And now small appliances are getting in on it. The Hookee knife block is a cutlery caddy that sanitises knives and silverware. It’s recently gone live on Kickstarter, where it’s already been pledged £4,947 (against a goal of £3,808).

It cleans and dries cutlery and claims to kill 99.99% of germs. The Hookee knife block has two functions. It bathes the cutlery in UV light from UV LEDs, which breaks down and destroys bacteria.

It also has a high-temperature dryer (70°C) that not only dries cutlery but disinfects it. The dryer’s secondary function is to keep the interior of the caddy dry enough to inhibit bacterial growth.

It has a sensor to detect humidity inside the appliance and will switch on automatically when needed. It's not an instant or even a quick solution, however. The Hookee knife block takes 40 minutes to sanitise and dry flatware, which seems like a long time to wait for a clean knife.

Hookee knife guard

It can hold knives with blades up to 8 inches long and has a separate section for other utensils. Altogether, it has space for 12 knives and 14 other pieces of cutlery. It will sanitise metal, silicone, ceramic and food-grade plastic utensils.

Its dimensions are 26.1 x 15.4 x 15.4cm. The cutlery slots can be easily removed for cleaning and just need to be washed with soap and water.

Does it work? Do you need it? These really are questions for scientific experts, not tech journalists. What we can say is that it’s a good-looking gadget that could provide peace of mind to its users. It has an RRP of $129 but you can get it for $89 (a 39% discount) by backing the Kickstarter. It’s due for delivery in November.