Thinking Tech

It exists! College student invents 'water-less shower'

It exists! College student invents 'water-less shower'

Posting in Environment

A breakthrough anti-bacterial moisturizer may be a time-saver for most of us, but a life-saver for those in poor communities with no access to water.

Contributor’s Note: “It exists!” is a series that occasionally spotlights innovative ideas and solutions for some of the most common challenges in our everyday lives.

Last week, we brought you news of a time-saving innovation called the Smart Bed, a mattress set that automatically makes itself so, you know, you wouldn´t have to. Now a new invention may make lazy mornings, well, even lazier.

Ludwick Marishane, a student at the University of Cape Cod, has come up with a clever way to skip showers or baths -- and still stay clean. His product, Drybath, is a clear gel that offers the same cleansing and disinfection you´d get from soap and water, simply by slathering it on.

Now you´re probably thinking "Wouldn´t that be the same as using a hand sanitizer?" The answer is yes, and no. The product differs from anti-bacterial liquids in that instead of alcohol and that pungent chemical smell, Marishane´s odorless and biodegradable formula is a proprietary blend of "biocide, bioflavonoids and moisturizers."

Though some of you might argue that even when using the gel a person would technically still be dirty because the sweat and residue isn´t washed away, the important thing to remember is that hygiene is primarily about riding the body of bacteria. And in this case, the world´s only bath-substitute in a bottle has been shown to kill 99.9 percent of germs, along with providing long-lasting residual protection, according to Marishane´s web site.

His inspiration came from a "lazy friend" who complained of how annoying it was to always have to shower. Both were living in a poor rural African community that lacked hot water.

To develop the gel, the 22-year-old entrepreneur spent six months on Google researching ingredients. The end-result was an invention that has not only received interest from commercial vendors, such as airlines who want to make it available on long flights, but also has the potential to improve the health of those living in developing regions where access to water is scarce.

Marishane was recently awarded the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and has founded a company to further develop and commercialize Drybath gel for various markets. In addition to this, he is currently working toward a Finance & Accounting degree.

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure