Keeping Your Kitchen Sponge Sanitized
Kitchen sponges are the dirtiest item in your home. They're up to 200,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
SpongeBath has designed a holder that sanitizes them.
Specifically, its product uses a patented cleaning solution to clean and disinfect sponges between uses.
SpongeBath is targeting the 69% of U.S. households that use sponges, as well as offices, communal kitchens, extended stay hotels, and restaurants. Together, this presents a $5.2 billion opportunity.
Sponges harbor bacteria and provide an environment for germs to grow rapidly. According to a recent study by NSF International, a product testing and inspection company, more than 75% of sponges and dishrags harbor bacteria including Salmonella, E. Coli, yeast, and mold.
When used to clean the kitchen, sponges spread germs and cross-contaminate surfaces, contributing to food-borne illnesses.
SpongeBath’s device solves these issues by keeping sponges fresh and clean. Here’s how it works:
Users rinse their sponge and place it between the device’s two paddles. Then, they squeeze the paddles and lower the sponge into the cleaning solution, which continuously cleans the sponge until the next use. The company’s cleaning formula has been shown to kill 99.9% of bacteria.
SpongeBath devices can be placed on the countertop or attached securely to the side of any sink.
The company charges $39.95 for its “Starter Kit,” which includes the SpongeBath holder and one month’s supply of cleaning solution. Additional solution is then sold via bi-monthly subscriptions.
This pricing model, known as “razor and blade,” is similar to one used by Dollar Shave Club, which was recently acquired by Unilever for $1 billion.
The company's product margins are 78% for the starter kit, and 89% for the cleaning solution.
SpongeBath’s cost to acquire each customer is $12, and each customer’s lifetime value is approximately $200 over a three-year period.
The company launched its first generation SpongeBath roughly two years ago, and generated nearly $800,000 in sales through Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Following research and development efforts, SpongeBath is launching an updated version of its product, making it available through the company’s website, Amazon Prime, and retailers including Wayfair and Houzz.
SpongeBath has been issued six utility and design patents, and has other patents pending. Moving forward, the company could expand its product line, and believes its cleaning formula could be sold as an odorless, disinfectant spray for residential and commercial use.
SpongeBath’s advisory team includes Kevin Harrington, former “shark” on the show “Shark Tank,” and Dr. Jessica Tyler, a professor of Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
In addition, the company has received an endorsement from Dr. Keri Peterson, a medical contributor who has appeared on programs including “Dr. Oz,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show.”
Peterson noted “SpongeBath will reduce the incidence of food-borne illnesses and make everyone’s home safer and cleaner.”
Before starting SpongeBath, Matthew founded T&M Innovations, a product development company where he served as CEO for 10 years.
He previously founded Visseon, a company renting professional-grade film equipment for movie and television productions. In addition, he worked as a professional camera man for 12 years, filming notable shows including “Sex and the City” and “16 Blocks.”
Matthew earned a Bachelor’s degree in Film from Syracuse University.
Prior to joining the team at SpongeBath, Susette was Director of Business Operations for Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI).
Previously, she was Director and a founding member of Bloomberg L.P., a privately-held financial, software, and data company. She was the company’s first employee, and helped grow it from a startup to a multi-billion-dollar operation.
Susette earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Pace University.
Along with Matthew, Tod founded T&M Innovations, and served as the company’s President for nine years.
He spent 32 years as a sound mixer in Hollywood, and is a three-time Academy Award nominee. Throughout his career, he worked on films including “Seabiscuit,” “I am Legend,” and “JFK.”
Tod co-founded The Hollywood Edge, an e-commerce platform featuring sound from films and natural environments.
He earned an Associate’s degree in Cinematography from Alfred State College.
Cordelia has been with SpongeBath since the company’s inception.
Prior to that, she served as General Counsel for Knowledge Delivery Systems, a professional development company, as well as MeMedia, an Internet advertising network.
She spent two years as an associate with McLaughlin & Stern, and three years as an associate with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.
Cordelia earned a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Fordham University.