• drwalker4

UVC Box... Sanitizing the Essentials!

Updated: Jul 2


During COVID-19 we want to encourage people to live safely and responsibly this means not being hyper about COVID-19 but doing practical easy things to maintain sterilization and reduce exposure. I have been a longtime advocate of UVC Wands for sterilization and I have mostly done this with Consigning goods where I sell and buy consigned goods for my family and children.

I am the daughter of a Laboratory Scientist/Microbiologist and hearing through the years about germs and all they do has informed my cleaning and sterilizing choices. My mother is such a trend setter in this department and had a wand long before COVID-19 made it cool and she would UV Pillows, purses and Consignment goods we would buy. When I grew up, I got a wand also and have followed her advice.

Today I am sharing with you an “How To” written for me by a friend who is so good at doing complete research as well as DIY projects. She will show you how she affordably made a UVC box for her home and one for our office. We are able to place items like phones, wallets, fabric masks and other items that need sanitizing regularly. We love our box and use it daily in our office!

How to Make a UVC Sterilizing Box

By Kc Rooney

Background: UVC is a form of UV light that has been shown to effectively kill viruses and germs on surfaces. It is used in settings like hospitals and nail salons to sterilize equipment. Now with the current Covid-19 epidemic, it is being used by medical facilities to sterilize face masks. There are many pre-made options available online but they are often expensive and hard to get your hands on. This guide will show you 2 different options to make your own UVC box for around $40.

Option 1

Make Your Own Box



In this option, you use the insulation foam sheet to create your own box. You can buy an 8’x5’foot sheet of insulation foam from Home Depot for $8. It comes with a foil-lined side and enables you to make multiple boxes and to customize the size of your boxes. All supplies are easy to find. Some you may have around your home like tape, scissors, pen, measuring tape. Others are common items you can get online or at most hardware stores like foil tape also called duct tape, duck tape, insulation foam, timer plug, contact strips. The UVC light used here is one purchased from eBay for $15. But this same product as also available on Amazon and other sites.




Supplies



-foil tape

-duct tape

-sewing pins (optional)

-hot glue gun (optional)

-razor blade or knife

-command strips (optional)

-command hooks (optional)

-pen/marker

-scissors

-ruler/measuring tape

-timer or plug timer (optional)

-UVC wand or light strip

-insulation foam with foil backing

-magnets (optional)



Construction


1. Measure and cut the foil insulation to size. You will need 2 larger pieces for top and bottom,2 longer for front and back sides, and 2 short side pieces for sides. Use a ruler/measuring, pen, and a razor blade or straight-edged knife to cut.

2. Attach all 4 sides to the bottom piece. You have a few options here. I use sewing pins on the outside edges to hold the pieces in place then tape over with duck tape to hold the pins in and keep a box together. You can also hot glue the pieces together. Or you can just tape the seams together. I would recommend taping even if you use pins or glue to ensure everything stays together.

3. Place the top on box and tape inside and outside the bottom edge to box forming a tape hinge. (see images)

4. Use foil tape to tape inside seams/corners and unfinished edges. (see images)

5. Measure and cut a slot or hole to fit the UVC wand cord through on the back of the box. (see images)

6. Place UV wanted through slot and mark on the lid where you plan on attaching it.

7..Place contact strips or clips to attach want to lid (see images).

8.Optional Steps: Cover the box with tape for decoration and stability (see images) & Add command hooks to inside to enable you to hook face mask straps while cleaning (see images).

9. Plug and test your box. You don’t want to be able to see any light when the box in use. So depending on how well your box closes you may need to add some magnets to the front edge of the box and box top to create a magnetic seal.

10. All done. To use place items in the box. Turn it on and set a timer for around 5min. When done turn light off and flip items and repeat.



Option 2

Modifying a Box


This option uses a ready-made box like the one above. This is a bit quicker and requires less work. Also, it allows you to have a decorated box that can match and blend in with your decor.




Supplies


-foil tape

-duct tape

-sewing pins (optional)

-razor blade or knife

-command strips

-command hooks (optional)

-pen/marker

-scissors

-ruler/measuring tape

-timer or plug timer (optional)

-UVC wand or UVC light strip

-box

-aluminum foil/mylar/space blanket

Construction


1. Measure the box and cut the aluminum foil insulation to size. You will need 2 larger pieces for top and bottom,2 longer for front and back sides, and 2 short side pieces for sides. Use a ruler/measuring, pen, and scissors to cut to size.

2. Attach the foil to the inside of the box using either command strips, double sticky tape, or folded over pieces of tape.

3. Use foil tape on corners inside the box to make sure there are no seams and join edges of foil.

4. Measure and cut a slot or hole to fit UVC cord through on the back of the box. (see images)

5. Place UV wanted through slot and mark on the lid where you plan on attaching it.

6. Place contact strips or clips to attach want to lid (see images).

7. Optional Step: Add command hooks to inside to enable you to hook face mask straps while cleaning (see images).

8. Plug and test your box.

9. All done. To use place items in the box. Turn it on and set a timer for around 5min. When done turn light off and flip items and repeat.

Safety

UVC light is not safe for use on skin. Do not use the UV wand on your skin or place your hand in the box while it is on. UVC lights can cause eye damage or blindness if looked at directly (like looking directly at the sun).

Additional Steps

I have mine hooked up to a smart plug that is linked to my Amazon Echo. I set up a routine called CLEAN. When I say Alexa -CLEAN, it turns on the smart plug and thus the UVC light. It also plays a sound so I know it has been activated. After 5 minutes, it shuts off the light and plays another sound letting me know it is safe to open the box.

Instructions to program Alexa:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

  2. Select Routines.

  3. Click the plus or add button.

  4. Enter routine name i.e. CLEAN.

  5. Select when it happens, pick voice and enter the command you want to use to turn on your box. ( I use- Alexa- clean).

  6. Then add action, go to sounds, and pick the ON sound.

  7. Select add action, smart home, all devices, find your smart plug in the list and select it, then select power and ON.

  8. Then add action, select wait, and set how long you want to sanitize ( I do 5 minutes).

  9. Select add action, smart home, all devices, find your smart plug in the list and select it, then select power and OFF.

  10. 10.Then add action, go to sounds, and pick your DONE sound.

  11. 11.Select which device you want to the sound to come from.

  12. 12.Save.

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