5 Reasons Why UV-C Beats Chemical Disinfection
November 12, 2021 | By Emily Hill
Why UV-C is a smart alternative to traditional cleaning products
Make the move to eco-friendly disinfection free from harsh chemicals.
You may have grown to love the apparent ease of disinfecting wipes or the fragrance of a favorite cleaning spray, but these products might not be the BFFs you think they are. Many household cleaners are filled with harmful chemicals. In fact, the more effective the product, the more potentially dangerous the ingredients.
Prefer more natural cleaners? While light on the hazardous chemicals, they’re also light on their ability to kill germs. And yes, the ingredients are a bit better for you and the environment, but you’re still using textile-based wipes and plastic-bottled sprays—and both end up in landfills.
But good news. There’s a more you-friendly, earth-loving option for disinfecting your stuff. It’s called UV-C light, and it’s awesome.
Before we get into the whole UV-C vs. chemical disinfection thing, let’s talk the basics of UV-C light.
What is UV light?
Ultraviolet (UV) light has a trio of wavelengths: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B light can cause skin damage, but they aren’t powerful enough to kill germs. UV-C has the shortest wavelength and the power to stop pathogens.
How does UV-C light work?
UV-C light destroys the DNA in bacteria and viruses, preventing them from functioning or reproducing. It also neutralizes superbugs that have developed a resistance to antibiotics. UV-C kills 99.99% of them without the use of chemicals.
How effective is UV-C light?
Pretty darn effective. PhoneSoap devices, which use UV-C light to disinfect, kill 99.99% of viruses and bacteria* in just 10 minutes and have been tested against common household bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Staph, C. diff, and MRSA. That’s an impressive list of icky bugs.
Is UV-C light dangerous?
UV-C light is harmful for skin and eyes. Fortunately, the Earth’s atmosphere filters it out, and PhoneSoap devices are built with safety in mind. We designed our disinfection tools to prevent unhealthy levels of exposure to UV-C light.
Now that you know a bit more about UV-C light, here are five reasons this germicidal light is the true “better for you, better for the environment” choice for disinfecting handheld items and the surfaces you touch daily.
1. UV-C light is chemical free.
All-purpose cleaners contain grease-cutting ingredients and solvents that include ingredients like ammonia and trisodium phosphate. Depending on what’s inside that bottle of counter spray, what you spritz can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Antibacterial cleaners are no better. They include pesticides that irritate eyes and burn your skin and throat.
Bleach? Be extra careful around this one. The liquid and vapors irritate all the things (see above). Get it on the skin and you may get dermatitis. Ingest it and you’re talking prolonged nausea and vomiting. In fact, many ingredients in household cleaners can damage the lungs and are highly poisonous to humans and animals if swallowed.
Let’s not forget wipes. Alcohol-based wipes list alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a chemical that can cause asthma, as an active ingredient. You’ll also find other tricky-to-pronounce chemicals, including ethanolamine, another asthmagen.
2. UV-C light won’t damage your phone and other stuff.
Those same harsh chemicals that can harm your body can also be a doozy for your phone and other items you want to disinfect.
First, let’s talk phones. Did you know your smartphone can harbor 18x more bacteria than a public restroom? Gross! Alcohol-based sprays and wipes are a popular way to disinfect phones, but they can do some damage.
Your phone screen has an oleophobic coating that helps prevent fingerprints, smudges, and scratches. Alcohol-based cleaners can easily degrade the coating, leaving your phone somewhat naked and no longer smudge-proof. PhoneSoap Pro disinfects phones (and anything else that fits inside) in 5 minutes** and does it without degrading the oleophobic coating. You can continue swiping through social media or matching gems without leaving any telltale fingerprints.
What about counters and other surfaces in your home? While bleach can battle germs, it can also ruin your counter’s coating. You’ll also want to be super careful with all-purpose cleaner. The chemicals can permanently dull the appearance of stone, tile, and hardwood.
We recommend SurfaceSoap UV, our new UV wand that kills 99.99% of germs on surfaces in seconds.† With a simple swipe, you’ll battle microbes on counters, doorknobs, and light switches—and win.
