The UV Disinfection Machine: Are They Safe For Electronic Devices?

  • 9 min read

UV Disinfection Machines: Changing the Way We Disinfect

In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, interest in cellphone disinfection rose to an all time high around the world. Even cellphone manufacturers felt the need to weigh in, with Apple releasing updated guidelines on what to do and not to do while disinfecting your device early in the pandemic. More than anything, this reminded smartphone users that they aren’t just carrying around a handy tool to get in touch with friends and family—they have a potential germ minefield on them at all times, one that can aid the spread of Coronavirus and other viruses if not properly disinfected. 

Because of all this uncertainty and present turmoil in regard to the spread of viruses, we at ChargeTech introduced our line of UV-C enabled Clean & Charge Carts and partnered with iCleanse to release the Swift UV, extending our focus from keeping your electronic devices charged to keeping them disinfected and charged. We know that, wherever you work, your enterprise could benefit from its electronics being disinfected, whether it be an iPad being used to write down patient’s information at a hospital, or several laptops that need cleaning before being passed around to every student. ChargeTech UVC Light Disinfection Technology can be used by a host of industries to help keep electronics clean and ready for use, quelling the spread of viral bacteria in the process.


Cellphone disinfection can help slow the spread of viruses, including COVID-19


Hospitals are just one of the many public environments that have begun to use UV-C Light Disinfection Machines to disinfect personal electronics and mobile devices. But you may be wondering if ChargeTech’s UV-C Light Disinfection technology is safe for the devices that are cleaned by the process. After all, “Disinfection” is a word associated with harsh chemicals like bleach, chemical agents that do harm to human skin on contact. So why would you want to disinfect something that is in your hand, pocket or near your face all the time? These are complicated devices with intricate electronics and is the process of UV-C disinfection safe for your cell phone, laptop or tablet computer?

This article explores the efficacy and safety of ChargeTech UV Light Disinfection Machines, demonstrating how they function and work to keep your devices sanitary and ready for use. You can rest assured knowing that your cellphone is safe being disinfected by our UV-C products and that UV-C Light Disinfection Machines pose no threat to your mobile device or yourself. UV-C Light Disinfection Machines from ChargeTech are not only safe and effective but represent the way forward for modern disinfection technology.  


The Swift UV can disinfect a cell phone in just 15 seconds and is safe for all mobile devices. Click on the image to learn more.


UV Light: Safe and Effective for Disinfecting Electronic Devices 

Much like traditional disinfection methods, you may be wondering if there are pitfalls or side effects to cleaning your mobile devices with UV-C Light as there are with bleach, sanitizers and other store-bought cleaning products. In short, UV-C Light Disinfection does not degrade or wear down cellphone/laptop electronics over time in any way. Unlike harsh cleaning agents, such as alcohol or bleach based solutions, UV-C Light Disinfection does not corrode the efficacy of the touch screen or interior electronics of the cell phone at all. As described in this article from Medical Design & Outsourcing
“UV light won’t harm touchscreens, cameras or IR sensors, and is optimal for hard, non-porous surfaces. Unlike chemical wipes, UV-C light does not dry out or degrade materials.” 

This is because UV affects the DNA & RNA of bacteria, effectively killing the pathogen by making it unable to reproduce itself, rendering it non-infectious. This process happens because while UV-C occurs in nature and is emitted by the sun, it is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the Earth. As a result, bacterial organisms have no defense against the rays, leaving these bacteria susceptible to its disinfecting abilities. According to an article about the effectiveness of UV Disinfection from Advanced Biotechnologies:
"UV sterilization, also known as UV Disinfection or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), works by breaking down certain chemical bonds and scrambling the structure of DNA, RNA and proteins, causing a microorganism to be unable to multiply. When a microorganism is unable to multiply, it is considered dead since it cannot reproduce within a host and is no longer infectious."

This is an especially effective process on objects that have flat/hard surfaces, (as noted in the previous quote from Medical Design & Outsourcing), because the light is able to reach every part of the object and affect every organism on its surface, making UV-C perfectly suited for cell phone and laptop disinfection. Oddly shaped or structured objects and objects that are soft or more porous take longer/are more difficult to disinfect via UV-C because light has more difficulty traveling over harder to reach areas and cleaning the insides of softer/porous objects with more crevices and irregularities. Flat, hard and angular objects like laptops or cellphones, however, are perfect for the process, which renders these electronic items germ-free and ready for usage in just a few minutes.

