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Microbe Smackdown: Germ Busters, Sanitizers & Purifiers

Posted: February 11, 2020
Microbe Smackdown: Germ Busters, Sanitizers & Purifiers

They say the best way to fight the coronavirus is to wash your hands. But what fun is that? Germ busting via hand-washing requires no fancy gadgets. No special sanitizers. No multi-filtered medical-grade purifiers revered by hospitals and germophobes everywhere for their ability to suck 99.9997% of offending germs and particulates into their inescapable web of disinfection.

Washing your hands, simple soap and water, pssshhh, that's for amateurs. We're here for a professional-level demonstration. A spectacle of bacteria and virus annihilation. We're here for Microbe Smackdown 2020!

AirTamer Travel Air Purifier

AirTamer Travel Air Purifier
AirTamer Travel Air Purifier

Typically, I'm all too happy to touch things in public places and then put my fingers in my mouth, but the airplane is where I draw the line. Confined space, large numbers of people and, ugh, their children, recycled air...even though they look like hypochondriac tool bags, I can't really blame those who wear surgical masks and douse their immediate surroundings in Purell when they fly. I'm too lazy to do the anti-bacterial gel wipedown, and my face is far too dashing to cover with something that looks like a diaphragm, but I could definitely go for an AirTamer.

The travel-sized AirTamer won't kill the cooties on tray tables and seat backs, but its electrostatic purification powers will remove the contaminants from up to 439 cubit feet of air per hour. Without the assistance of a filter and without making any noise. Which is more than I can say for the chronic snorer with the bag of Popeye's fried chicken who inevitably ends up in the seat next to me.

$149.99 ➠ Amazon

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

The original LifeStraw was a Time Magazine Invention of the Year Winner. LifeStraw Steel is the company's "evolved" version, adding a 2-stage filtration system and more durable steel body to a 9" personal water filter that still removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria from questionable sources as you slurp it.

A single LifeStraw Steel can filter up to 1,000 liters of water into potable refreshment without the use of chemicals, batteries, or even moving parts.

$49.99 ➠ Amazon

Gryp Keychain

Gryp Keychain

Germophobes and Purell addicts, get a Gryp. Bacteria and micro-organisms are breeding, spreading, festering everywhere. You can't escape them! But with a solid Gryp on this reality, you can relax, go out into the world prepared and calm. And armed with the little silicone keychain that's going to protect you from them all.

Flexible, protective Gryps are slices of UV-coated, dust- and germ-resistant silicone you can roll and latch into a cone, and slip over your fingers when you have to touch something dirty and gross. Like public bathroom toilet and door handles. And the straps on buses and subways. And the credit card machines and their plastic pens at store checkouts. And ATMs. And elevator buttons. And anything on an airplane.

$12 for a 4-Pack ➠ Amazon

Nano-b Anti-Bacterial Toothbrushes

Nano-b Anti-Bacterial Toothbrushes
Nano-b Anti-Bacterial Toothbrushes

After an unfortunate experiment with foil wrapping paper I was told I cannot pull off gold teeth. However, having used a Nano-b for about a week now, I am pretty certain I can pull off a gold toothbrush. Or rather, the toothbrush can pull off me.

Nano-b Charcoal & Gold (or Silver) Toothbrush bristles have been infused with real charcoal and gold dust, not just because that sounds cool, but also because bamboo charcoal pull toxins and impurities from the surface of your teeth as you brush, and gold nano-particles kill bacteria in your mouth, as well as on the toothbrush itself. That means Nano-b will help prevent bacterial growth when your duck is a sitting brush - in the bathroom, in hotels, in transit during travels - as well as wipe out the culprits of bad breath as it swims around your tongue and gums.

$13.95 ➠ Amazon

PhoneSoap - Smartphone Sanitizer & Charger

PhoneSoap - Smartphone Sanitizer & Charger

Phones are dirty. And that factoid is based solely on the physical devices, never mind what people use them for. Every cellphone on the block is rife with armies of bacteria and viruses, ranging from the flu, staph, E. Coli, MRSA, and, given our apparent love of yakking while in the head, fecal matter. Wesley LaPorte and Dan Barnes, friends and mutual microbial abhorrers, heard this news, and immediately decided something had to be done about our phones' status as luxury accommodations for stuff that makes you want to vomit when viewed under a microscope. Their result, PhoneSoap, harnesses the sanitizing power of UV-C light to annihilate germs, and the electrical power of electricity to juice up batteries, simultaneously cleaning and charging smartphones.

