A “disinfection” cabinet that zaps coronavirus could be this Christmas’s must-have gadget as manufacturers tap into demand for professional levels of hygiene in the home.
The UV cleaning cabinet, which resembles a microwave and costs £199, is one of a range of anti-coronavirus appliances being put on the market by the electrical brand Beko.
The appliance-maker thinks the metal box, which uses UV light, could become a fixture in British hallways. The device can be used to kill bacteria and viruses on the surfaces of personal effects such as keys, mobile phones, bags and toys.
The Hygiene Shield range, which also includes a fridge with a disinfection drawer and tumble dryer with a UV setting, was rushed into production after a poll of Beko customers in 31 countries found widespread concerns about domestic hygiene. The range is designed, it said, to provide consumers with “peace of mind that their homes are safe and clean”.
Hakan Bulgurlu, the chief executive of Arçelik, the Turkish conglomerate that owns Beko, said the company was fulfilling a “real consumer need” with the products that enabled them to achieve “professional levels of hygiene at home”.
“I think good hygiene practice is going to be one of the lasting impacts of coronavirus,” he said, echoing other major businesses such as Unilever which have pointed to a permanent increase in demand for soap and cleaning products supplies.
The online electrical goods retailer AO.com said there had been a huge increase in searches for terms such as “anti-bac” and “steam clean” on its website.
Sales of steam cleaning appliances have soared this year by 140%, compared with 2019, while demand for washing machines with 90C wash cycles and steam settings is up 87%, AO said.
“Consumers are extremely uncomfortable with coming back into their homes after they’ve been