The UV Sterilizer Pouch is a godsend1 for convenient cleaning. Do you need to sanitize your sex toys? It’s not essential in all cases, but you will want to sanitize for sure if you’re prone to yeast infection or BV, if you’re wanting to use a toy vaginally after it’s been in anyone’s butt, or if you’re using the same toy with multiple people.
I also really like to sanitize new sex toys, to get any unseen grime from the production process off them (especially when they’re mass-produced toys).
Plus, UV sanitizers that disinfect toys can also fit your phone! Important because cell phones are germ magnets, since we handle them so much. One study has reported that the cell phones sampled “carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.”2
This UV Sterilizer Pouch review will touch all on 🤲 what ultraviolet light does, how to work the b-Vibe Sterilizer, and my thoughts on the Puritize UVee sanitizer I’ve used for over 2 years! Do note: UV sanitizing is most efffective with body-safe sex toys (made of certain less-porous materials).
Why Ultraviolet Light Cleaning?
Ultraviolet (UV) light within certain wavelengths kills bacteria and fungi / yeast, plus damages viral RNA so that viruses cannot replicate. For germ-killing, researchers have typically used UV wavelengths between 200 and 280 nm: that range is called “UV-C.”3
The damage that UV-C does to microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi) is “on the microscopic level,” so it’s not visible to the naked eye. Not surprisingly, some UV-C wavelengths also harm human skin (and eyes) as they’re killing germs, so they’re not recommended for sanitizing human hands.4
Instead, you want to sanitize objects: Do NOT look at, or expose your skin to, the UV-C light. So, all UV sanitizer products I’ve tested give similar instructions: “Do not put hands, or other body parts in direct contact with the light while item is being sanitized.” —B-Vibe Sterilizer Pouch User Guide.
How to Use the UV Sterilizer Pouch
b-Vibe’s UV Sterilizer Pouch fits toys up to 9 inches length no problem, so it’ll hold:
- my favorite vibrators except one;
- most of my dildos, up to the Leo Actual Size, a big loooong dong;
- and any anal plug my ass can take. This is such an easy way to sterilize butt plugs!
- Plus, my cell phone (on a different run of the Sterilizer Pouch!).
And, being a hollow pouch, it can be compressed (unlike a big box). So you can travel with it much more easily: It’ll fit into any suitcase or most-any bag.
Here’s how to use the UV Sterilizer Pouch. (Mind step #8, or the UV light won’t turn on!)
- First, wash your toys after use, with soap and water. You want to remove any gunk/lube/fluids.
- Let the toy air-dry, or blot it with a lint-free cloth.
- Open up the drawstring closure on the UV Sterilizer Pouch.
- Insert the toy inside. Pull the drawstring back together, tight.
- The UV Sterilizer Pouch has a zippered pocket on one side, opposite the “b” logo. Unzip it to reveal the cord.
- Remove the cord from the pocket and plug the USB side into an adapter or a USB computer port.
- The “b” logo will light up.
- PRESS the b logo twice in a row, quickly. (A double-tap.)
- It’ll start sanitizing. A cycle lasts 3 minutes, until the b light stops flashing.
- Do not put your hands inside till it’s finished.
- If desired, flip the sex toy (or phone, etc.) over, turning it upside-down versus how it was before; and press b twice again to get more sanitizing action.
Sterilizer Pouch Method of Action
The UV Sterilizer Pouch has 5 UV-C LED lights positioned at the bottom of an 11-inch bag. There is a plastic semi-circle arching over the UV-C LEDs, so they won’t be directly covered.
Inside, it’s lined with a reflective coating, to make the UV light from the bottom bounce off the sides, spreading it over a larger surface area. So it’ll reach more of your toy. Unless, of course, your toy’s base is wide and positioned right over all the lights, so the UV can’t reflect.
For toys (dildos, mainly) with wide bottoms and suction cup bases, here’s the trick: The base should be at the top of the pouch, near the drawstring. Not over the bottom of the pouch, where the UV lights are positioned. See how the Leo SuperSoft silicone’s 2.5 inch max. diameter (by 9 inch total length) should go in:
Vs. the “Puritize” Uvee Light Box
The Puritize Uvee Box is like a tank compared to my b-Vibe Sterilizer Pouch. I’m not putting it in any luggage; but, with its longer UV-C bulbs, I’m confident that it’s getting all the crevices in my toys. So I don’t feel the need to run it for a several cycles in a row like with the Sterilizer Pouch. If I had an ongoing infection currently, I would feel safer relying on the Puritize UVee’s bigger bulbs to kill germs.
