A Gilbert couple has come up with a portable invention that not only hydrates people but keeps their hands clean.
Suds2Go is a dual water bottle that comes with an integrated soap container and pump in the lid, allowing people to drink and wash their hands wherever they go.
“We have sold about 6,000,” Gabe Trevizo said. “We sold the first 4,000 in six weeks. With COVID, it kind of took off really quick for us.”
Trevizo said hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes each have their drawbacks.
“Hand sanitizers are very limited,” Trevizo said. “It doesn’t work on dirty hands. Any barrier on hands like dirt will turn into mud and it stings when you have cuts.”
Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy from activities such as playing sports and handling food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends handwashing with soap and water instead. Lather wet hands with soap for 20 seconds and then rinse.
Hand sanitizer is effective against COVID-19 only if it has at least 60 percent alcohol, according to the CDC, but even then Trevizo eschews it.
“There’s lot of health reasons we chose not to use hand sanitizers,” he said. “It kills everything on your hands whether it’s good or bad and there are some healthy bacteria that need to stay on your hands.”
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may kill good bacteria but it doesn’t create superbugs like antibiotics do, experts say.
A study in 2018 in Australia found strains of bacteria showing resistance to alcohol-based disinfectants unless it was composed of 70-percent alcohol. Soap doesn’t kill bacteria, but rather removes them.
Wipes also weren’t an option for Trevizo.
“Wipes for us seemed like someone left them open and they always dry out,” he said. “And it always seemed wasteful. For a family of six, we would take an entire packet.”
Trevizo, who is a real-estate appraiser by trade, said the idea for the bottle started in 2018.
“We had a really bad flu season,” he recalled. “Obviously it’s nothing like we are facing right now. My wife and I have four kids and at that time we just had our fourth child, an infant. It was high flu season and dangerous.
“At that time my wife was dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety and it drove our fear that we can’t get this sickness, we can’t bring this in the home and we can’t allow our infant to get it.”
The family attended a birthday party at Freestone Park in Gilbert and the children rode on the amusement park rides and played on the monkey bars.
Trevizo said his daughter, who was being potty trained, had to use the restroom and when they went to wash up there was no soap. They ended up using hand sanitizer and then eating pizza with their hands.
The couple upon returning home began searching the internet for a mobile hand-washing system but to no avail.
“I assumed there had to be some but there was nothing there,” Trevizo said. “Since then it’s been our mission to bring this product to market for families and active individuals.”
Trevizo and his wife, Cindy, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000 to develop their idea. With 255 backers, they received $12,567 to help bring their project to life.
“That money went into research and development and we worked with design engineers to make the product as sleek and easy to use as possible,” Trevizo said. “And we also had to use a pattern attorney to protect our idea. It took nearly two years to go from an idea to ‘Hey, here’s your first run of products.’”
The 25-ounce, double-sided steel bottle has a BPA-free plastic spout for drinking and a restrictive-flow valve for rinsing hands. The refillable foaming soap pump head never comes into contact with the water.
The bottle, which comes in three color choices, retails for $36.99 and is only sold online at this time.
“We get eight to 10 washes per bottle and the soap pumps 60-70 pumps of foaming soap,” Trevizo said.
If foaming soap is unavailable, people can mix water with five to six drops of dish soap like Dawn and shake well, he said.
The couple received the first batch of 4,000 bottles in January and packaged and shipped from their garage. Shipments are now handled by a company in Colorado.
“We’ve ordered another 12,000,” Trevizo said. “We are just trying to keep up with demand right now.”
Trevizo said about 80 percent of the buyers are parents with young children.
The bottle is racking up positive reviews.
“In these days where washing hand brings more peace of mind, this bottle has saved me and the kids more than once,” one buyer wrote on the company’s website.
Wrote another; “Suds2Go is easy to use and very handy for errands, car trips, and outdoor recreation. I love being able to wash my hands with soap and water after leaving a store, pumping gas, on a picnic, or anywhere without running water accessible.”
The company also sells Suds2Go caps that fit on any disposable bottle of water.
A pre-filled disposable cap delivers about 30 pumps of foaming soap and retails for $10.99 for a two-pack.
Trevizo isn’t done yet with his ideas. The couple is looking down the road into expanding the product line to include soap tabs that can be dropped into a container and filled with water for washing and towels that attach to the bottles.
Trevizo doesn’t just sell the bottles, he and his family and his family rely on them.
“They are in our car doors,” he said. “That is where we use them the most. We keep them filled in our car. And whenever we go out and about, we go back to the car and wash our hands. If it’s a day trip I put it in my backpack or my wife puts it in her daypack. It’s always with us when we leave the house.”
To find more information or to purchase Suds2Go, go to mysuds2go.com/products/blue-bottle