Missoula company makes UV light machine to sanitize everyday essentials, wants machine in schools

Technology from a Montana-based company uses UV lights to kill COVID-19 germs on everyday essentials like a persons phone, wallet bag. The company wants their machine in all schools across the state. 

Missoula-based company Kart Kleen Technologies started years ago when the founder, Jason Gardiner, questioned how clean shopping carts at grocery store are. 

Friday morning, Kart Kleen Tech gave a test run of the "Freq Kleen-e" mobile machine at Hellgate Elementary to show Sen. Steve Daines the science behind how easy the company said it is. 

According to the company, "we’ve redesigned the Kart Kleen unit to have much greater intensity of UVC exposure, while retaining its highly effective liquid disinfection and sterile air drying capabilities."

The machine essentially uses UV lights to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs from items like a student's backpack, books, laptops, among others. It doesn't use chemicals like sanitizing wipes do. 

"It actually does no damage your products that you put through there at all," Gardiner said. "There's no chemicals."

The majority of the products are manufactured in Belgrade. 

Gardiner wants to expand this machine to schools across Montana. 

Hellgate School District Superintendent Doug Reisig said after Friday's demonstration, he's going to bring up buying the machine to the school board. 

"It adds another layer of safety, security and protection for our kids and our faculty during this COVID-19 experience," Reisig said. 

One machine costs around $40,000. Gardiner said he's hoping CARES act money and bipartisan funding can come through to help get Freq Kleen-e in schools. 

"I just has so many positives for [Hellgate Schools], and the big negative is cost," Reisig said.