Coronavirus changed my hygiene habits forever; I now disinfect my groceries, take hand sanitizer with me everywhere, and avoid touching shared surfaces. But the biggest adjustment to my cleaning routine wasn’t scrubbing the door handles or wiping down shoes—it was realizing the importance of disinfecting my phone.
Before the pandemic, my device was glued to my hand 24/7, including bathroom breaks, yet I rarely cleaned it. While the thought in and of itself is disturbing, it’s even worse when you consider studies have found that phones can carry 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. In fact, they harbor up to 25,000 germs per a square inch—and I carry around an iPhone X with an almost 6-inch display. Gross, right?
While I used to ignore these alarming facts, the pandemic forced me to confront them head on. Almost overnight, I went from bringing my contaminated phone into bed to religiously scrubbing it down with disinfectant wipes. But with disinfectant shortages beginning in full force, I had to search for a sustainable alternative.
It led me to the PhoneSoap 3 sanitizing case ($80; amazon.com), a patented phone charger and disinfector that uses 2 scientifically proven UV-C bulbs to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria. Although the case isn’t proven to kill coronavirus specifically, its powerful system is guaranteed to knock out plenty of other harmful types of bacteria like staph, E. coli, and salmonella.
Unfortunately, the UV sanitizer ran out of stock earlier this spring, and I was forced to wait for an August restock. But when the device finally arrived earlier this fall, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I quickly plugged in the chic case and started sanitizing anything and everything that would fit into the nearly 7-inch by 4-inch space.
My headphones, my fitness tracker, and, of course, my phone, all got a 10-minute spin in the purifying case (it automatically turns off after each session). The honest truth: It wasn’t like one of those satisfying pore strip videos where you see all the dirt ripped off the surface. Rather, my mind was put at ease by the process, and it felt like my technology was truly clean for the first since the pandemic started.
Although there are plenty of UV-powered sanitizing lights out there, Phonesoap stands out because of its 360-degree design. It uses quartz plates and a reflective interior to disinfect your entire phone in just one session. Plus, the design leaves just enough room to fit your charging cord with it, so you can tackle two chores at once.
Better yet, it comes in tons of attractive colors, like a light gold, mellow pink, and no-frills black. While I skipped the color options altogether—my home decor is very minimalist—the case options ensure you can take full advantage of the current technology without sacrificing your aesthetic. Not to mention, it weighs less than 2 pounds, so it’s easy to pack and bring on the go.
Admittedly, I’ve become a little obsessed with my PhoneSoap. I use it every single day and can’t ignore that satisfaction I get after each session. While I admit it’s an expensive addition to your routine at $80, it’ll save money on disinfectant wipes in the long run. And in a world that’s put the value back into good hygiene, it’s the only way I can justify bringing my phone along to the loo.
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.
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