Where do you store your toothbrush? Mine is often stored in an old, toothpaste-stained salsa jar (label removed) next to a mug of hydrogen peroxide, where I leave my retainer to soak. These are precariously placed in the top-left corner of my pedestal sink, a decidedly bad place to store anything of importance.
But I keep my toothbrush on the farthest left ledge of the tiny sink because I’m driven by fear — fear of poop particles and all other manner of germ accumulation that happens in the only bathroom of a 450-square-foot apartment. If you’re as anxious as I am about hygiene, the Kickstarter for Puretta might ease your concerns.
Puretta is a wall attachment that is a toothbrush holder and a toothpaste and floss dispenser, and it claims to sterilize toothbrushes with UV light. It also has a solar panel to charge — so hopefully your bathroom gets a lot of light.
The sterilization is performed with a 253.7 nm UV light (also known as a “germicidal light”). These lights can be commonly found in laboratories as part of a water sterilization sequence, according to Novus Light Technologies Today. They work to inactivate the DNA of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, and the lamps work most effectively from light ranges 250 nm to 280 nm.
In June 2015, the American Society for Microbiology released a study finding that at least 60 percent of toothbrushes from participants in communal bathrooms were contaminated with fecal coliforms. Yum. To make the shitcake sweeter, there’s an 80 percent likelihood that the fecal coliforms did not belong to the toothbrush owner.
I haven’t tested Puretta, but if it does come equipped with a properly functioning 253.7 nm UV light, it should actually sterilize the toothbrushes, which is all I give a crap about. The light is supposed to last for five years and is replaceable, although some bathrooms — like my dingy one — may be far too dark to charge the solar-powered Puretta.
The campaign launched on August 15th, is already 300 percent funded at time of writing, and almost all discounted backing perks have been claimed. Puretta expects to ship in October 2017, but did not specify retail pricing. Judging from early bird pledges, you can expect it to hit shelves for around $60 to $75, if the company delivers. Puretta appears to be the first product from Puretta Technology, which doesn’t have any history of shipping a product, so take your usual precautions before backing the project.