$79.95 to $119.95 ➠ Amazon

Airmega Smart Air Purifier

Airmega Smart Air Purifier
Airmega Smart Air Purifier

"Alexa! Purify my air!" The Airmega is a smart air purifier, app-enabled and compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home virtual assistants. In your home or office, the 4-legged cabinet filters out 99.97% of particulate matter from the air you'd presumably prefer to breathe particulate matter-free. Then on its accompanying iOS / Android mobile app, the Airmega sends progress reports and air quality readings you can monitor and manage from anywhere.

$597.49 to $702.49 ➠ Amazon

Touchless Toilet Flush Kit

Touchless Toilet Flush Kit
Touchless Toilet Flush Kit

I'm not a germophobe, but I am incredibly lazy. And a kit that retrofits my standard toilet with a touchless, auto-flush mechanism means no more bending over! No more holding the handle down! No more jiggling it to make sure the water stops running under penalty of wife wrath!

Techo's Touchless Toilet Flush Kit will turn almost any toilet into the kind that keeps your hands clean and your back in the full upright and locked position. You will have to wave your hand over a sensor to activate the flush, but that's kind of like using a magic wand, and will give you the opportunity to yell banishment proclamations at your pee and poo, so it's OK.

$49.99 ➠ Amazon

StinkBOSS Shoe & Gear Deodorizer

StinkBOSS Shoe & Gear Deodorizer

The worst thing I've ever smelled in my life is a tie between some fish I accidentally left in the trash before going on vacation and the inside of a hockey glove. I imagine all used hockey gear, and football gear for that matter, reeks pretty bad, but when I used to visit my cousins in Minnesota, the inside of a hockey glove is what one would shove in my face while the other pinned me down, so that's what establishes my standard. StinkBOSS says its deodorizing incubator can take hockey gloves, or any shoes, pads, hats, or other gear whose stench could make you pass out, swirl some ozone all around them, and hand them back to you smelling sweet as pie. Or at least neutralized.

StinkBOSS doesn't mask or absorb odors, it circulates ozone, an oxidant that kills the bacteria causing them. Other products take a similar approach, but StinkBOSS says its machine is superior due to a fully enclosed design that cleans gear inside and out, and the slightly elevated heat levels (70 to 75 degrees F) it generates while ozoning.

$119.95 ➠ Amazon

CrazyCap UV Water Bottle Purifier

CrazyCap UV Water Bottle Purifier

Doesn't sound so crazy to me to want clean drinking water. But maybe the CrazyCap, a UV water purifier that screws right on top of your water bottle, takes its name from the anticipated public response to hearing this little gadget can achieve 99.9996% sterilization of bacteria- and virus-contaminated water in seconds: "That's crazy! I'm Brian Fellow!"

The CrazyCap's built-in UV light operates just like the technology hospitals use to sanitize their operating rooms does. It is made to fight and kill viruses and bacteria such as E-Coli and salmonella using deep UV spectrum in the range of 278nm. It sterilizes both the water, and the water bottle itself, but does not remove particulate matter and/or chemicals (e.g., fluoride and chlorine) from the water.

$69.95 ➠ Amazon

PlaneAire Travel Mist - Purifying Disinfecting Spray

PlaneAire Travel Mist - Purifying Disinfecting Spray

Unlike standard disinfecting sprays and antibacterial gels, PlaneAire contains no chemicals, alcohol, or bleach in their cocktail of germ-slaying ingredients, opting instead for 100% natural, organic essential oils. Their proprietary blend includes 6 of them, which PlaineAire says, in addition to eliminating over 99.99% of surface bacteria, will leave behind "a soothing, herbal scent." Hopefully one soothing enough to send you to Sandman Land for the entirety of your 9-hour flight.

$14.99 ➠ Amazon

Lifesaver Jerrycan Water Filter

Lifesaver Jerrycan Water Filter
Lifesaver Jerrycan Water Filter

The Lifesaver Filtering Jerrycan welcomes nature's cesspools - up to 5 gallons of them at a time, and up to 5,300 gallons over the life of the internal filter. The classic, vehicle-friendly jerrycan container is able to purify locally sourced water from lakes and rivers into potable refreshment, removing 99.9+% of viruses, bacteria, cysts, parasites, and fungi on contact, without the help - and imbued taste - of chemicals.

Lifesaver Jerrycans fill and filter almost simultaneously, and include a pump for easy distribution of water into smaller bottles, cups, and open mouths. You can also connect a hose to the tap for cleaning off your gear and yourself.

$299.99 ➠ Amazon
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