The Supertowel is a reusable towel designed to clean hands without soap.
The Supertowel is a reusable and highly durable towel that includes a permanently bonded anti-microbial layer. It is designed to provide clean hands without soap and a relatively small amount of water.
The target region of the product is Middle East and North Africa.
The product is directly available from RealReliefWay’s website.
~ 40 USD (249,00 DKK)Converted in August 2020
Retail price for a package of 3 towels
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Target users include individuals in remote or refugee settlements, while the target buyers include humanitarian organizations and governments. The product is also available for individuals interested in maintaining their hygiene with antimicrobial towels.
RealReliefWay produce Supertowels by combining many very thin polyester and polyamide fibres into a single fibre during production. However, unlike conventional cloths, they have thousands of randomly arranged sharp-edged microfiber strands, which improve cleaning efficacy.
Users can obtain the product directly from the manufacturer. This product is also distributed by the RealReliefWay and its partners to individuals living in refugee settlements.
In the user acceptability study in Ethiopia, 120 Supertowels were distributed to more than 20 households throughout the Eritrean refugee camp.
Material/products consumed with each use
Number of times can the product be used before it has to be replaced
Type of power needed
Size of the product
The product is designed with a permanently bonded antimicrobial technology. When the towel is wet and rubbed against hands or on a dirty surface, the negatively charged pathogens will be transferred to the towel and killed. The antimicrobial technology forms a positively charged layer on the fabric. This layer will attract and kill the negatively charged pathogens, like bacteria and fungi. The treatment does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Anti-microbial efficacy test results outlined below:
- Antimicrobial Efficacy against Gram-positive bacteria – >99.99%
- Antimicrobial Efficacy against Gram-negative bacteria – >99.99%
- Antimicrobial Efficacy against Yeast – >99.99%
- Antimicrobial Efficacy against Fungus – >99.99%
Diagrammatic user instructions found at this link.
Any support or inquiries can be addressed to the manufacturer
Designer specified performance targets include:
- Reusability and high durability
- Health and hygiene
- Financial savings
Supertowel received funding from Elhra’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) and USAID OFDA for laboratory studies, where handwashing with Supertowel was compared against handwashing with soap and water, but under more realistic conditions (i.e shorter time, less water, contaminated water source and visibly dirty). Additionally, a user acceptance field study was undertaken in Ethiopia. Both the research and field study demonstrated the anti-microbial efficacy and marketability of the products. Test results can be downloaded from links below:
No known safety hazards related to this product.
White, S., Petz, J., Desta, K., Larsen, T., 2019, Could the Supertowel be used as an alternative hand cleaning product for emergencies? An acceptability and feasibility study in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, PloS ONE, 14(5).
Torondel, B., Khan, R., Larsen, T., White, S., 2019, Efficacy of the SuperTowel®: An Alternative Hand-washing Product for Humanitarian Emergencies, The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 100 (5), pp. 1278-1284.
Stevens, J., Larsen, T., White, S., Fong, V., 2018, SuperTowel (formerly Magic Towel) form, packaging and distribution kit design, Royal College of Art.
The product is evaluated for its antimicrobial efficacy.
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