COVID-19 UV-C Sterilizer Box

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Introduction: COVID-19 UV-C Sterilizer Box

COVID-19 is rapidly spreading. Millions are on lock down around the world. And everywhere there is a shortage of personal protective gear. Therefore single-use equipment needs to be sterilized and reused. That is not how it should be, but it is your best chance to protect yourself until production is stepped up. The European Union recommends the use of UV-C light for sterilization. For a mere 30 bucks you can build a UV-C sterilizer yourself to alter protective gear and daily needs e.g. smartphones, keys, toothbrushes and more.

Caution: UV-C light causes skin cancer! Always close the lid of your box before you turn on the UV-C light. For more information see the European commision's factsheet.

Supplies

- Sealable opaque Box with open handles

- low power UV-C lamp (no ballast needed)

- E27 bulb socket with power switch

- G23/24 to E27 bulb adapter

- Cardboard

- Scissors

- Adhesive tape

Step 1: Things You Need

- Sealable opaque Box with open handles

- low power UV-C lamp (no ballast needed)

- E27 bulb socket with power switch

- G23/24 to E27 bulb adapter

- Cardboard

- Scissors

- Adhesive tape

- Tin foil

Please note: electrical standards may vary!

Step 2: Screw in the G23/24 to E27 Bulb Adapter

Easy-peasy!

Step 3: Insert the UV-C Lamp

Easy peasy too. However before you continue I suggest you test the UV-C lamp first, because once the lid is closed, you will not be able to tell. This is important. If the UV-C lamp is not working, you might mistake that the things you put inside the box are sterilized, even if this is not the case.

Caution: UV-C light causes skin cancer! Cover your skin and wear sunglasses. Turn on the light and immediately turn it off if it is working.

Step 4: Cover the Handles

Use the cardboard and adhesive tape to cover the open handles. This is important! Make sure that no UV-C light can emit from the box.

Step 5: Put a Reminder on the Lid

UV-C light can cause skin cancer. It is a good idea to put a little reminder on the lid. I urge you to take this serious!

Step 6: Cover the Inside With Tin Foil

Nothing more to say here, except thank you @iminthebathroom for the hint. With tin foil you can make this sterilizer box even better and more effective. Now it looks like a real oven. Remember to cover the lid as well!

Step 7: Raise Objects Inside

To help scatter the UV-C rays under the item you want to sterilize, it is best to raise those items several inches from the bottom. Use a cookie rack or an IKEA Brunsta Hemma lampshade. Whatever is at hand. Thank you for the kind suggestion @iminthebathroom.

Step 8: Start Sterilizing

Now you can sterilize some of your protective gear and daily needs. Do this on a daily basis. Put all of it inside the box and turn on the light for at least 10 minutes, but remember to always close the lid. Be cautious and stay healthy! For more information on the effects of UV-C light on COVID-19 see

Please note: If you like this DIY tutorial spread the word and help others to protect themselves too. #FlattenTheCurve

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    17 Comments

    0
    genxm1973
    genxm1973

    11 months ago

    Can we use it sterilising food items , vegetables ?

    2
    bing
    bing

    1 year ago on Step 4

    Use translucent silicone to seal the wire hole on the box, that way you have a way to see the light is on inside the box. If you worry about leaking UV, turn the box so the peephole faces the wall.

    0
    Erik_Frank
    Erik_Frank

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey Bing, that's a great idea. It would make things a lot easier. To see if the light was on I dressed like a mummy. :D Thanks for the tip!

    1
    NicolasW18
    NicolasW18

    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    Hi thanks for sharing your project - really helpfull ! I am just conerned about the voltage : I find only 60V bulbs, is it ok to work on 230V ? Not really sure here. Or your bulb is 230V input ? if so could you tell me the ref ?

    thx

    0
    NicolasW18
    NicolasW18

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ok I get it now, the transformer is inside the adaptor :) Thx and stay healthy !

    0
    Erik_Frank
    Erik_Frank

    Reply 1 year ago

    Great to see how everyone is working together to get answers to the questions I could not answer. I hope you all are safe and healthy. Let's keep it that way! Greetings from Bochum, Germany.

    0
    DGF
    DGF

    Reply 1 year ago

    This is great! [And very timely given all the C-19 concerns!]

    Sorry - I'm still a bit confused! The Philips datasheet states that this is a 46v bulb: Does the adapter do anything other than physically convert the G23 bulb to an E27 fitting? Does the adapter you used have any form of ballast or transformer in? It obviously works, but it seems like you're running a 46v bulb on 220v. Could you please share a little more detail? Thx!!

    0
    DGF
    DGF

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Erik!

    Thanks for the AMZN link - coincidentally it looks like someone asked the same question today about the adapter containing a step-down transformer - apparently yes it does!

    Here's the datasheet for the Philips bulb: https://www.assets.signify.com/is/content/PhilipsLighting/fp927901104007-pss-global

    I just ordered a self-ballasted 110v bulb to make my own box - thanks for being the inspiration!

    You too stay safe.

    Dave

    0
    NicolasW18
    NicolasW18

    Reply 1 year ago

    was me :)

    0
    DGF
    DGF

    Reply 1 year ago

    Lol - I figured it was too much of a coincidence to not be connected to this project!

    0
    Josh_Blackburn
    Josh_Blackburn

    1 year ago

    Cool idea, but be careful, strong UV light will produce a substantial amount of ozone, which also helps sterilize stuff, but is toxic to breath in. I would suggest opening the box outside after use. Another warning, UV-C does kill the virus, but it is not 100% effective, there's still a fair chance that contaminated objects will be contaminated after zapping it in this box. That's especially true if the object has folds or other places where the light won't reach, such as the folds in those masks. DIY sterilization should only be viewed as a last resort if you absolutely have to reuse a contaminated object.
    However, once this whole mess is over, this would be a great way to cure resins, finish SLA 3D prints, or supercharge glow-in-the-dark toys!

    0
    Erik_Frank
    Erik_Frank

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Josh,
    that is absolutely true: sterilization of single use equipment is a last resort. And the folds in these masks are really a problem. That is why I recommend turning and sterilizing the items multiple times before you reuse them. There are a lot of people here in Europe that only have one or two masks. And these people are the lucky ones. I read yesterday that some doctors even recommend diy masks made from kitchen paper. The lamp I use is made for medical grade sterilization. It is probably the best you can get on Amazon. In regard to the production of ozone: it is emitted by 185 nm UV-C light. The lamp I suggested has a 185 nm filter, so no ozone is produced. However this is not guaranteed if you use an older lamp. Stay healthy everyone and thank you for your feedback!

    1
    iminthebathroom
    iminthebathroom

    1 year ago

    I made one of these several years back. Increase the efficiency by simply lining the containers sidewalls and floor with crinkled aluminum foil and support items inside with a cookie rack raised several inches from the bottom. This will help scatter the rays under the item somewhat.

    0
    Erik_Frank
    Erik_Frank

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your suggestion. I just added my instructable!