Bedford student creates soap that breaks like a chocolate bar to improve hygiene

Could Bradley's invention be a game changer during pandemic?

Product design undergraduate Bradley Goulding, 21, believes today’s plastic soap dispensers create unnecessary waste - as well as consumers being put off traditional bars of soap for fears they get dirty by repeat usage.

So he's created a way for soap to be broken off in the right amounts to allow people to wash themselves and have a fresh piece to use every time.

“As someone who loves to go on holiday, as well as frequently travelling to and from university, it was apparent that I was using excess amounts of toiletries,” said Bradley, who studies at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Bradley Goulding

“It’s not an environmentally-friendly way to travel, particularly when you consider that toiletries make up a large part of the 5.5billion plastic bottles that escape recycling each year within the UK.

“But not only that, in today’s context of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever for consumers to feel reassured that what they’re touching hasn’t come into contact with anything that could harm them either.

“So I was keen to design something which gave people more reassurance about hygiene while also helping reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic waste that’s created.”

Bradley’s design is based on using a breakable ‘stick’ of soap, rather than a traditional bar.

Bradley Goulding's breakable soap

It is part of an entire travel wash kit which he has designed to be more hygienic and environmentally-friendly, which includes similar sticks of cold-pressed toothpaste and deodorant.

The travel bag rolls out and is easily cleaned, with removable and breathable materials used. It can be completely separated and wiped clean.

And the sticks have their own individual compartments within the pack so each stick of toiletry item can be kept separate and clean.

Bradley, from Goldington Avenue, Bedford, added: “The feedback received so far has been highly positive and, if possible, it would be amazing and such a huge achievement to take this product to market.”

Bradley Goulding's breakable soap travel wash kit

Bradley created a working prototype and his design has gone on public display as part of NTU’s 2020 virtual product design degree show.

The virtual show – named NTU Design Industries - encompasses a range of final year designs, products and furniture, by graduating students in the university’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Product Design senior lecturer Paul Kennea, who oversaw Bradley’s design, said: “Bradley has created a travel wash kit which is simpler, kinder to the environment and which provides consumers with more reassurance about safety and hygiene.

“It’s an excellent example of how innovative thinking can help reinvent existing products to make them better and more appropriate to the ever changing world that we live in.”

Bradley Goulding's breakable soap