UVC Disinfection occurs within the contained space of a ChargeTech Clean & Charge Cart, which means operators will not be directly exposed to the light. 

The process of UV-C Disinfection is in direct contrast to traditional modes of manual disinfection, which involves the usage of chemical based cleaning agents and wipes. Disinfecting wipes use chemical pesticides that, on contact, work to eradicate the bacteria present on an object. Many of these pesticides will erode a cell phone’s hardware over time, making them a less effective option than UV-C Disinfection which does not cause these side-effects. Rather than wiping a pesticidal substance onto your cellphone (and creating chemical waste in the process) UV-C Disinfecting Machines sterilize through direct contact with light, which leaves behind no residue or film on the object being disinfected and also creates no waste.

Traditional disinfecting methods, on the other hand, create a large quantity of chemical waste because each disinfecting wipe only has one use before it must be trashed. In addition, the mixing of multiple different kinds of cleaning fluids or chemical based disinfecting products, according to the Cleveland Clinic, can lead to the creation of noxious fumes that can lead to such side effects as: 

    • Wheezing.

    • Coughing.

    • Trouble breathing.

    • Eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.

    • Nausea.

    • Pneumonia.


Finally, continuous mobile phone/electronics disinfection with disinfecting wipes or sprays requires the constant buying/stocking of more disposable cleaning products, some of which have been shown to do harm to a cell phone's screen over time. Because smartphones have oleophobic screens (which are made with this technology in order to resist finger-prints) bleach and harsh chemicals corrodes their touch screens over time, reducing their efficacy and deteriorating the hardware. Cutting down on cellphone disinfection done manually with wipes and other chemicals is better for your cellphone and creates less waste, improving the lifespan of your device while also contributing less chemical waste to the planet. 

Traditional chemical disinfectants create chemical waste and erode touch screens over time.

This makes UV Light Disinfection Machines the safer, more efficacious option for reducing the spread of bacteria on your mobile phone, keeping the device shielded from the adverse effects of bleach and alcohol based cleaning agents, while still thoroughly cleaning and getting rid of bacteria and pathogens. 


Is UV-C Light Safe for Humans? 

Though UV-C Light is safe to disinfect electronics with, you may be wondering if it is safe for humans to operate and be exposed to. The good news is that when operated in a contained and controlled environment, such as the interior of a ChargeTech Clean & Charge AC Cart 2.0 or inside the Swift UV, operators of ChargeTech CleanCharge products have nothing to be concerned about.

Within the stainless steel interior of our charging cabinets, the UV-C disinfection happens safely and efficiently without the light's rays ever interacting with the user. Someone operating one of our carts physically cannot have any direct exposure to UV-C Light. All you have to do to begin operation of a ChargeTech UV Light Disinfection Machine is press a button to start the disinfection process for 5, 10, or 15 minutes, depending on the volume of devices being disinfected, and let ChargeTech's Disinfecting Cabinets do all the work. At no point will someone operating one of our Charge Carts receive direct exposure to UV-C light—only the electronic devices housed within will be affected by the UV-C Disinfecting rays.

The stainless steel interior of a ChargeTech Clean & Charge cart is the perfect environment for cellphones to be thoroughly disinfected in.

Also, the reported side effects of human exposure to UV-C rays is minimal and nothing to fear when adopting the technology to disinfect your electronics. According to an article from American Ultraviolet, a supplier of UV lamps for the medical industry since 1960:

"Prolonged, direct exposure to UVC light can cause temporary skin redness and eye irritation, but does not cause skin cancer or cataracts. If you are exposed to direct germicidal light, it can burn the top surface of your skin. If your eyes are exposed, it would be similar to a "welder's flash", and your eyes can feel dry or gritty. At no time do germicidal lamps cause any permanent damage."

