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Attention Germophobes

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Ah, were but Howard Hughes still alive. He would love this device.

When you take a can of soda from the shelf of your local convenience or grocery store or even from your home or work fridge, do you immediately open it and drink? Do you tap it a couple times to disperse the carbonation? Or do you run a finger or napkin along the top to collect any of the dirt, visible and invisible, before you put your lips on the can?

Do you wonder about what accumulated dirt and unseen things may be lurking on the top and around the rim of your soda can? Do you get creeped out thinking such things? Well, maybe the Cole Cleaner is for you.

The Cole Cleaner, designed by Leon Peng, is just a concept right now, but what an intriguing concept it is. It's a countertop device that uses ultraviolet radiation to disinfect any can, supposedly within 1 to 5 minutes. You stick a can in it, and wait for the LED lights to tell you it's working and that your can is now ultra-clean and much safer to drink from than it was just minutes ago.

As germophobic as I am, I can't imagine ever owning a device like this. I can't imagine who would; perhaps the same people who in addition to having you take off your shoes as you enter their homes also provide you with disposable operating room booties. Maybe this could catch on, though, at high-end/high-concept restaurants, which could charge two or three times the usual cost of a soda or soda-based drink because it's been zapped clean. Stranger things have caught on, though. Cole_Cleaner.jpg

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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