Buffalo company accuses larger competitor of ‘deceptive marketing’


Buffalo-based CleanSlate UV has developed a machine, approved by the U.S. EPA, that company officials say can kill 99.99 percent of germs on your cell phone or other hand held device or instrument.

A Utah-based competitor claims it can do the same thing, but CleanSlate officials say the Utah company, PhoneSoap LLC is misleading potential customers by offering proof that is unsubstantiated.

CleanSlate was developed as an alternative to sanitary wipes. where a quick disinfectant is a critical factor–in hospitals, food processing facilities, and critical care locations generally turn to disinfect cell phones, and small instruments.

As CleanSlate CEO Taylor Mann points out, constant use of sanitary wipes can cause deterioration, “The chemicals often corrode screens, or damage the materials that phones and cases are made of, or people are simply just not using them.”

With financial incentives provided by New York’s 43North competition, Mann developed the CleanSlate UV, a bread box size machine that uses ultraviolet light to disinfect cell phones and other small devices of even the most drug-resistant pathogens or “superbugs”, in 30 seconds.

PhoneSoap offers a model that is smaller to disinfect cell phones and uses ultraviolet tubes, too, but the Utah company is now marketing a larger model for industrial use, called the PhoneSoap Med+ that the company says can disinfect small medical instruments.

CleanSlate says the testing protocol PhoneSoap has cited to promote its  Med+ is inappropriate, and Mann filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission objecting to PhoneSoap’s “deceptive marketing”. 

“They seem to have taken the same testing standards they used for a consumer product and ported that over to the hospital world, which you cannot do,” and Mann said a hospital grade test for efficiency requires more stringent standards.
News 4 reached out to PhoneSoap LLC officials for comment, without success. The Federal Trade Commission was also contacted to confirm CleanSlate UV’s complaint, but the agency is closed due to the government’s partial shutdown.

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