Editors Note: The full PhoneSoap line is currently sold out, but you can lock in an order for a delivery as early as mid-April.
Are you on your phone right now? If not, you probably have it just within arm’s reach. Here’s a not-so-fun fact about your phone: It’s dirty — as in, it’s thought to be 18 times dirtier than a public restroom.
How do our phones get so dirty? Well, whatever ickiness is on anything that we touch – from subway poles to grocery carts and doorknobs to toilet handles – soon gets transferred to our phones. Our phone is practically like our third hand that we never wash.
So now that we’re aware of this dirty truth, how do we clean up the mess?
Meet the PhoneSoap, a first-of-its-kind phone sanitizer invented by cousin duo Wes LaPorte and Dan Barnes, who pitched PhoneSoap on “Shark Tank.” How does it work? You put your phone inside what looks like a miniature tanning bed. Then, it gets blasted with UV-C light, which kills up to 99.99% of the bacteria living on your phone, according to the company, which says the device was laboratory tested against common household germs. After 10 minutes, voila, your phone comes out as clean as new. The company says UV light is harmless to your phone, and encourages you to leave the case on when you sanitize, since that’s full of germs too.
Keep in mind though, PhoneSoap hasn’t been tested on the corona virus (COVID-19). Mia Lieberman, a clinical veterinarian at Harvard Medical School, found the PhoneSoap to be effective against bacteria, she noted that eliminating COVID-19 would likely require a much larger UV-C dose, based on the data scientists have on other coronaviruses such as SARS.
As tested on the Discovery Channel, the PhoneSoap does seem to live up to its promise of getting to every nook and cranny of your phone, which can’t be reached even by alcohol wipes (which, by the way, aren’t an ideal phone cleaning method anyway, because chemicals can damage your screen).
We recently tested five versions of the PhoneSoap from the current product line, and here are our thoughts that might help you decide if you should get one yourself, and if so, which PhoneSoap is best for you.
The PhoneSoap 3 is PhoneSoap’s basic smartphone UV sanitizer that fits all phone models and sizes. It also doubles as a charging hub with two ports (USB & USB-C) that lets you charge your phone while it’s getting cleaned.
This PhoneSoap is a bit on the bulky side, so it would be best for leaving on your desk or nightstand as a permanent cleaning and charging station. If you’re concerned about your PhoneSoap matching your style and décor, fret not, because the PhoneSoap 3 comes in multiple colors, from basics like black to fun colors like gold and aqua.
If you’re looking to simply try out the PhoneSoap, then we would definitely suggest getting the classic PhoneSoap 3, as it is the most affordable, no-frills PhoneSoap that gets the job done.
The Portable: PhoneSoap Go ($99.95; phonesoap.com)
Always on the go or traveling? If you want to clean and charge your phone wherever and whenever, then the PhoneSoap Go is the one for you. For an extra 20 bucks, you get an upgraded PhoneSoap that’s ligh