- Value: 19/20
- Functionality: 18/20
- Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 19/20
- Reliability: 16/20
- TOTAL: 92/100
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, hygiene has become our number one priority. We’ve grown accustomed to sanitizing everything in our life—including our keys, credit cards and doorknobs—but when it came time to disinfect our cell phone, we knew there had to be a better alternative than giving it a Lysol bath.
Cue PhoneSoap, a popular new device that uses UV-C light to kill 99.99 percent of germs. Although the company name specifically targets mobile phones, it’s compatible with any small object that safely fits inside the compartment.
Every detail is considered—including ones we didn’t think we’d need until trying it out. PhoneSoap has two charging ports, so you can recharge while you sanitize, helping us multitask like pros. Ali Brown (PureWow’s director of social strategy) tried it out for herself and gave us the rundown about what she did and didn’t like. Here’s what she had to say.
Pro: It provides (some) peace of mind
During these times of uncertainty, PhoneSoap ensures your everyday items are, for the most part, germ-free. (While UV light can help disinfect surfaces, it hasn't been shown to prevent COVID-19 infections, according to Penn Medicine.) “I learned your phone has 18x more bacteria than a public restroom,” Brown said. “I often sleep with my phone, and it’s always with me, so I want it to be as clean as possible. Plus, it’s so easy to use there's no excuse (and you’re not wasting a precious Lysol wipe).”
Not only is the model “sleeker than other versions” on the market, but it’s also extremely user friendly. “After it’s plugged into an outlet you literally just open it, put your phone, keys or whatever that will fit in and shut it until the light on the top turns off, indicating it’s clean,” Brown said.
Con: It’s convenient…for now
We’re not saying that we’ll never sanitize our phone after 2021, but there’s a common theme with fad products like PhoneSoap. As in, we use it every single day for a month and then store it in a cabinet, where it sits amongst all our other forgotten devices.
Our biggest concern—which may indicate how consistently we use PhoneSoap over the next few years—is its effectiveness. While PhoneSoap's images of the bacteria remaining on a phone after being cleaned with alcohol vs. the device are encouraging, we lack the scientific equipment to do our own third-party testing on just how clean it gets phones. Given the limited data available on what dose and wavelength of UV light would be needed to kill the coronavirus and its variants, we had to dock it a few points in the “reliability” section of our score.
Bottom line: PhoneSoap is a must-try item for 2021. As for the longevity of its usage, only time will tell.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.