Now, a bath gel that doesn`t need a tub

Last Updated: Jun 22, 2012, 18:13 PM IST

Washington: It`s an invention couch potatoes would have longed for years: A new shower gel that does not require one to take a bath has been developed which experts say could prove to be a boon for people who don`t have much access to clean water.

Developed by Ludwick Marishane, a South African graduate student, the "Drybath" gel kills germs, moisturizes the skin and exudes a pleasant, light smell, unlike hand sanitisers.

Marishane drew inspiration for developing the gel from one of his friends, but his invention, experts said, could be of greater use for those who live in areas where clean water is in short supply.

Marishane, a University of Cape Town student, recalled once when he nagged a friend to take a shower, his friend replied, "Why doesn`t someone invent something you can just put on your skin and avoid the need to bathe?"

"A light bulb went on as I realised I would be willing to pay money out of my pocket to buy such a product," Marishane was quoted as saying by LiveScience.

Soon after, he searched on Internet and learned that no one had invented anything similar and that billions of people worldwide don`t have access to clean water for bathing, which can lead to may diseases.

Over six months, he searched for ideas for the shower gel`s formula before developing one for his Drybath, which is available in small, easy-to-open sachets.

According to him, he got the idea of selling individual packets when he learned from mentors that the world`s poorest people buy things in very small quantities, like one cigarette at a time as opposed to a pack or a carton. Marishane won the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards in 2011 for his creation.

Marishane said he wants his company, Headboy Industries, to become a "huge conglomerate" comparable to GE, while developing novel products for the world`s poorest people.

According to his website, he sells Drybath for 50 cents a packet in poor communities. For corporate customers, such as airlines or hotels, each packet costs USD 1.50. He also donates one packet to charity for every corporate packet sold.

PTI