How to Use Ultraviolet Light to Kill Coronavirus on Your iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

We've already gone over Apple's new recommendation for how to sanitize your smartphone and other devices with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes or similar wipes with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. Now, let's talk about another option, using ultraviolet light as a disinfectant and sanitizer. We have three different options for people looking to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms on their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, Mac, and even Apple TV remote to prevent COVID-19. Some of these devices are on our person nearly all the time, especially the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, and therefore have more bacteria and viruses on them than the average toilet seat. Let's cover how to sanitize your cell phone, tablet, earbuds, smartwatch, and other Apple devices.

Related: 5 Apps That Move Medical Research Forward

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UV Light as an iPhone Cleaner & Sanitizer

According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, viruses can stay on solid surfaces like plastic, ceramics, and glass for up to nine days. If you'd like a way to sanitize your Apple devices safely, the solution is ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C light, can kill bacteria within thirty seconds from a distance of six inches and viruses within three minutes. UV-C light can temporarily damage eyes and skin, so be sure to wear safety glasses and cover up as needed, depending on the device you choose. Here are three ways to use UV-C light to sanitize your Apple devices.

UV-C Germicidal Light Bulb ($2.75 and up)

uv light

There's a broad range of UV-C bulbs to choose from, and you can use them to sanitize all your Apple devices. Whichever bulb you choose, just put it into a lamp or light fixture at a distance of six inches from your device, making sure that it's a safe distance from any flammable items. Leave your device under the light, then move the lamp or device after a few minutes until all the surfaces have been exposed to the UV-C light.

UV Light Sanitizer Wand ($26.99 and up)

uv wand

A UV sanitizing wand can be used on any of your Apple devices, and works in the same way as the other UV-C lights, by destroying the DNA of microorganisms on hard surfaces. The downside of this option is that you'll have to hold the wand and be sure to cover all surfaces of your device for the required time. The upside is that it's easier to use on the go. 

PhoneSoap UV-C Sanitizing Devices ($79.95–$199.95)


PhoneSoap is a convenient option for sanitizing smaller Apple devices including the iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, EarPods, and Apple TV remote. Medical professionals, caregivers, and anyone concerned about reducing the risk of disease transmission in day-to-day life will love this product. If you'd like to learn more, you can read about lab and real-world PhoneSoap tests

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.