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Are Cheap UV Cleansers Effective? And How Ours Differs

When we make a purchase, pricing plays a key role. The product we choose needs to fall within a specific budget. So, sometimes we rather not spend the money if we don’t feel that we have to. However, focusing solely on the price can and often does come at a cost. With cheap UV cleansers, this price can be a lot steeper than the one on the price tag.

While it may be tempting to buy a $20 UV cleanser, in the long term, you’re sacrificing not only the quality and value of the product but also the health of yourself and your loved ones. Let us explain how.

UV Light and Its Uses

UV light disinfection is not a new-found technology. It was in the late 1800s when scientists first discovered the germicidal properties of UV light. Over time, UV light technology has been deployed in hospitals, the food industry, and used for water purification, fluorescent inspection, skin treatment, and more.

UV Cleansers and How They Work

On the market, UV cleansers fall into two categories: professional and commercial. Professional ones are highly effective and used in various industries to kill and prevent superbugs. Due to their effectiveness, they are also considerably more expensive than commercial ones.

On the other hand, commercial devices are cheaper, not always effective, and most importantly, they don’t offer the safety features needed to ensure proper use and disinfection.

UV light destroys pathogens by penetrating and alternating the DNA and RNA components of the micro-organisms.  Changing the DNA and RNA’s structure causes a defect in cell reproduction, leading to the cell’s death.

Remember, it’s not only bacteria and viruses that have DNA and RNA. Humans do too. So, if we get exposed to these UV rays without protection, it can be hazardous. UV-C light exposure can lead to burns, eye damage, and even cancer. Moreover, UV cleansers that use short UV wavelengths can create ozone from the oxygen in the air causing lung damage.

Common Issues with Commercial UV Cleansers

At Wolven Industries, we are aware that there are companies selling cheap and questionable devices. UV cleansers as such aren’t new. However, the destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought the public’s attention to the germicidal properties of UV light.

Many of the UV cleansers available on marketplaces are cheap, under $50, and claim to kill 99.9% of pathogens. Moreover, they are light and portable, making them extremely easy to pack and carry around. Perfect for a hotel stay, disinfecting elevator or ATM, buttons, public bathroom seat, or a handrail that you rather not touch.

While this may sound alluring and an excellent deal for such a low price, they often provide a false sense of security, that can cause you to lower your guard and result in you exposing yourself to harmful germs, viruses, and bacteria.

After all, how can you know what number of germs have you killed after waving a UV cleanser over it? Will you use a microscope to verify that? Or will you just trust the advertising?

Yet, it’s not the only issue that there is with cheap UV cleansers.

1. False Advertising

Companies, especially overseas ones, that flood the market with cheap UV cleansers often have a lack of understanding of FDA, CDC, and other safety standards as well as the subtleties of the language used in them. As a result, they often advertise illegally.

For example, the words “sanitize” and “sterilize” are frequently used in the advertising of cheap UV cleansers. They imply a 100% elimination of germs and making the surface safe to use for medical applications such as surgery. It is a scientifically proven fact that UV-C light can eliminate up to 99.99% of germs, viruses, and bacteria when used properly.

Using “sanitize” while simultaneously claiming that the device kills 99.9% of germs is inaccurate and misleading.

Moreover, many cheap UV cleanser companies claim that the device kills 99.99% or 99% of germs. That implies the device effectively gets rid of this percentage of pathogens and not anything below that. That again may not be accurate, especially if the UV lamps are fake or weak and the device is used improperly.

2. Incomplete and Unsafe Instructions

The duration and distance from the surface are critical for the disinfection process to be effective. Yet, companies that produce cheap UV cleansers intentionally leave those out.


Because if you need to use a handheld device for 5, 15, or 30 minutes at a distance you aren’t sure how to measure for effective disinfection to occur, will you really buy it? Or would you prefer something easy to use that disinfects in a matter of seconds? Add a cheap price that’s going to lower your guard, and that’s what many are likely to add to their carts.

Nonetheless, companies producing such devices provide misleading instructions (that is if they provide them at all). For example, “Just hold it over the surface for 10 seconds!” Is that really enough information?

What kind of surface? What if there’s a more reflective surface that bounces the UV light? And what if you believe you’re disinfecting water, but the plastic you’re shining the light through blocks the UV-C germicidal rays and is only letting the UV-A and UV-B rays through which do not kill germs, viruses, and bacteria? This would render germicidal properties ineffective.

Another frequently used instruction reads “Just click and scan,” while instructions further down may state that exposure of 10, 20, 30, or even 60 seconds is necessary. This would mean that “scan” is a misleading word. Does the device notify you when the disinfection process is complete? What if you simply estimate the time and that’s not enough?

