South African student invents water-free bath | Science | In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 19.06.2012

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South African student invents water-free bath

A University of Cape Town student has gained international, commercial recognition for his invention, DryBath, which allows you to wash all over - without water.

Ludwick Marishane's invention, DryBath, has attracted global interest from airlines, militaries, and developing countries, where poor sanitation remains a major issue.

Marishane says DryBath was inspired by a friend in the poor rural village where he grew up. The friend had said he disliked washing without hot water.

DryBath is a clear gel that works without normal soap or water. But unlike most anti-bacterial hand washes, DryBath is a biodegradable and odorless cleansing film including moisturizers.

The 22-year-old student researched his product with just a web-enabled mobile phone.

Six months later, he had developed it and obtained a patent. Marishane's invention has also won a Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Clients include major global airlines, which use it on long-haul flights, and governments that have soldiers in the field.

But Marishane says he hopes DryBath will also help conserve water in the poorest parts of the world.

za / gb