This M’sian Startup Creates Laundry Sheets That Let You Wash Colours & Whites Together
One of the more daunting tasks of laundry for many of us is probably making sure we properly sort through the colours and whites. While residing in London, Victoria was amazed by something she found called colour absorber sheets that let her forego that process.
In layman terms, colour absorber sheets contain absorbent properties and are very “sticky” to the dye molecules floating around in the water. The sheets are designed to grab and hold onto any dye molecule that touches them.
Victoria soon became a frequent user of it, especially with her busy schedule. Later, she realised that the technology, though having existed for over a decade, was pretty unheard of back home in Malaysia.
That’s when she and her co-founder Herne decided to reproduce the concept locally under their brand Sanren Journey, with the help of a friend’s family business in the laundry products sector. Colour absorber sheets are only one of their laundry products that aim to help individuals and households make washing garments easier.
The Science Behind It
Their sheets are called The Enchanted Colour Absorber, retailing at RM42.80 for a box of 30. It’s not cheap per se, but in the long run, it could save you money from having to do multiple loads of laundry due to separating colours and whites.
Having never heard of such a product before, it triggered some scepticism from me at first. Once I got to know the science behind how it worked though, I was assured that it wasn’t just a gimmick.
According to Science Focus, many fabric dyes are acids that form negatively charged molecules in water. On the other hand, the colour absorber sheets contain positively charged compounds that attract any dye molecules leaching out of coloured clothes.
For those itching to see the sheet in action, Sanren Journey actually recorded a demonstration that should put your biggest doubts to rest.
Not Something To Take For Granted
While these sheets certainly do what they claim, there’s still always a catch or some terms and conditions consumers should be aware of, just like for any other products on the market.
The website’s FAQ states that new dark coloured garments should still be washed separately up to 6 times, because clothing dye fresh out of production tends to bleed heavily when first submerged in water.
“We want to make sure people do not take our product for granted. It helps in daily convenience but it is not something that should be treated like a super magic product to prevent colour stains issues,” Herne explained.
“It’s just like you don’t purposely make yourself sick because you think the vitamins you’re taking can prevent that from happening. You still have to take care of your health.”
She added that it’s best practice to first soak new dark coloured garments for a day so their excess dye can come off. Then, they should be washed separately several more times to ensure their colour run won’t stain other clothes too badly.
“We had one customer who complained about staining but it was because she washed new red garments with half a piece of the sheet, when at least 3 sheets should be used if you want to wash garments that have a high potential of colour runs,” Herne told Vulcan Post.
Again with medical analogies, she tells customers, “To cure your headache you have to take at least 2 tablets of Panadol, but if you take a half tablet for whatever reason, you can’t complain that Penadol doesn’t work on you.”
Hence, the team includes a manual with their product which customers are expected to read thoroughly. If used correctly, such damages and accidents shouldn’t happen.
Thankfully though, Victoria and Herne are already thinking ahead. They’re planning to create a stain removing product to mitigate the above issues.
Customers From All Walks Of Life
Don’t worry, that’s a toy dog / Image Credit: Sanren Journey
Since launching mid-March this year through their pop-up store, the Sanren Journey team have sold over 500 boxes of their laundry sheets.
“We know it takes time to educate the market and thanks to our pop-up store as well, we can have more human interactions to share this product to the market,” added Herne.
Now, I’m all for products making household chores easier. But, I still wondered who was actually buying these sheets, since separating garments and loading up my washing machine only takes me 5 minutes.
Its convenience aspect aside, Herne shared that their customers have other reasons for needing the sheets:
- Customers who buy expensive garments wanting to make sure they can prevent accidents from happening;
- Customers who are worried their husbands might try to be nice one day but end up mixing the colours and whites;
- Customers who want to ensure their maids are doing the laundry right.
Sales are secured by convincing customers through the experiment video above plus assurance that it’s been a technology used in the west for a long time. Victoria and Herne shared that Sanren Journey will expand their product line and produce their own softeners by Q3.
Thus far, they’ve already launched laundry stones, a hybrid of their own detergent wrapped in the absorber sheets. These allow individuals to simply throw them in the wash with their clothing like Tide Pods, with the added advantage of colour absorption.
- You can read about more startups Vulcan Post covered here.