It can lead to ineffective use of the device and insufficient disinfection rate to guarantee the safety of the surface.

3. Lack of Safety Features to Prevent Improper and Irresponsible Use

What if you’re misusing the device in general? What if your children hold it and start waving it around irresponsibly, shining the UV light in people’s eyes? Will the device become self-aware and detect that it’s being misused and shut itself down?

Many devices claim that the device is safe to use with humans being in the vicinity. Yet, for that to be true, the UV-C light needs to be weaker. This means that you need a prolonged exposure time, such as 30 minutes, for effective disinfection to offer. And if you remain exposed to the UV-C light for the time needed for it to kill up to 99.99% of pathogens, are you sure there will be no effect on your skin and eyes?

Moreover, from what distance should you hold the device? Because the further away from the surface the device is, the less powerful the effect of the UV-C light on the surface is. And what if the surface bounces off the UV light in a different direction?

Can the device digitally communicate with you somehow? Can you somehow know you aren’t using it correctly or inefficiently?

As you can see, lots of questions beg for answers.

4. Fake UV Cleansers

It takes nothing to 3D-print a thin plastic casing and slap a simple UV blacklight bulb and advertise it as a UV cleanser. That is if you can even be sure that’s a real UV-C light that the cleanser is using.

For the most effective germicidal effects, UV-C light needs to be at a wavelength that is slightly over 260 nanometers. If you can’t find an indication of the wavelength, see a number that’s below that, or can’t locate a specification of the exposure time necessary, take it as a red flag.

Moreover, a single high-powered UV-C light, like the ones that we, at Wolven Industries, are using, costs anywhere around $12-$22 as opposed to a regular LED light that can be as cheap as 1 cent. Most if not all UV cleansers utilize more than one UV-C LED, and that’s not the only factor that determines the price. It also needs to cover the costs of the casing, PCB (printed circuit board), manufacturing, packaging, and shipping fees, as well as the salaries for the employees.

So, if you buy a cheap UV cleanser that costs around $20 or $50 and claims to work in seconds, do the math. It’s virtually impossible that you are getting a legitimate product and the effects that you are looking for.

That’s Not What Wolven Industries is Developing

Our UV cleanser is a battery-powered handheld device that is more potent than other commercial devices found on the market while ensuring the operator’s maximum possible safety. Below are some of the key features:

  • Our UV cleaner uses UV-C LEDs from Luminus Devices, a world-leading manufacturer of UV LEDs. These LEDs contribute the most to the price of the device as they truly emit UV-C light with a lifetime of thousands of hours.
  • As mentioned earlier, if not used correctly and carefully, UV-C light can be extremely dangerous whereas incorrect distance and exposure time can lead to inefficient results. Keeping this in mind, we’ve equipped our device with a distance sensor and a green, visible light that projects together with the UV-C light, indicating where the UV light shines. When the green light focuses in a narrow line, the UV-C light focuses as well, indicating the correct distance from the surface to ensure effective disinfection.
  • To ensure proper use, the device has a sensor that notifies its user if they move our UV cleanser too fast or too slow.
  • We’ve also integrated a motion sensor that turns the device off as soon as it detects a sudden movement. This ensures that the user doesn’t shine the UV light at someone, causing damage, or wave it around, making the disinfection process ineffective. Moreover, we also provide free UV protection goggles to increase safety.
  • To enhance the rate at which our UV cleaner destroys bacteria, viruses, and germs, we use a specially shaped reflective sheet behind the bulb that focuses 90% of the emitted UV light on the target surface, increasing the intensity of the radiation.
  • The device is designed to be small. It easily fits in a backpack, a handbag, or a larger pocket. So, you’ll be able to disinfect public bathroom seats, shared keyboards, or any other public surfaces to reduce your chances of catching a disease.

Final Words

So, don’t get tempted by cheap UV cleansers. You get exactly or even less than what you pay for. If you use one the wrong way, you can fall victim to a sense of false security and contract a disease or get sick from using something you thought was disinfected correctly when, in actuality, it wasn’t.

Wolven Industries has built the UV cleanser’s technology with passion and in direct response to the COVID crisis, as a lifestyle item and with a two-year warranty. That’s why it may seem like we’re behind, but we’re not. They are.

Our competitors have no idea how technologically advanced our device is. So, we’re 100% not concerned about the product that they’re selling with vague and misleading advertising.

We would’ve been 100% ready, but considering the circumstances, we hope you understand. We’re 90% ready, though. So, in no time, you’ll be able to pre-order our UV cleanser.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Buying and Using a UV Cleanser
UV leds and lamps
How UV LEDs Differ From Traditional UV Bulbs
What Are UV-LEDs and How Effective Are They?

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