Stay clean with this UVC on the go magic wand

Like everyone else COVID19 has caused me to be more careful. This is something I didn’t think was possible since I am already a major germaphobe. Needless to say, I have been using UVC light in other devices to clean my smartphone and other small trinkets for quite some time. The problem I end up having is how do I clean things that can’t fit into UVC cleaning devices like the PhoneSoap? Thanks to MONOS I don’t need to worry about that anymore. They designed a device called the CleanPod. It’s a UVC Sterilizer and it’s sort of like a magic wand.

DETAILS

The CleanPod is designed to help people protect themselves against invisible germs. It uses UVC (ultraviolet C) light to kill up to 99.9% of germs it comes into contact with. The UVC light is emitted from specailized LEDs so that users are able to santize surfaces without the use of chemicals. CleanPod does not contain mercury and is engineered to output UVC light at peak germicidal wavelengths. The wand is portable and able to fit into most small bags or purses. It is equipped with a safety lock switch so that you don’t inadvertently turn it on while transporting it. Because it uses light and not chemicals, the CleanPod is also an eco-friendly alternative to disposable wipes. It does not require any warmup time either.

Voltage/Current: 5V/1A
Power: 7W
Product G.W.: 270g
Interface: USB-C
Optical Power: 20 mW
Battery Capacity: 2000 mAh
Charging Time: approximately 2.5 hours
UVC LED wavelength: 265–275 nm 
UVA LED wavelength: 400 nm 
Materials: ABS + PC 
Product size: 219 × 34 × 40 mm 
Standard: GB19258-2012

USER EXPERIENCE

The CleanPod comes in a pretty basic retail package. The box has an outline image of product on the front of the box. In all honesty it doesn’t look much like the CleanPod, but I’m sure that’s what it is supposed to be. Inside the box, you’ll find the CleanPod, a USB-C charging cable, a soft pouch to store the CleanPod in, a wrist lanyard, and the user manual. The CleanPod, storage pouch, and lanyard are all white while the charging cable is gray. This color scheme actually matches the box theme well.

The user manual outlines a lot of safety instructions including:

  • UVC light is harmful to skin and eyes. Do not use the product on people or animals.
  • Do not place the product in fire as it may explode.
  • Do not use the product in a humid environment (e.g. bathrooms), as short-circuit damage may result.
  • If the product is abnormally hot or deformed during charging, stop charging immediately.
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The manual also has a good explanation of how UVC light works to kill germs and bacteria. It states: UVC light is proven to be highly effective in killing bacteria and other pathogens by scrambling their DNA and RNA (their genetic code). When used properly, it can kill up to 99.9% of pathogens. Now it’s important to note here that according to some studies, UVC light actually doesn’t ‘kill’ viruses. By virtue of the fact that it degrades the genetic material of the virus it “renders it unable to reproduce.” (Discover Magazine Online, Are Ultraviolet Sanitizing Lights Safe for Humans?) UVC light is naturally produced by the sun but has too short of a wavelength to cut through the Earth’s atmosphere and therefore is 100% absorbed by the ozone layer. I’ve said all that to say this: UVC light is harmful to human skin and has been associated with skin cancer and cataracts.

Even though the concept of the CleanPod is being replicated by product designers in the form of enclosed cases and other containers, UVC light can cause damage to the human eyes and skin. This is why other devices have sensors to turn off the light when motion is detected or a door is opened. These measures are put in place to protect the end-user. Because the CleanPod does not have these options in place and the LEDs are open without any cover on them, you must be more careful when using it. The CleanPod does have a safety switch on it that must be flipped in order to turn the wand on at all. To me, that isn’t much of a safety precaution, but it does serve its purpose so that you don’t accidentally turn on the wand when it’s in a bag and wear out the battery. What worries me about the lack of safety precautions is the people who think it’s safe to drink bleach in order to rid themselves of infections will think it’s safe to just run this light across their faces or even their children’s faces, which would risk permanent damage to whomever the light comes into contact with.

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The CleanPod is a very simple device to use. It states that it takes 30 seconds to rid an area of germs. You simply turn it on and use a sweeping motion (back and forth) at a slow, steady pace. It charges with USB-C so that’s a big win from me and the wand will shut off automatically after 3 minutes. Even though I didn’t have a lab to analyze the germ content of a device prior to using the CleanPod, I did find the device very easy to use. I used it on an Apple TV remote, my phone, my car steering wheel, radio controls, keyboard, and mouse. I think the thing that I had the biggest trouble with as ensuring that I was actually using the wand for at least 30 seconds per device.

CONCLUSION

Right now you can’t be too careful – even with standard germs. The CleanPod allows me to fight the war on germs and it makes me feel just a bit safer when trying to get a simple task completed like sanitizing the daily mail or my doorbell. I wish there was an easier way to determine if it was working other than taking samples and analyzing it in a lab. Aside from that, I think CleanPod is a great option for sanitizing objects.

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