The pandemic known as COVID-19 has more than anything highlighted the need to seriously re-evaluate how we collectively, as a society, approach personal hygiene and sanitization.
Sanitization, at it’s core, is simply the process of cleaning and sterilizing objects of microbial bacteria, virus, and microorganisms.
Regularly and routinely disinfecting surfaces and objects that regularly collect high levels of bacteria will be more critical than ever going forward for society as a whole to function in a healthy capacity.
While many people assume toilet seats are filthy, it actually turns out things like door knobs, handles, keyboards, computer mice, and smartphones are all huge repositories of bacteria of all kind, simply because of how often they are touched.
There are many different ways to kill germs. Hand sanitizer, with alcohol is one of the most common and practical solutions. Additionally hot water and soap for hand washing is also a low-cost but highly efficient way to keep ourselves clean and healthy.
Air disinfectants, alcohols, peroxy acids, chlorine, iodine, and terpenes are also other mediums that people frequently use for different applications.
One of the most eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to disinfect long-term is actually through the use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or “UV light cleaning” for short.
Can UV Light Kill COVID-19?
*This website is not a medical website or biologist website and should not replace such information as your primary source of education. We simply research existing publications from doctors and scientists and share the studies here*
According to multiple virology experts, ultraviolet light can kill COVID-19, however it needs to be concentrated, time controlled and at the correct distance to be effective.
The CDC also recommends companies like waste management use UV irradiation tactics to help limit the virus.
It is important to note though, that the levels of UV light required to kill the Coronavirus are so high that they are considered harmful to human skin.
This means you might be able to use UV light to kill the virus on objects, it should never be used to disinfect any part of the body.
People should continue to use proven sanitization methods on themselves as recommended by the WHO and CDC, including frequent hand washing with soap (20 seconds plus), use of alcohol-based hand-sanitizers, and minimizing contact.
UV light has it’s place if you are looking for a long-term solution for routinely disinfecting things like car keys, cell phones, wallets, cameras and other every-day-carry types of objects.
How does UVGI Work?
UVGI stands for Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation. It is essentially just a very short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C) that destroys nucleic acids in DNA, leaving microorganisms unable to perform regular cellular functions.
This is the same type of light that is emitted from the sun and which causes skin damage via DNA damage, and potentially cancer, so it’s not something humans should mess around with on themselves.
However, for the purpose of killing germs, UVGI is a great cost-effective and scalable solution.
Currently UVGI is most frequently used in medical facilities to sterilize but has also increasingly been employed in drinking water cleaning, wastewater processing, and even air purifiers.
So, what’s the TL;DR?
Well, it’s that ultraviolet light is a potent disinfectant however it requires adequate intensity, time, and distance variables and is also dangerous for humans so it is best used for cleansing objects, particularly those prone to high levels of microbial activity.
Germicidal UVGI Cabinets
When trying to combat the spread of germs and viruses we need to think about things that are frequently touched. This is because the more often things are touched the higher the chances they are to spread said microorganisms.
The solution? Place items you use on a daily basis in a simple UV cleaner box, similar to how many people already drop their watches and rings in a “jewelry box”.
Getting in the habit of using a simple self-contained box for disinfecting our daily carry objects is a GREAT way to cut down on the potential spread of harmful agents.
The more items you use on a daily basis you can santize the better. Fortunately, there are solutions for just about everything.
InvisiClean Ultrasonic Cleaner
The Ultrasonic Cleaner from InvisiClean is a dual-function germ killer. It utilizes both UV-C light AND ultrasonic cleaner to thoroughly clean jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, sunglasses, tools, toothbrushes, coins, cell phones and more.
- QUALITY DESIGN. The InvisiClean Ultrasonic UV-C Box is the ultimate multi-purpose cleaning and sterilizing unit. The UV-C light will kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and mold. Now you can safely clean your phones, electronic...
- INDIVIDUAL SETTINGS. The UV-C Light and Ultrasonic settings can be controlled independently. Each setting is pre-programmed to automatically stop in 5 minutes. You can turn off each setting prior to this if you wish. Some items...
