Parents are responsible for teaching their children the basics of being a human: how to talk, walk, use the bathroom. Personal hygiene education falls to them as well, which kids are usually uninterested to learn unless you can put a fun twist on things like brushing teeth. Luckily, the founders of SoaPen, a handheld soap dispenser intended to make hand washing fun for kids, are on a mission to make your job a little less difficult. (And hopefully save some lives in the process.) Romper got the scoop on the product from co-founders Amanat Anand and Shubham Issar at the 2019 Women In The World Summit (WITW), where the two were featured as part of the "Mother Of Invention Panel."
Basically, SoaPen is a roll-on cleanser. The product comes in a small soap-filled pen (thus the name) that allows children to draw on their hands as they wash them, providing them with an alternative to basic hand sanitizer or soaps. The fun nature of the product can make it so your kiddos don't complain about having to wash their hands before dinner, while also mitigating serious health concerns that come from improper hand hygiene. CNN reports that 1.5 million children die every year because of diseases and illnesses that can be prevented by washing your hands, so the importance of teaching your kids to clean them regularly can't be overstated. In fact, Anand and Issar came up with the idea for their product after taking a trip to India and learning about the dangers of improper hand hygiene, as Money reports.
The pens come in different colors, so your little one can paint their hands blue or pink or purple as they see fit, as well as a berry scent kids love. Associating a positive experience with hygiene makes a huge difference when trying to teach your children good habits, and Anand and Issar say they're already seeing incredibly positive responses from kids and parents who have tried the product since it launched in November 2018. "Parents who have had problems with negotiation — you know how it is, getting your kids to wash their hands — they're like I can't get them out of the bathroom," Issar explained to me on the WITW red carpet.
Striking a balance between educating and shaming your children as you teach them how to take care of themselves can be delicate, which is why the organically positive responses kids have to SoaPen are so great. Anand spoke of a little girl who has "been washing her hands, like, all of the time and all of her doll's hands as well," since she got SoaPen in her house, totally flipping her previous hand-cleanliness behavior. That kind of reaction has been common for the team, as kids have been overwhelmingly excited about drawable soap. Plus, the pens are designed to be parent-friendly as well: every SoaPen is hypoallergenic, won't stain clothes or other fabrics, is totally portable, and the roll-design prevents over soaping, per the SoaPen website.
Sold? Same. You can buy the pens now on Amazon ($15 per three-pack, Amazon). And you can feel extra good about the purchase because for every three SoaPens sold in the U.S., the company donates one to a school in a low-income community as part of their campaign to end preventable childhood deaths. Wins all around.
Keep an eye on SoaPen: Anand and Issar told me parents have already been asking them for products that can help with "bath time and brushing your teeth," so who knows what they'll come up with next. Here's to happy hand washing.