While the world focuses on the COVID-19 virus and the resulting pandemic, there has been less attention to serious illnesses which are caused by bacteria such as E. coli and staph. These microorganisms continue to cause illnesses in millions of people each year. A 2017 article in the magazine Time stated that scientists at the University of Arizona performed a study which found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. While that may seem scary, add to it that on average, a person touches their cell phone 2,617 times each day according to a 2019 survey by dscout. That bacteria is easily transferred to our hands and from there to other objects we touch. While we are washing our hands more now than ever before, how often do we sanitize our phones?
What is the Mophie UV Sanitizer?
One of the ways to sanitize objects such as cell phones is through the use of UV-C light. There are three main classifications of ultraviolet light based on their wavelength. UV-A and UV-B cause sunburns and skin cancer and are found in sunlight. However, UV-C, which has the smallest wavelength and is the most damaging, is completely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. UV-C light kills bacteria by affecting its RNA or DNA. The Mophie UV Sanitizer is a device into which a phone or other objects up to 6.9 inches in length can be placed and uses UV-C light to kill up to 99.99% of common surface bacteria on non-porous surfaces. In addition, the Mophie UV Sanitizer can also wirelessly charge cell phones which have this feature. The unit sells for $79.99 and can be purchased from zagg.com as well as from Verizon.
What’s in the Box?
The Mophie UV Sanitizer includes the following:
- UV sanitizer with wireless charging
- Charging Cable (Micro-USB Cable)
- Quick-Start Guide
How to Use the Mophie UV Sanitizer
The Mophie UV Sanitizer is easy to use. Connect the charging cable to the sanitizer via the micro-USB port. Then plug the cable into an AC outlet. Open the lid of the sanitizer and place your phone, keys, credit/debit cards, or other objects with non-porous surfaces inside. Close the lid and press the button on the side of the sanitizer to start the 5 minute cleaning cycle. The sanitizer beeps when the process is complete. If the lid is opened during the cleaning process, the UV-C LED lights in the device automatically shut off for safety. The sanitizer does not use any liquids or chemicals and is completely safe for your phone and other objects.
In order to use the wireless charging feature, ensure the Mophie UV Sanitizer is plugged in and then place a Qi-enabled phone on top of the lid. The phone will begin charging upon contact. If the phone is in a case with metal, a battery, or the case is more than 3 mm thick, you may need to remove the case to charge the phone. The charging feature also works while the device is sanitizing, so you can charge your phone while cleaning your keys or other objects.
Why You Should Get the Mophie UV Sanitizer
While there are some articles and reports claiming that UV-C light can kill the COVID-19 virus, I want to emphasize that the makers of the Mophie UV Sanitizer do not make any claim that their product kills viruses. They only claim that the sanitizer kills 99.99% of common surface bacteria. However, many illnesses are caused by bacteria and with the rise of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, the more bacteria you can prevent from entering your body, the better. As frequently as many of us touch our phones each day, whatever bacteria is on our hands transfers to our phone. Bacteria can also transfer from surfaces on which we place our phones or from other people who touch our phones. While we may wash our hands frequently, if we don’t also clean our phones, as soon as we touch them, the bacteria is back on our hands. Some anti-bacterial wipes contain harsh chemicals which can damage a phone’s screen and washing a phone with soap and water risks getting liquid inside the phone and is not always practical. However, placing a phone into the Mophie UV Sanitizer is easy and within 5 minutes, the phone is clean.
The dimensions of the sanitizer are 8.05 in x 4.97 in x 1.69 in, so it does not take up a lot of space on a desk or table. The wireless charging feature further adds to its usefulness. No longer do you need a cord for charging your phone cluttering your horizontal surfaces. Since the device can charge with up to 10 W of power, phones charge quickly. I suggest putting the device in a location that is easily accessible. A desk at work or a night stand at home are good locations. Also get into a habit of sanitizing your phone regularly. When you come home, put the phone in the sanitizer and run it while you wash your hands. Then, when you pick up the phone again, both the phone and your hands are clean. Also consider all of the other items you may touch during the day such as keys, pens, plastic cards in your wallet, etc. Anything that fits inside the sanitizer and has a non-porous surface can be cleaned. Since objects with porous surfaces have places where bacteria can hide from the UV-C light, cloth, paper, and wooden objects will not be sanitized.
As a high school teacher, I come into contact with lots of items that are touched by other people. I touch those objects, then check my phone and now that bacteria is on my phone. While I wash my hands frequently, especially now more than ever, I rarely cleaned my phone. So the bacteria followed me around. Now with the Mophie UV Sanitizer, I can clean my phone on a regular basis. Once students return to the classroom, I plan to have one of these sanitizers in my classroom. Not only can students clean and charge their phones, it also gets the phone out of their hands for a while. A second sanitizer at home keeps my family’s phones and other objects clean and bacteria-free. Many of the reports I have read state the effectiveness of UV-C light on killing bacteria and with many medical facilities focused on treating COVID-19, it is even more important to try to avoid getting a bacterial illness. Therefore, I highly recommend the Mophie UV Sanitizer which keeps your phone clean as well as charged.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of this item for review purposes.