- CLEANING ACCESSORIES. Included is a tray and watch holder. Use these accessories when cleaning small items such as jewelry, coins, and other items. The watch holder is used so the watch face is above the water level. (DO NOT place...
The UV-C light emitted kills 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and mold, a similar kill-rate to alcohol-based cleansers, except this only requires electricity and only takes 5 minutes to complete a cycle.
Kaldorei Toothbrush Portable Sanitizer
Being something you put direclty in your mouth multiple times a day, cleaning your toothbrush is a great place to start reducing the number of pathogens you are exposed to on a daily basis.
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This Kaldorei portable toothbrush cleaner is a great solution as it’s small, light-weight and portable. It uses regular AAA batteries which can be found everywhere, and runs for 30-50 uses before needing new batteries.
If you have a family, then the single-brush Kaldori probably isn’t that practical. Luckily there are also mult-brush options.
Sarmocare 5 Toothbrush Holder
The Sarmocare holder can fit an entire families worth of brushes as well a roll of toothpaste!
- [MULTI-FUNCTIONAL]:Our toothbrush holder contains lamp beads with cleaning function.Perfect for families,5 toothbrush slots, 1 toothpaste slot and 1 toothpaste squeezer clip; The size of slots is suitable for most toothbrush and...
- [Toothpaste Tube Squeezer Dispenser]-High quality plastics, not easily deformed. Easy to use.Push flattened end of tube into Squeeze it slot and pull through.Easy to get all of the toothpaste down to the end of the tube. Save your...
- [Hygienic and Dust-proof ]: The toothbrush slot comes with a dust cover to protect from dirt. Safe and hygienic, keeps your personal toiletries in a clean and sanitary space.
This makes best sense for bigger households, because there’s no point in just sanitizing one brush while the others could harbor dangerous germs.
By cleaning them all at once on a regular basis you ensure everyone in your family is minimizing their risk of exposure and thus maximizing your collective safety.
59S General Purpose Sanitization Box
If you’re looking for a larger box that you could place a wider variety of household items in, then this general purpose box from 59S is probably a better solution.
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Containing 8 UV-C emitting light diodes, this box can sanitize, killing 99.9% of germs, in just 3 minutes of operation.
With a dimension of 8.5″ x 4.1″‘ and 2.8″ you can fit most EDC items in with ease. The box is FCC certified and FDA approved, so you know it’s quality. Power shuts off automatically after 15 hours to avoid damage or burning out.
Portable Ultraviolet Light Wands
Where cabinets are great for trinkets and smaller objects, the process of disinfecting a large space, like a living room or office, requires larger tools.
UVGI wands bring the germ killing power (99.9% in most models) to a more braod-spectrum dispersion form, meaning you can cover and kill far more with a broad-cast light beam than a narrow focused one.
Wands are great for doing sweeps over greater areas. This means it’s good to look for something that is cordless as having a portable option means cleaning your car, other rooms in the house, or your office space are much easier.
Preventing illness is about taking as many safety precautions as possible, so having a wand to do general sanitization sweeps in addition to toothbrush cleaners, hand-washing and alcohol is the most well-rounded strategy to avoiding serious germs and viruses.
AMZTOLIFE Foldable Travel Wand
One of the best selling portable UV light wand is also one of the most compact.
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With a size of 12.5 x 3.5 x 2.5cm this travel wand is perfect for slipping into your carry on or your purse so you are able to santize wherever you go, from the hotel room to the toilet to the rental car.
This unit is also battery AND rechargeable, meaning you an charge it with a USB charger OR you can power it off 4 AAA batteries, depending on what’s available.
Tecsee Portable UV-C Germicidal Wand
Tecseeis one of the older companies in the UV sanitization space and their portable wand was one of the early big sellers that really helped the company make a name for themselves in cleaning circles.
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This mode operates with 4 AA batteries and powers a long bulb running at 253.7nm wavelength of powerful UV-C light, killing 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses it comes in contact with.