The Puritize UVee ($199.99) is unfortunately more than twice as expensive as the Sterilizer Pouch ($85.00).
Other pluses, besides that UVee’s (1) got bigger UV-C bulbs, and (2) takes longer toys (will fit my full-sized wand vibrators!): (3) It has 3 USB ports inside. This is surprisingly handy lately, since my kids keep “borrowing” my USB adapters!!! Where did they all go?! The Puritize UVee light box will charge toys and other electronics as long as it’s plugged into a wall outlet: the UV light does not need to be running for charging to continue.
UVee’s maker also offers slightly more specific statistics on the exact percentage kill-rate6 that the Puritize UVee box effects on multiple microbes. It’s 99.9% flat for Candida albicans (the common cause of vaginal yeast infections), E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus (=staph, one strain of which is MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that’s a serious concern in open wounds); and over 99.99% for Influenza A and SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that becomes COVID). One of UVee’s pages shows test results on how the UVee box acts on SARS-CoV-2; this UV light box’s efficacy is similar to the virus being killed by heat.
That’s great news for vibrating toys, since heat’s not an option: Boiling and baking them will destroy the toy—and maybe parts of your kitchen too!
Ultraviolet Light Germicidal Limitations
Manufacturers of UV light sanitizers typically promise, “Kills over 99.9% of bacteria.” With UVee’s stats above, we see that for some microbes, it’ll destroy more than 99.999% of them: very close to a total kill rate.
So what’s with the remaining fraction of a %? One reason why: select strains of bacteria are resistant to UV-C’s germicidal effect: ones that have produced endospores, a kind of protective structure that allows the bacterial DNA to lie dormant inside the body, and then reactivate itself later. Luckily, “Relatively few species of bacteria produce endospores.”
And happily too, the main types of bacteria that cause vaginal infection (Gardnerella vaginalis and Prevotella) do not produce UV-resistant endospores.
But bacteria that do form this resistant structure include Clostridium difficile, which infects the colon. So, if you use deep anal toys—that pass the “second sphincter” into the colon—and you’re at greater risk of C. difficile infection (for example, from extended use of certain antibiotics, like Augmentin), then you’ll want another sanitization method. The cheapest way is a 10% bleach solution soak for at least 10 minutes. (A great option as long as your toy is waterproof!) Or, you can autoclave a toy to kill any resistant bacteria: that requires a more expensive, specialized machine that does sterilize.
Recap & Ranking
I’m so excited about cleaning solutions that kill more germs, more easily than dealing with harsher disinfectants (like bleach or isopropyl alcohol). I know some folks do want to disinfect their toys better, but are afraid about using those harsh agents because they believe they won’t be able to fully wash them off the toy afterward.
Not so with UV light: Once the bulb is turned off, the UV is gone, gone, gone. UV-C is the most effective germicidal route, so it’s brilliant that b-Vibe has inserted UV-C LEDs in their very-portable toy pouch, lined with reflective coating to bounce all that UV around when this toy bag is turned on! Or, I know the Puritize UVee is an even more heavy-duty solution, with its bigger size and bulbs.
Save 10% ⬆️ with discount code FELICITY during checkout!
- For lack of a better word, lols.
- University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, “Why your cellphone has more germs than a toilet,” News page, published September 15, 2012.
- There’s a lot of UV-C research now especially in the wake of the pandemic, dealing with the potential benefit of ultraviolet-C’s germicidal effects in situations like sanitizing N95 masks, phones of healthcare workers, and hospital air, etc.; a debate between the formerly prevalent 254nm wavelength vs. new lower (but still UV-C) wavelength options; and also potential hazards, like folks exposing their eyes to UV-C lamps and feeling the burn.
- Indeed, in 2021, the US FDA singled out one handheld UV wand that folks were supposed to hold while sanitizing surfaces, calling this usage “a defect.”
- And besides lubricant: But I count lube as an essential, not an extra.
- OK, that’s not a technical term, but it sure sounds cool