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Let’s face it: There isn’t much that won’t stick to your smartphone. Besides getting dirty, it can attract harmful germs and bacteria. Fortunately, you can now invest in a smartphone sanitizer. There are plenty of smartphone sanitizers on the market, including boxes, wands and wipes. Boxes and wands use UV light to kill germs, while wipes rely on antibacterial solutions. 

Choose a smartphone sanitizer that suits your lifestyle with help from our buying guide. We’re also including a few recommendations at the end, including PhoneSoap Pro Phone Sanitizer, a product that earns praise for its efficient five-minute cleaning cycle.

What to know before you buy a smartphone sanitizer

Types of smartphone sanitizers

Most encased smartphone sanitizers feature clamshell designs. Once they’re closed and sealed, they hit your phone with UV light in an all-over sanitizing cycle. 

UV wands are handheld sanitizers that you wave over your phone to kill germs. Devices typically require several minutes of UV exposure for disinfection.

In addition to UV sanitizers, there are smartphone-safe disinfectant wipes. They’re quick and convenient, though their moisture and chemical makeup may damage some device components.

Smartphone sanitizer size

Most phone sanitizers are considered travel-friendly. Wipes remain the most portable option, especially those that come in individual packets. Many encased smartphone sanitizers can fit into a purse, carry-on or gym bag.

Smartphone sanitizer capacity

The majority of encased sanitizers are designed to fit a single smartphone. However, if your phone case is bulky, or if you intend to sanitize additional devices, it’s better to invest in a deeper or larger sanitizer. Large-capacity encased sanitizers are big enough to disinfect several tablets, bottles or game controllers at once.

Smartphone sanitizer power

Smartphone sanitizer devices either come with AC adapters or USB cables for charging. There are a few rechargeable wand sanitizers on the market, though they tend to be more expensive than others. 

What to look for in a quality smartphone sanitizer

Cleaning time

Cleaning time varies considerably among smartphone sanitizers. Fortunately, the majority of manufacturers disclose this information on packaging.

Some smartphone disinfectant wipes take effect within seconds. However, according to Healthline, the solution must contain at least 70 percent alcohol to be effective.

For encased sanitizers, specific models disinfect in as little as a minute, whereas others take up to 20 minutes for a complete cleaning cycle. UV wands typically take five minutes to work, and you’ll need to wave the wand over the smartphone continuously. It’s rather labor-intensive and not the most convenient option. 

Charging capabilities

Certain smartphone sanitizers double as wireless chargers. According to some consumers, this quality makes them an indispensable two-in-one device. While convenient, their wireless charging isn’t without pitfalls. Consumers share mixed reviews on how long it takes to charge their smartphones with these devices, stating it’s significantly slower than a regular charger. As a result, these smartphone sanitizers are considered better for interim or partial charging.

Seal quality

Well-made encased smartphone sanitizers have reliable, tight seals. Some feature snapping or locking mechanisms, whereas others have magnetic seals. A few portable sanitizers even have zipper closures. 

Be wary of encased sanitizers that don’t appear to close correctly. Without a well-sealed compartment, UV light may leak from the sanitizer. The UV light won’t be concentrated on the smartphone, which means the sanitizer may not effectively clean your device.

Automatic shutoff

Some encased smartphone sanitizers are equipped with an automatic shutoff feature. Once you open the device, the light bulb turns off to prevent UV damage to the eyes. If you invest in a sanitizer without this feature, make sure the case points away from your eyes whenever you open it to retrieve your device.

How much you can expect to spend on a smartphone sanitizer

Disinfecting wipes for smartphones cost $20 or less. Encased sanitizers that hold a single phone start at $30, while larger and more powerful sanitizers cost as much as $250.

Smartphone sanitizer FAQ

What do I do when the UV light on my smartphone sanitizer burns out?

A. Most smartphone sanitizers on the market lack replaceable UV bulbs, which means you’ll need to replace the entire device. However, some high-end smartphone sanitizers may have replaceable bulbs, though they come with much larger price tags. 

How often should I sanitize my smartphone?

A. If you spend a lot of time in public spaces, it’s a good idea to sanitize your smartphone when you return to the office or go home. At the very least, it’s recommended to sanitize your phone twice a day. 

What’s the best smartphone sanitizer to buy?

Top smartphone sanitizer

PhoneSoap Pro Phone Sanitizer

PhoneSoap Pro Phone Sanitizer

What you need to know: Users praise this phone sanitizer for its quick, efficient cleaning process that takes only five minutes.

What you’ll love: Interior measures 4.5 by 7 inches and fits most large smartphones. Reflective liner ensures every nook and cranny around the phone is sanitized. Available in five colors.  

What you should consider: Some users report large phones and bulky cases won’t fit inside it. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top smartphone sanitizer for the money

iCloth Small Screen and Lens Cleaner Wipes

iCloth Small Screen and Lens Cleaner Wipes

What you need to know: These convenient wipe packets are considered the best option for sanitizing on the go.

What you’ll love: Only requires one swipe to remove dirt and residue. Alcohol-free formula leaves screens streak-free. Effective at removing fingerprints and grease stains. Can be used on glasses. 

What you should consider: It cleans, but it doesn’t have any antibacterial properties. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Samsung UV Sanitizer

Samsung UV Sanitizer

What you need to know: Made by a trusted brand, this sanitizer also doubles as a wireless charger for most devices.

What you’ll love: Only takes 10 minutes to kill up to 99% of germs. Low-profile design is travel-friendly. Interior is deeper than other sanitizers and is more accommodating to bulky cases.

What you should consider: Wall charger isn’t included with the device. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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