This is also a great option for keeping around the house as it has an auto-off function that can be set at 5, 15, and 20 increments as well as a safety feature where if the device is turned upward (exposing the harmful UV-C rays) it automatically turns off to keep you safe.
Stand Alone HEPA Ultraviolet (UGVI/UV-C) Air Purifiers
While wands are great for quick and mobile scans, and boxes are good for small everyday carry items, if you are looking to keep a consistent level of cleanliness in your house, then a dedicated UV-C air purifier is what the doctor ordered.
Our air is filthy, with billions of small microorganisms milling about in every cubic foot of indoor air we breath, containing everything from dust mites to pollutants to even viruses.
One way to help ensure health overtime is to minimize exposure at every possible turn, so cleaning the air of the place you live is an important step in reducing germ and virus exposure long-term.
Below are some of the most reputable, best-selling, most highly reviewed home purifiers, all of which contain a built-in UV-C light element for maximum cleanliness.
Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier
We’re starting with one of the smallest of the group from Germ Guardian. Don’t mistake this little guy for a cheap gimmick, it’s actually a fully self-contained active air purifier.
- PLUGGABLE AIR SANITIZER - Provides cleaner air and helps reduce airborne germs and reduce household odors caused by bacteria, pets, and cooking fumes
- COMPACT DESIGN - This 7-inch wall-pluggable sanitizer is perfect for the kitchen, litter box room, bathroom, or childrens' room
- REDUCES ODORS - Reduce unwanted odors from pets, smoke, cooking fumes, and more
From Guardian Technologies, this Germ Guard is designed for small rooms like smaller bedrooms, closet spaces or bathrooms.
Plugging directly into a socket you don’t have to worry about batteries, and at just 7 inches tall, it’s relatively discreet too.
This is a multi-stage cleaner, meaning it both uses filters to remove larger particulate from the air, but also use UV-C light to kill any living organisms that it traps as well. Each UV bulb lasts 6-8 months.
GermGuardian also has larger floor models, desktop models like the GG3000BCA, and some slightly larger outlet-pluggable models in the GG1100B and GG1100W.
GermGuardian True HEPA Purifier with UV-C
If you’re looking to sanitize a larger space, or you just want some more finite filtration, then the GermGuardian True HEPA is for you.
- 3-IN-1 DESKTOP AIR PURIFIER - True HEPA air filter reduces up to 99.97% of harmful germs, dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other allergens as small as .3 microns from the air
- COMPACT DESIGN - 11-inch tabletop purifier is perfect for smaller rooms or offices and fits great in small spaces
- KILLS GERMS - UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with Titanium Dioxide to reduce volatile organic compounds
This is a full-blown (high-efficiency particulate air) HEPA purifier, meaning it’s heavy duty and can tackle anything from pet dander to cold pathogens.
Its compact design, standing just 11 inches tall, means this is technically “desktop” size, but it wouldn’t be out of place on a small shelf or in the kitchen either with it’s subtle, almost Apple like minimalist design.
The purifier features a True HEPA filter unit, that reduces 99.7% of harmful germs, dust, pollen, dander, mold and other stimuli as small as .3 microns, from the air.
After the HEPA filtration there is a build in UV-C bulb that kills airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with titanium dioxide to reduce volatile organic elements in the air.
Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 Purifier
The PureZone Elite is the next step up from the above units in that it is a stand alone floor model, the largest in size after plug-in and desktop sizes.
- 4-STAGE AIR PURIFICATION: Clean your air from 99.97% of dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and household odors. Stage 1: Activated carbon pre-filter; Stage 2: Medical-Grade true HEPA filter; Stage 3: UV-C light + Photocatalyst...
- BUILT-IN UV-C LIGHT: Adds a deeper level of air sanitation by safely eliminating up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. (Staphylococcus albus (96.6%), Escherichia coli (99.3%), Aspergillus niger (99.6%), H1N1 (99.9%) independent...
- SMART AIR QUALITY MONITOR: PureZone Elite uses smart air quality detection technology to improve the air by automatically adjusting the fan speed in real-time and keeping you informed with our color-coded light display
Pure Enrichment is one of the most highly reviewed air purifier vendors on Amazon and it’s easy to see why with it’s 4-stage purification process that includes 1) activated carbon pre-filtration 2) a True HEPA filter 3) UV-C light and 4) active ionizer.
