Sanitizing Pacifiers with Ultraviolet Light

Here are two early entries in the niche market of UVC baby gear sanitizers. You can expect to see UVC products as standard fare on baby store shelves in the coming years.

UVC is a type of ultraviolet light known as germicidal light. It has been used for decades in hospitals to sterilize air and is now making its way into consumer products such as a recently reviewed vacuum cleaner. UVC can kill mold, bacteria and even viruses within seconds by disrupting the cellular DNA of microorganisms. It’s just light, no chemicals. Watch a 1.35 minute informational video from WebMD.

Photo of the Pacifier Sanitizer, both the outside of the case and an inside view with two pacifiers in the device.

Pacifier Sanitizer by Redmon is a portable ultraviolet sanitizer that holds up to four pacifiers, bottle nipples or teethers. It runs on 2 AA batteries and reportedly kills germs within 5 minutes of operation—shutting off by itself.

Its dimensions are 5.25" x 2.5" x 4" and will fit in a good sized diaper bag. Buy it for under $30 on Amazon.

Note that the company uses the word "sanitizer" instead of "sterilizer." Although UVC light kills germs, it doesn’t wash them away. It’s still helpful to have a faucet for rinsing off major particles after you have dropped a pacifier on the ground.

Photo of the Ultra-Clean Pacifier in the palm of a hand.

Ultra-Clean Pacifier Sanitizer by UV Solutions is a small, pocket-size UVC unit for a single pacifier. It also runs on 2 AA batteries and kills within 5 seconds (I wonder if that’s a typo — seconds or minutes?). Insert your pacifier until it "clicks" in place, and then wait for a flashing red LED to turn off.

Unfortunately, this product doesn’t appear to be on the retail market yet. A note on the website which is intended for pacifier manufacturers explains: "Designed for specific pacifier shape to promote brand loyalty in replacements."

The compact size is nice, but somehow I think I’ll buy the first device, the one that doesn’t care what brand of pacifier I buy, and also works with bottle nipples. But you know this pocket one will show up on store shelves and be a hit anyway.

Another UVC product on the horizon is the Pipila UV Pacifier Sterilizer. Apparently it was demo’d at the ABC Kids Expo this month, but only garnered one paragraph of coverage on one web site, and I was unable to locate the manufacturer’s website. It will be interesting to see whether Pipila is a branded version of the pocket-size Ultra-Clean Pacifier Sanitizer, or an entirely new product.


4 Responses to “Sanitizing Pacifiers with Ultraviolet Light”

  1. Kaz says:

    So, wait.. I’m not supposed to just pop them in my mouth for a couple seconds to clean them up..?

    September 26th, 2007 at 10:00 am

  2. Chris says:

    I think the FDA has a definition difference between sanitize and sterilize. When you sanitize you are reducing microorganisms to 99.9% where as sterilize is something like 99.999%. I can’t find a good reference for that yet, but I know there is a difference. When you clean at home you can easily sanitize where as sterilization is much more difficult, and usually unnecessary unless you’re operating on patients

    September 26th, 2007 at 10:35 am

  3. Bev says:

    That’s only for the first baby’s pacifier. For the second one, you wipe it off on your pants and plop it back in his mouth.

    September 26th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

  4. Andrea says:

    I’m from the pop it in your own mouth and give it back to them camp, but ended up with some weird sore throat thing because of cleaning the soother with my own mouth (figuring my immune system was stronger than the baby’s). Just a word to the wise – it might be worthwhile to invest in something like this if your baby is a ‘nuk-spitter’, like mine – don’t make yourself (and eventually your baby too!) sick the way I did!

    August 12th, 2008 at 2:55 am

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