I have a ritual whenever I get home from the grocery store now. I scrub my hands, change into different clothing and then wash down anything that was in my pocket, including my phone and keys. That might have sounded crazy a year ago, but it's the new normal now. Some people have taken to sterilizing their phones and other pocket-sized items in a small UV sterilization box. If you've been thinking about getting one of those for yourself, here's your chance. At Daily Steals, you can get a $100 UV sterilization box with Qi wireless charging for $50 when you apply discount code CNETUVB at checkout.
As UV boxes go, this one has a little extra to offer. In addition to dual UV-C lights, the box has a Qi charging pad built into the base, so it'll charge your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, AirPods or any other Qi-compatible device. And it includes an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser as well. If you want that sort of thing.
A cleaning cycle takes eight minutes, and the device promises to "kill up to 99.99% of bacteria from every exposed surface, even the hard-to-clean ports and crevices found on popular devices without using liquids, heat or corrosive chemicals." But this is a good time to slow our collective roll. Does UV cleaning really work? And does it -- this is no doubt the question on your mind -- kill the? Well, as is often the case with science, the answer is somewhere in between "we don't know" and "it's complicated."
The good news is that UV-C (ultraviolet light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers) has been demonstrated to kill bacteria just as well as scrubbing with soap and warm water. And there's evidence that UV-C lighting can kill SARS, which of course is related to COVID-19. But there are no definitive, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate that UV-C kills the coronavirus, nor is there any evidence that this particular device's eight-minute cleaning cycle is long enough to get the job done. As a committed believer in the scientific method, I just want to make sure we're clear on the extent of the science here. There are no miracle cures, but every little bit we do to stay clean and isolated appears to help.
This article was published previously.
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