When it comes to air purification and sanitization the more filtration the better and this is essentially the Cadillac of purifiers with it’s 4-stage process, sleek design and remarkable 5-year warranty.
TruSens 360 HEPA Filtration with Dupont Filtration & UV-C
The TruSens model is the pinnacle of consumer air filtration solutions. This unit actually measures the particulate in the air to determine how dirty/clean it is an adapts its filtration process to best clean the air type it finds.
- CAPTURES AND DESTROYS POLLUTANTS: 360-degree DuPont HEPA filtration captures pollutants such as airborne viruses, allergens, and certain VOC gases. Ultraviolet light (UV-C) kills germs and bacteria trapped in the filter. Filters...
- SMARTER SENSING: Most traditional purifiers don't know the air quality in the room. TruSens does, and reacts. Our remote SensorPod will actively monitor the air quality of the room and take action. Placed across the room,...
- DUAL AIRFLOW: PureDirect proprietary technology splits clean air into two air streams, delivering purified air more comfortably and efficiently throughout the room. Bi-directional airflow delivers purified air more effectively...
This means remote sensors, called TruSens SensorPods measure your living space actively, waiting to take action.
When it does decide to take action it works efficiently with a full 360-degree intake radius for maximum air volume processing.
There is a medium and large size, both with the same multi-stage cleaning, featuring branded DuPont filtration and UV-C light disinfecting.
Additional UV Purification Solutions
If you can fit a UV-C light to it, someone has probably already invented it. By integrating the ultraviolet light technology into as many of our daily-routine objects as possible, the frequency with which we use them will increase and help lower our total risk of exposure.
Below are a few other daily-use objects that you might want to consider adding to your protective protocol to help reduce exposure.
CrazyCap UV Water Self-Cleaning Bottle
This is a steel water bottle that eliminates 99.9996% of mold, bacteria and viruses from water with it’s powerful built-in UV-C lights, located inside the cap itself.
Using a water bottle like this can both help protect the earth from waste (plastic bottles) and also make sure the water you consume is safe of dangerous pathogens.
In a world where we might not be able to trust our water sources, this makes a great option, particularly for people who are travelling frequently and can’t afford to get sick from the water they are drinking.
Bidook Workplace Desktop UV-C Purifier
If you want to purify the air around your cubicle but don’t want to look like a dork then the Bidook Plasma purifier is for you.
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What looks like a rock from an over-sized Japanese zen sand garden, the Bidook is a very stylish, very low-key product.
A small built-in fan sucks in ourside air and runs it through a filter membrane as well as UV-C lights to eliminate oders and remove organisms from the air around where you work.
If you’re looking for cleaning larger volumes of air you’ll probably need to invest in at least a desktop sized unit, which is considered “medium”, or a floor standing unit, which are considered “large”. The Bidook is very much considered “small”.
Best DIY Solution: Germicidal Lamp Bulbs
You don’t need to buy a motorized air purifier if you are just looking to regularly sanitize a certain space.
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If you are good with your hands you can build your own purification box out of wood and just wire in your own UV bulbs, like those from QSTL on Amazon, as they come with the mounts and power cable so that you can start sanitizing immediately.
Bulbs are great options for pre-existing confined spaces, like closets, kitchens/food prep areas or even bathrooms (when not in use of course).
These are 30x the power of the sun, so they are highly effective germicidal killers. These bulbs from QSTL also have a 90 day warranty, which is pretty good considering the fragile nature of the product.
In the times of SARs, MERs, and COVID-19 it’s more important than ever to make sure we are practicing sanitary awareness whenever we can, and this includes utilizing technology to regularly clean as many surfaces that we have physical contact with on a daily basis as possible.
For man, buying bottle after bottle of strong liquid disinfectant isn’t a very appealing option. UV-C lights provide a safe, smell-free and sustainable alternative to disposable sanitization products and a great effective way to protect our health.
Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API