Think your mobile phone is clean after a wipe down? Think again. You sanitizer your hands, and won't sanitizer something that would touch your face? A phone sanitizer is what you need.

Details

  • Price $79.95 on phonesoap.com
    Exclusive: Use code ALEXKWA during checkout for 10% off.
  • Dimensions 5″ (w) x 1.76″ (h) x 5″ (d) / 127 (w) x 44.8 (h) x 216 (d) mm

Overview

I've never given the cleanliness of my phone much thought. I use my phone extensively in my daily life and during my travels, whether it is to check the map, find places to go, people to connect, I'm heavily reliant on my phone.

With that much use, smudges and dirt appear pretty often. When that happens, I usually just wipe it down with a damp cloth or tissue paper. If it feels dirty even then, I spray on a solution of water and Dr Bronner's to get it spanky clean and call it a day. But even then, how clean really is your phone?

Actually, wiping your phone doesn't completely get rid of the bacteria on it. You really need to do a lot more if you want it bacteria-free. Even a phone case that gives the maximum amount of protection like the PHOOZY Apollo II case wouldn't be able to keep those bacteria away.

As a reference, your phone contains more bacteria than a pet's eating bowl, doorknobs, soles of shoes and public toilets. Your phone is probably dirtier than your browser's history.

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Your phone gets dirty when you use it after meals, using the restroom, in public transport and similar activities. The more you touch the screen, the more bacteria is transferred onto it.

Studies have shown that 92% of phones have bacteria on them with 16% containing E.coli, the bacteria found in feces. E.coli can cause rashes, skin infections, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.

Tissues, wet wipes, cleaning kits, and even soap and water have traditionally been used but are generally considered ineffective. By far the most effective way to clean a phone is a UV light cleaner, but it is not economically viable and available for most people. Until the PhoneSoap, a phone sanitizer for consumers.

Style
This is not how I imagine a phone sanitizer would look.

The PhoneSoap 3 comes in 8 colors, black, lilac, gold, silver, periwinkle, aqua, orchid, white. As with all the products reviewed on this blog, the black version is the one reviewed in this article.

At first glance, the PhoneSoap looks similar to a high-end jewelry case. From the front, it's a complete black, matte case with a silver lining running across the opening. On the top, there is a lightning icon, which lights up when the sanitizing in action. Opening it up, it looks like a tanning bed for your phone.

I find the entire look of the PhoneSoap 3 very classy and sleek and looks nothing like how I imagine a phone sanitizer would look.

Looks nothing like how I imagine a phone sanitizer would look.

The power adapter that comes with the PhoneSoap is a standard white across all colors.

In version 3 of the PhoneSoap, it comes with a USB and USB-C port on the back of the device. Unlike the PhoneSoap Wireless where you can just put any wireless chargeable phone in and start charging, the PhoneSoap 3 requires you to connect your charging cable into the back to draw power to connect to the phone. There is a small opening on the right side that lets you run the wire through. With all the wires running around it, this makes the setup a little less simple than I'd like.

Material & Technology
A professional-grade, UV-C phone sanitizer.

How the germs are killed is via the power of UV-C light, which is emitted from two powerful lightbulbs inside the PhoneSoap 3 phone sanitizer. UV-C light is the only one of the three types of UV light that is germicidal, which means it would exterminate germs and break down their DNS so they no longer work or reproduce.

A phone sanitizer or a phone suntanning bed?

Sanitizing with UV-C light has been a normal practice since the mid-20th century. The more common uses of UV light for sanitization are hospitals and laboratories which need to keep their equipment sterile. Some home uses are UV sterilizers for baby bottles, and now your mobile phone.

UV-C light is actually harmful to our eyes, which is why our atmosphere blocks it from entering earth. This is why the sanitization is all done within the controlled environment inside the PhoneSoap 3.

The lightbulbs on the top and bottom of the inside of the device emits light that bounces around the reflective interior to provide a thorough 360-degree sanitization.

Usage
Does this phone sanitizer… sanitize phones?

The operation of this device is ultra simple. Plug the power into the device. Put your phone in and it starts sanitizing. The lightning icon on top of the PhoneSoap 3 would light up to indicate that it's charging. The phone sanitizer takes about 10 minutes to complete cleaning and would automatically turn off to prevent your phone from overheating.

The light from the lightning icon on the top would also turn off to indicate that it's done. You can, of course, remove your phone midway through the sanitization process.

Probably the best looking phone sanitizer out there.

One thing to note is that it would start sanitizing if you open and close the device, even without anything in it, as it doesn't have any mechanism to detect its contents.

It fits basically all current model phones, and fitted my iPhone XS Max perfectly with room to spare. Apart from your phone, it can fit your other accessories like your earbuds, rings, watches to keep them bacteria-free.

There are magnets along the opening so while you would be able to open the device by holding on to the top part, sometimes the bottom would come up a little with it before opening, making a sound as it hits the surface.

I've found the charging of the phone from the device to be a little unreliable, with the charge sometimes disconnecting. I plugged the wire directly to the power socket to make sure there wasn't an issue with the AmazonBasics wire I was using.

Another thing I wished I could see implemented is a way to see your phone's screen while it's in the PhoneSoap. While the PhoneSoap is designed to acoustically amplifies your phone's sounds, I prefer being able to see light and being able to see notification previews on the screen to decide if I want to pick it up or not.

While the PhoneSoap 3 is technically portable, bringing it along just to sanitize your phone isn't worth the precious space in your backpack. They have a version made specifically for travel, which is the PhoneSoap Go that comes with a built-in mobile battery.

While it cleans your phone, up to 99.9% of bacteria, it doesn't remove smudges or dirt, so you'll need something separate, like the PhoneSoap Shine, to do so.

Looking at comments online, there seems users experiencing problems with turning the device on after weeks of use, but rest assured, the PhoneSoap 3 comes with a 1-year warranty should you encounter the same issues. I haven't encountered any issues like that so far and will update this article if I do,

Conclusion
This phone sanitizer is for the cleanliness freaks.

If I wanted to, I could scrub my phone in a bowl of soapy water. With most smartphones being more and more water-resistant, there isn't any fear of water damage. But doing so isn't a viable way to keep your phone clean and might damage the coating on the phone.

The only way to consistently keep your phone germ-free is with a phone sanitizer like the PhoneSoap 3. While you probably can't tell if the germs remain on your phone or not, what you'll have is a piece of mind that your phone is the cleanest it can be.

There isn't any better option out there as far as I can tell. If the PhoneSoap 3 can help you avoid even one visit to the doctor's or dermatologist's then the almost $80 price tag is well worth it.

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