A South African college student has a solution for your lazy hygiene: the Drybath. The world’s first shower gel that doesn’t require water to clean its user is conveniently packaged in a small packet, making it easy to pass on to a smelly roommate or friend, but it aims to accomplish big things.
Ludwick Marishane, a 22-year-old student at the University of Cape Town, hopes the gel will literally be a life saver for people who don’t have access to clean water or sanitation—currently a crisis affecting millions around the world.
Marishane won the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his “germicidal Bath-substituting skin lotion/gel,” a bacteria-killing gel that is rubbed onto the skin like a moisturizer. “DryBath was made to save the lives of the over 2 million destitute people who suffer and often die from easily treatable diseases like trachoma, diarrhoea, etc.,” Marishane explains on his website, Headboy Industries.
The idea was born when Marishane was a teenager and his friend complained that he was too lazy to bathe. “Why doesn’t someone invent something you can just put on your skin and avoid the need to bathe?” his friend wondered.
Why not, indeed? Marishane got to Googling, and ended up developing his entire business plan and doing all his research via mobile phone. He’s now patented and trademarked his invention. Marishane told Innovation News Daily that he charges 50 cents a packet. The cost is $1.50 a packet for corporate customers — for example, airlines, who can hand out the packets to flight attendants and passengers on long-distance flights; military, for sanitary purposes when the nearest shower is far away; and even hotels who hope to encourage guests to save water. The product is also attractive for charities, which will be able to distribute the packets to regions and communities in need.