Sometimes I see a product and instantly notice how incredibly useful it could be, and yet how simple the concept is, both of which makes me think, "I wish I had thought of that." This little pocket-sized gadget, which repurposes a plastic water bottle into a portable shower or wash station, is one of those.
For about 6 years, my family and I lived in a tiny house (OK, it was actually a small travel trailer, but same difference) without a shower or bath. In order to get clean, we used a portable camping shower hung from a tree, which turned us all into experts at getting clean with just a small amount of water. But the smallest solar shower we could find was a 3-gallon sized one, which was plenty large enough for several showers, but almost too big to fill up and get hot for spontaneous showers.
So when I read about the SpaTap, I was a bit envious that we never ended up inventing a similar solution for ourselves, especially when considering the wide variety of situations where a tiny portable shower or wash station could come in handy.
The SpaTap is a deceptively simple device, and it takes advantage of one of our culture's most common items, the plastic water bottle. Even if you don't buy bottled water, chances are you can pick one out of the nearest recycle bin or trash can, and put it to use washing your food, your hands, or your entire body.
To use the SpaTap, simply slip it over the neck of a standard plastic water bottle, hang it up with the strap or some cord (or hold it for someone else to use), then remove the plug from the side of it, which allows the water to flow out from the perforated shower head. The device instantly becomes a produce wash station, a handwashing station, or a shower, and could be a great addition to a car first aid kit, camping gear, an emergency preparedness kit, a diaper bag, or your sports gear bag.
"For too long plastic bottles have been going into the ocean or landfill. Lack of awareness and alternative uses of this resource continues to have dire consequences for our marine health, wildlife and pollution. Recycling is great but is only part of the answer, we can also upcycle which is the top of the list as far as environmentally friendly procedures go. Upcycling is re-purposing a waste material and turning it into something useful." - SpaTap Founder Stuart Mason
According to the SpaTap website, a single 2 liter water bottle can deliver 3 showers or 20 hand washes, with bigger bottles obviously being able to handle more showers or longer use, and is said to be virtually indestructible. Constructed of "medical grade silicone," the device is safe for use around food and for drinking, and is claimed to be made from an "anti bacterial and anti microbial material."
The bad news is, the SpaTap isn't available for purchase just yet. The good news is, the team behind this portable pocket shower is using the power of crowdfunding to launch it, with a Kickstarter campaign beginning on Monday, June 2nd. Backers of that campaign will be able to grab one for themselves with a pledge of just $18 AUD (~$17 USD), for delivery this November.