, they make up for that with low price tags. Don’t get ripped off by the folks trying to sell this generic model for $60+. Much like the listing linked in this paragraph, there are plenty of units on sale online for around $20.
Beyond price, the other major selling point of this particular sanitizer is its size factor. When folded, it’s advertised as measuring just a smidgen under five inches, which makes it roughly half the length of the other sterilizers listed above. For anyone who wants the smallest and most cost-effective device for eradicating bacteria, this generic mini wand is worth considering.
CrazyCap’s UV cap and self-cleaning water bottle
Ever used a high-tech water bottle? If not, now’s your chance. CrazyCap’s water bottle has a UVC cap that’ll sterilize your water and double as a tiny UV wand, too, since you can remove it from the bottle and use it on anything in need of sanitizing. This cap, when attached to the bottle, will automatically clean the bottle and liquids within every four hours.
This product comes in three distinct styles, offering potential customers some nice aesthetic choice. Be sure to read the reviews and do your homework on the item for additional details, but if you’re looking for a reusable water bottle that’ll last you a while, CrazyCap might have the product for you.
UV sterilizers: the dangers and benefits
Though you can’t see the benefits of UV light, remember that you most definitely can see the dangers. UV light can cause sunburns and even has some links to skin cancer. If you expose your eyes to the light emitted from a UV device, it can inflame your corneas and potentially lead to blindness. Scary stuff! So keep any UV light away from your body.
As long as you’re careful with UV light, though, and use it on germ-riddled areas, it’ll hopefully prove its worth by keeping you safe from one avenue of contracting illnesses. UV sterilization is one of those things where you know it’s working because of something you don’t see, much like how you know toothpaste is working when you go to the dentist and they tell you you’re cavity-free.
We all touch hundreds of objects every day, and there’s nowhere near enough time to sterilize every little thing, so don’t think these devices are one-stop shops for protecting yourself from the coronavirus or even the common cold. But if you’re afraid of pesky, potentially harmful bacteria and want an extra layer of protection added to your daily routine, these devices should help you out.