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Buy This, Not That: Disgusted by germy surfaces? I bring this clever $17 ‘touch tool’ everywhere to avoid touching gross things


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From parking meters to ATMs, public doors to credit card machines and even retail touchpads and drink dispensers — my hands and fingers have the potential to encounter a ton of foul germs. I wasn’t into that before COVID-19, and I’m certainly not now. Frankly, if you want to know just how germy surfaces in stores, restaurants and other spots are, read this study. Or don’t, it might give you nightmares. Safe to say, you very well might encounter things like fecal matter, sweat, urine and more — and that’s not even counting COVID germs lurking on surfaces. 

That’s why I bought the CleanKey touch tool, which is now on sale for $17 with code MARKET15, during Black Friday last year. It’s design means you don’t have to touch most surfaces (you use the tool to touch them) and it’s made of copper, which has antimicrobial properties. (Read about how effective copper is at killing viruses and bacteria in this study, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.) Because it’s attached to my keychain at all times, CleanKey is always handy, which makes pushing buttons, pulling levers, opening doors and virtually any other direct contact with foreign objects a thing of the past. 

BUY NOW: CleanKey is now $17 with code MARKET15

What I love about CleanKey:

  • Experts say it can be effective: When TODAY spoke to microbiologist and host of the “Super Awesome Science Show” Jason Tetro about CleanKey, he concluded: “If a person is concerned about touching surfaces, this probably will make for a decent intervention.”
  • It’s easy to carry everywhere so I don’t have to touch most germy surfaces.
  • It’s simple to clean with a disinfectant wipe. (Note that you will need to wipe this tool down after each use.)
  • It easily attaches to a keychain with an accompanying carabiner.
  • It looks like an expensive miniature metal modern sculpture attached to your keys.

Other things to know about CleanKey:

Is CleanKey perfect? Nope: It won’t instantly kill germs and viruses, and there are still some things you’ll have to touch, like certain screens that don’t respond to metal and door handles that require twisting. Disposable plastic gloves can do a better job of keeping things clean, but those are bad for the environment and unsightly, so they aren’t my choice.

Bottom line:

I love my CleanKey and so do reviewers: Over 1,000 Amazon reviewers give CleanKey a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. If you’re really worried about germs, this isn’t a perfect solution, but it is convenient and can be effective if used right. While you won’t want to give up using hand sanitizer, you just might need a bit less of it.

BUY NOW: CleanKey is now $17 with code MARKET15

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