Dry Bath Gel - Less Water, Better Hygiene for South Africa
Tom Spendlove posted on February 17, 2014 |
A South African teen invented a shower substitute to improve the life of people with no access to fr...

Ludwick Marishane's life changing engineering inspiration came during a lazy day of sunbathing. His friend didn't want to take a bath and wondered aloud why no one had invented a pill or lotion to take the place of showering. A few years later Ludwick had created the Dry Bath Gel, a waterless shower substitute.

Marishane's TED Talk, A bath without water, tells us that 2.5 billion people are without reliable access to water, and 5 million of those people live in his native South Africa. Trachoma is a disease that affects 350 million people in Africa and has blinded 8 million people. Access to water and the ability to clean your own face would take care of most of the trachoma problem.


After doing research and discovering the health and hygiene issues Ludwick's mission shifted. He wanted to save time for his friend, but also to help Africans to access better health options and make money doing these things. Skipping a shower also saves around 80 Litres of water.

Dry Bath Gel is the product that Marishane now produces through his company Headboy Industries. Research was done on his cell phone and by rooting through Google and Wikipedia Ludwick was able to formulate a shower substitute in the form of the Dry Bath Gel. Two trademarks and a patent exist for the product, and as of 2012 Marishane was the youngest patent holder in South Africa.

An 8,000 word business plan was written over the course of two months and completely done on the same cell phone. This business plan was sent to eighty venture capitalists but none were willing to take the risk on a young inventor with a product that helped the poor. The business solution to get Dry Bath mass produced was to change distribution methods. Instead of large bulk containers of the gel it is produced in small sachets, a South African packaging innovation allowing the user to snap the package in half and then squeeze to deliver its contents.

Headboy is larger than just the Dry Bath Gel, working to develop additional products and advocating a No-Bathing Weekend for the world to save water in late September. For every Dry Bath sachet ordered, the company donates a sachet to one of its partner charities. The company claims to have provided 445,590 baths and saved 35,647,200 Litres of water as of this writing.


Recommended For You