Clearly, UV-C has few negative side effects for users, both in regard to human exposure to UV-C light, as well as electronic exposure to the rays. Though in ChargeTech products, UV-C rays are created through special light bulbs, UV-C is a naturally occurring process in sunlight, unlike man-made chemical solutions which are bad for the environment and can cause side effects and erosion of electronics when used for disinfection. UV-C disinfection occurs simply through the creation of light rays, creating little waste or byproducts in the process.

Though UV-C Disinfection technology is not necessarily a household name, it is nothing to fear—not only is it safe for humans to be around and operate but it can also prove more effective than traditional disinfection methods, making it not only safe but also, most likely, more effective than whatever manual method you may have for currently disinfecting your cellphone/laptop.


What Industries Use UV-C Light to Disinfect Their Products? 

UV-C Disinfecting technology has been used for years in a variety of different mediums in order to keep various objects germ-free. According to an article from WebMD on the surging rates of UV-C Disinfection technology in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Germicidal ultraviolet technology has been around for probably 100 years and has had good success,” says Jim Malley, PhD, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire. “Since early March, there’s been just an enormous amount of interest in it, and research funding to institutions around the world.”

Despite heightened interested in UV-C since the Coronavirus began, UV-C has been important for disinfection for many years in a wide variety of contexts. If you were potentially worried about the safety of UV-C for disinfection, look no further than the myriad industries that use the technology to disinfect. UV-C has been years to disinfect things in many different industries, including: 

    • Air Disinfection for Public Environments, Including Classrooms, Hospitals, Airplanes, Banks, Malls, Offices, etc. 

    • Disinfection of Factory Equipment

    • Water Disinfection at Treatment Plants

    • Disinfection of Food & Beverages in Grocery Stores & Restaurants

Surgical masked undergoing the UV-C Disinfection process in a UVC Light Disinfection Machine. 

UV technology is used everywhere, with UV Light has been used to disinfect drinking water since 1910, over 100 years ago. The process of water treatment using UV Light originated in Marseilles, France before World War I had even begun. This article on the history of UV Light disinfection has this to say:

"UV lamps first became commercially available in 1930 and following the end of the Second World War in 1945, germicidal UV lamps became more and more commonly used to disinfect air. Today, UV air disinfection units are often employed in busy factories, hospitals and other enclosed venues."

UV technology has been used for decades to disinfect in manner that is safe for people. Only more recently has it begun to be adopted for the disinfection of electronics but the process has occurred for years, with little side effects or issues for people operating the technology. ChargeTech is constantly developing efficacious UV Disinfection products for use in industry, such as the ones below that are helping pave the way towards a healthier, more germ-free workplace.


ChargeTech UV Light Disinfection Machines: Keeping Your Cellphones, Laptops & Tablets Safe From Germs

10 Bay R-Series UV-C Charging Cart

The 10 Bay UV Clean & Charge Cabinet 2.0 is able to charge and disinfect up to 10 laptops, cellphones or tablets all at the same time. The simple One-Touch control system makes it easy to operate the charging and UVC Disinfection cycles with just the touch of a button. With a disinfection period of only five minutes, the 10 BayR-Series UV-C Charging Cart is the perfect personal device disinfection solution for schools or the workplace.

Also available in 20 Bay, 30 Bay and 40 Bay options. The larger cabinet options are ideal for a high volume of cell phones or other personal devices. With a cleaning cycle of five minutes, the 20, 30 and 40 Bay R-Series UV-C Charging Cart are perfect personal device disinfection solutions for schools or the workplace. 


The ChargeTech UV-C Clean and Charge Carts are ideal for disinfecting large numbers of devices at once.


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Swift UV from iCleanse 


ChargeTech is also a proud partner ofiCleanse, a worldwide leader in UVC personal device disinfection. Through this partnership, ChargeTech is now a licensed reseller of iCleanse’s latest cell phone disinfection product, the Swift UV. ChargeTech has partnered with iCleanse to distribute their suite of patented UVC disinfection products in order to provide our clients with the best options available to keep their schools and workplaces pathogen-free.


The Swift UV disinfects cellphones in just seconds. 


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To learn more about ChargeTech’s UV disinfection machines and more solutions for cell phones, Click here to view our products or reach out to a ChargeTech team member


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