Would You Use UV Light for Sanitising?

Have been using sprays and cleaning wipes but 1st they produce wastes, 2nd you need to wipe yourself and 3rd there can be hard to reach edges not cleaned at all. So I am looking into using UV light to replace sprays and wipes. Like using UV wands for small items sanitising and putting up a UV lamp in the bathroom, close the door and turn it on to fry the germs inside.

Not sure about the effectiveness of these ideas nor any good products and precautions in using them (like hurting skin and eyes?), so seeking help here on OzBargain, thanks.

Poll Options

  • 8
    Yes
  • 39
    No
  • 8
    I don't clean

Comments

  • Yes, absolutely!
    Presumably you can get the light through the skin or inside the body in some other way.
    We should look into that.

  • Whatever little bit of sunlight that makes it into the room likely has more intense UV than you can apply to the surfaces you intend to shine it on.

  • UV can't remove any dirt, just kill things, so you're gonna need to wipe it regardless. Covid aside, what are you doing in your bathroom that you have such a fear of germs?

    • I would vacuum for dust and dirt, but guess it needs to be sanitised first or else the vacuum makes the germs airborne. I would say the toilet bowl gives me the most fear.

      • it needs to be sanitised first or else the vacuum makes the germs airborne.

        A well-sealed vacuum with a HEPA filter can trap viruses, if you want to go that route.

  • +2 votes

    Proper UV sanitizing lights do work, but they will only sanitize areas that the light can touch. e.g. if you have a tub of hair product (or dirt/grease/etc) on your bathroom sink, the UV light won't be able to sanitize the spot beneath the tub.

    I'm not convinced by wands as UV sterilization only works if it's the right wavelength (UV-C, commonly 250-280nm), the right duration (usually about 15 mins), and the right intensity (you can't have a few small LEDs sterilize a whole bathroom). UV-C will damage your skin (sunburn) and eyes, so you cannot be in the room while it's on.

    UV-C is blocked by the ozone layer so sunlight will not have the same germicidal effect as a UV-C lamp.

    • Thanks. Do you know if there are non-UV-C/fake products, e.g. just pure violet LED light?

      • Yup there are. Some just use near-UV purple-looking 428nm LEDs with no UV-C output, which is invisible to humans. Proper UV-C bulbs will have their peak in the 250-280nm region (253.7nm for the most common mercury bulbs) and some output in the visible spectrum.

        UV-C mercury bulbs look like fluro tubes but are made of clear quartz instead of phosphor-coated glass.

        • I bought one anyway to give it a go. Is there any easy way I can test it actually works rather than some fake purple light? Put a bowl of egg whites next to it to see if it cooks them?

          • +1 vote

            @justwii: You could put a well-used face mask in there. If it smells a bit like burnt hair after a cycle or two, it's definitely breaking chemical bonds. The UV-C will break down the keratin from the dead skin that rubbed off your face into sulfur compounds that you can smell. Make sure the UV light hits the inside of the mask where the dead skin is rather than the outside of course. :)

    1. Any effective lamp, even the small handheld ones, would likely need to be a UVC-C fluoro tube, do you smell that? It is ozone, don't breathe this.

    2. When used in effective applications like a lab, UV lamps are installed with purpose, shining down onto a fairly even surface. Your bathroom probably isn't an even surface with all those cabinets and edges, UV lamps are mostly only effective in line-of-sight applications unless you have a lot of reflectors around.

    3. Using a handheld wand would likely not be effective, UV lamps are not magic, it takes time to kill the bacteria.

    4. "I woke up this morning and it felt like my eyes were full of sand!" - Effective applications of UV would mean taking safety VERY seriously. A lot of these lamps seem like a very mild light but my god will you feel the pain later, your skin is the least of your worries.

    If you want to make yourself feel better and sterilise some things maybe buy like a little sterilisation tub thing with the closeable lids and built-in UV lights instead of buying a wand. For the bathroom idea, I really don't think it is worth your time trying to sterilise rooms.

    • You mean UV light generates ozone? Like those ionisers? I have been avoiding them and bought air purifier with HEPA filter only because of that, if UV lights also produce ozone its a big letdown.

      • +2 votes

        Only some do. Bulbs that are made with doped quartz block VUV (mercury bulbs have another peak at 185nm) which is what generates ozone.

        You'd have to check with the seller whether or not their bulb generates ozone. Some sellers let you choose.

        (I should probably mention there will still be a small amount of ozone generated with no-ozone bulbs, but it isn't harmful since as the amount is so small and it reverts back to oxygen after a while)

    • A little chlorine in a vapouriser would do a better job for the bathroom.

      • +2 votes

        I think UV-C is safer than having chlorine gas permeating your home. :)

  • they are really dangerous, and produce dangerous gasses apparently.

  • You need to remove the dirt for the light to be effective, otherwise the germs can hide in the shade of the dirt and survive. This applies to chlorine disinfection as well.

    Best bet is to heat your entire house to a high enough temperature to kill the germs. It will take a while as everything needs to come up to temperature.

  • Host a party, say its UV corona cleaning meetup

  • And, for the love of god, do your homework and get the right UV globes and not those stupid purple disco lights they sell on eBay. Yes, it's UV, but it's the wrong UV.

    And if you do install them in your bathroom, do not go in there while the UV lights are on, unless you like cooking yourself and a bout of cancer sounds appealing.

  • At the start of all this, I looked at some of those little devices that claim to sterilise phones with UV light. When I read more into it, the amount of time the phone was required in there was ridiculous. I don't remember exactly what the recommended time was, but it was in "hours" (overnight, perhaps?), and not "minutes" as I was hoping/expecting.
    The light must not be effective at all and the manufacturer probably relies on any virus dying by itself on an exposed surface if you leave it there long enough!

    • +1 vote

      At the start of all this, I looked at some of those little devices that claim to sterilise phones with UV light. When I read more into it, the amount of time the phone was required in there was ridiculous. I don't remember exactly what the recommended time was, but it was in "hours" (overnight, perhaps?), and not "minutes" as I was hoping/expecting.

      Not sure which one you saw, but the Samsung one is 10 mins, can charge your phone wirelessly, and is the correct 253.7nm wavelength.

      • This one's cool! I didn't see any with a recognisable brand! I might try and get my hands on one of these! Thanks for sharing!

        edit: Just ordered one for click and collect for $69.00 :)

  • I would love to have a UV light in bathroom to eliminate mould but not sure how to do it.

  • Toilet paper is now available nationwide, no need for UV light…….🤪