For Science! Lysol Wipes VS. UV Light Wands (Which fights germs better?)
Written by Dr. Sarah Hanisko, cross-published on AnotherMomMess.com
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the states I traveled frequently for work. I spent my last two trips concerned about getting sick and compulsively wiping everything I would touch down with Lysol wipes. Even my plane seat, armrests and table. I know it was probably extreme but it decreased my anxiety.
It’s time for us to return to onsite training. I’m lucky enough to have received the vaccine. By the time I travel it will have been over the 7 recommended days for antibodies to develop. But, I’m not about to take any risks.
Being in hospitals I know a bit about what can be done to create aseptic (germ-free) environments. One of the coolest pieces of technology I’ve seen used is a massive UV light that is placed into operating rooms between procedures when needed. UV light is supposedly a great way to kill bacteria and viruses.
Of course I wanted to try and find something that I could easily pack for travel that would help protect me and my family when I returned. So, I spent my holiday break finding an inexpensive option for portable UV lights.
Sharper Image has a travel sized UV wand for approximately $80 USD. While I considered the large more expensive model, I decided on the smaller one for portability. But, I was not convinced that it was going to work as well as the gigantic lights in the hospital.
Insert Homeschool Science Experiment here. Testing the UV light against Lysol Wipes would be a super easy, and fun science experiment for Lilly and I to conduct.
I ordered a prepared science kit that came with Agar plates. I chose a kit designed to grow only non-harmful bacteria. It also came with swabs, instructions, and a free digital download for experiments.
We decided to test Lilly’s fingers and my phone. First Lilly rubbed her unwashed fingers against an Agar plate. Second we swabbed the top of my phone, then the bottom of my phone for two more plates. Then we wiped one area of my phone with a Lysol wipe, and used the UV lamp on the other half.
Lilly predicted that the UV light was going to work best. I hypothesized that the Lysol Wipe would be more effective.
We placed the agar plates in a warm, dark spot for 72 hours, and awaited our results.
The results were intriguing. Lilly’s fingers were of course gross…
but both Lysol Wipe and the UV light are nearly equally effective in killing bacteria from my phone. In fact, we had one colony of bacteria or mold grow on the plate for the Lysol wiped section. Click the arrows on the images below to view the results!
Any colonies on the area we cleansed with the UV light were so small we could barely see them if that’s what they actually were. Click the arrows below to see the results.
Now we know that the UV light works just as good, if not better than the traditional Lysol Wipes. The Sharper Image UV wand is available here. I’m not an affiliate and won’t receive any money from Sharper Image for this feedback, so definitely give it a try if you’re concerned about germs.
That being said, UV light can be dangerous, so always use the wands as directed in the instructions and take care not to look at the light or touch the light to your skin.
Until next time, FOR SCIENCE!