Let’s not forget freeloading pathogens on your jewelry. Chemical-based cleaners can cause jewelry to crack and break or erode the polish of precious gems. PhoneSoap 3 disinfects your jewelry so it can continue to sparkle long after the germs are gone.∆
3. UV-C light offers true 360-degree disinfection (when done right).
Wipes and sprays aren’t going to tackle tough-to-kill germs in every nook and cranny. We swabbed the phone of someone who regularly used alcohol as a disinfectant. The results weren’t pretty.
With harmful bacteria and viruses hanging out pretty much everywhere on your stuff, only 360-degree disinfection will do. And only PhoneSoap has it. Our patented design ensures that powerful germicidal UV-C light reaches every surface—even the nooks and crannies that wipes and liquid cleaning products can’t. The secret is our unique combination of chamber design, reflective materials, and bulb power.
But does it really work? It totally does. In fact, in a recent independent lab test, our tools killed 99.99% of germs* while every one of our competitors missed a spot. Or an entire side.
Put simply, whatever UV-C light touches gets disinfected. And PhoneSoap is the only company we know that ensures bacteria-banishing light hits every side, corner, and crevice.
4. UV-C light wins over wipes any day.
And we’re not just saying that because we’re huge fans of UV-C light. Here are just a few reasons why you should toss those wipes:
- The bare minimum wipe wait time is 10 seconds, but that’s simply for cleaning a surface. To disinfect, the surface must remain wet for 4–10 minutes.
- Most wipes list alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a chemical that can cause asthma, as an active ingredient.
- The more you use a wipe, the drier it gets, increasing the chance of transferring bacteria from one surface to another.
- Wipes are a total waste and add mountains of chemically laced textiles to already maxed-out landfills.
5. UV-C light is better for the planet.
Speaking of landfill, even by choosing the most natural, earth-friendly household cleaners and disinfectants, you’re still running into the issue of disposable packaging. While you can recycle many plastic and glass bottles, you can’t recycle everything (looking at you, alcohol wipes).
And let’s be honest, not everyone recycles.
Investing in a UV-C sanitizer like our large capacity HomeSoap means you can tackle 99.99% of bacteria and viruses‡ on all kinds of items, from smartphones to smart tablets, without adding plastic packaging and single-use wipes to landfills—or harmful chemicals to the air.
If there were a real UV-C vs. chemical disinfection contest, UV-C would win, hands down. So . . . are you ready to make the switch?
What PhoneSoap UV disinfection tool are you most excited to try? Share in the comments below.
*Testing was conducted in a laboratory setting on actual phones, Apple watch, headphones, credit cards, and keys with a variety of pathogens, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Coronavirus 229E. Real-world results may vary depending on size, shape, and material of phone or phone case. For more information, click here.
**PhoneSoap Pro has been tested by an independent, third-party laboratory to be 99.9% effective against SARS-CoV2. This test was performed on a plaque assay. PhoneSoap Pro has also been tested to be 99.99% effective against salmonella on iPhones and Otter cases containing iPhones. Finally, PhoneSoap Pro has been tested to be 99.99% effective against human coronavirus, strain 229E, ATCC VR-740.
†SurfaceSoap UV was tested by BIOSCIENCE LABORATORIES, LLC against Salmonella enterica (ATCC # 10708), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC # 6538), and Human Coronavirus strain OC43 (Zeptometrix #0810024CF). SurfaceSoap UV was tested by scanning glass slides containing these microbes and shown to kill up to 99.99% of the previously specified bacteria, and 99.9% of the specified coronavirus strain. Tests were performed with the SurfaceSoap UV moving at 3 inches per second and held 1 inch from the exposed surface.
∆PhoneSoap 3 has been tested by an independent, third-party laboratory to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, H1N1, Coronavirus 229E, Staphylococcus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus. It has been tested on actual phones, Apple™ watch, headphones, credit cards, and keys. PhoneSoap 3 has also been tested to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, H1N1, rotavirus, and rhinovirus using a modified ASTM E1153 and ASTM E1053-11 for efficacy of UV light on general hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, metals, and plastics. Real-world results may vary depending on size, shape, and material of phone or phone case.
‡HomeSoap has been tested by an independent, 3rd party laboratory to be 99.9% effective against Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, Staphylococcus, Coronavirus 229Ein. It has been tested on headphones, jewelry and baby bottles. HomeSoap has also been tested to be 99.9% effective against salmonella using ASTM 3535 for efficacy of UV light on hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, metals, and plastics.
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