PhoneSoap 3 review: Kills the germs, leaves the smudges


You probably have a stack of microfiber cloths, you might even have special phone cleaning chemicals. We're always trying to keep our phones clean by getting rid of fingerprints, cleaning the dust out of the speaker holes, and otherwise making our phones look like new. But, there's something making our phones dirty that we can't see ... germs.

UV light kills germs and is fairly successful at killing most germs on a device if done correctly.

PhoneSoap is the germ killer for your phone (and anything else that'll fit inside the box). You can keep wiping off fingerprints and cleaning out speaker holes, but PhoneSoap will take care of the stuff you can't see.

The Good

  • Kills germs on anything that'll fit (even cases)
  • Includes two charging ports
  • Comes with a microfiber pad
  • Incredibly easy setup

The Bad

  • You can't tell if the germs are gone

How does it work?

PhoneSoap: The features



I'm no science major, but I do know that UV light kills most household germs, like E. Coli, Salmonella, and Staph, as well as the common cold and the Flu.

The PhoneSoap is a box big enough to fit pretty much any current-model phone and it's designed on the inside to reflect the UV light all around whatever's in the box so it can better kill germs everywhere, not just on the top and bottom.

All you have to do is plug it in and then set your phone inside. Close the lid and it starts cleaning.

After 10 minutes, the light goes off and your phone is (supposedly) clean of all germs. It's that simple.

Version 3 of PhoneSoap includes two ports on the outside, a USB-A port and a USB-C port, so you can also charge your device while it cleans (or just use it as a charger whether you're cleaning a phone or not).


PhoneSoap: What I like


PhoneSoap 3 with objects inside (Image credit: iMore)

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It's incredibly easy to set up and use. In fact, it didn't come with much instructions other than how to plug in the power cord.

You just put your phone in the box and walk away for 10 minutes.

The fact that it comes with two charging ports is an added bonus. If, for example, you wanted to clean your phone before bed every night, you could pop it into the PhoneSoap box and connect your charging cable to the box (there's a nice little spot for your cable to go through so it doesn't disrupt the box's cleaning seal). You could then leave your phone to charge overnight. When you wake up in the morning, your phone is clean, charged, and ready to go.

Because a germ-free phone doesn't necessarily look like a clean phone, there's a nice little microfiber cleaning pad included in the box. After you've cleaned your phone, wipe away the smudges left behind so it looks as clean as it is.

Since it's just a box that produces ultraviolet light, anything that will fit in the box will get the germ-killing treatment — AirPods (not in the case), your phone's case. jewlery, pens — if it fits within the box, it can be hit with UV lighting, thus killing germs.

Note: The inner casing of the box is significantly smaller than the exterior. The item you put in the box must measure less than about 3/4" deep X 6 3/4" long X 3 3/4" wide.

I'm not sure how effective UV lighting is on killing germs on porous material, like cloth, but I do know that UV light toothbrush cleaners are pretty popular, so it's possible that PhoneSoap could successfully kill germs on your various Apple Watch bands, too.


PhoneSoap: What I don't like



It's not the fault of the company or the product, but I don't like that I can't tell whether the job is done or not. I just have to trust the company. I did some research before testing PhoneSoap to determine, first, how UV light works to kill germs and second, whether PhoneSoap's claims could be corroborated. The latter was a bit harder to determine because most of the information I found online relating specifically to PhoneSoap seemed to be marketing material.

I did watch two TV show segments that appear to be done unbiased in labs, one from The Discovery Channel, and another from a local news show in Delaware.

These lab tests seem to be conducted in controlled environments with real scientists. But, again, you're really just putting your trust in the claim that PhoneSoap works.

Bottom line


If you're at all concerned with germs on your phone, you should absolutely consider getting PhoneSoap. It's easy to set up, can clean a variety of different products (not just phones), and has two charging ports so you can keep your phone charged while it's cleaning.

Though there is no way to tell whether the PhoneSoap is actually doing its job, from the information I gathered in my research, it appears that it lives up to its claim that it kills more than 99% of germs.

$80 at Amazon

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).