Online Exclusives

Mothers of Invention

September 3, 2008

Dana Rubenstein and Tamar Rosenthal, co-founders of Dapple dish detergents, are ready to launch a new toy cleaner that�s good for baby and the environment.

Mothers of Invention

Dana Rubenstein and Tamar Rosenthal, co-founders of Dapple dish detergents, are ready to launch a new toy cleaner that’s good for baby and the environment.

Christine Esposito
Associate Editor

When baby’s favorite toy takes an nose dive onto the rather murky-looking restaurant floor, parents have two options: pick it up, pack it away and listen to baby scream, or enlist the “five second rule” and grimace as baby puts it right back in her mouth with a smile.

Thanks to Dapple, parents will soon have a better option. The New York-based company founded by Dana Rubenstein and Tamar Rosenthal is ready to launch a new toy cleaner that’s good for baby and the environment.

Dapple is said to be good for baby and the environment.
The launch quickly follows the company’s inaugural products, eco-friendly dish liquid and automatic powder dishwasher detergent, both of which were unveiled in February. The dish products, which specifically target the residue and odor left behind by breast milk, formula and other baby foods, are made from 100% naturally derived ingredients and are free of chemicals such as parabens and phthalates.  

The company has taken the same tack with the new toy cleaner, which cleans the dirt, germs and guck left behind on toys without parabens, phthalates, SLES, dyes or synthetic fragrances. Users simply spray it on, wipe it off and the toys are back in business—or elsewhere.  

“Cleansers with bleach, alcohol, and harsh chemicals are the household items we lock away to protect our kids from; we just couldn't accept the idea that the only way to clean their toys was with these products. We envisioned our babies popping their toys right back into their mouths after they're cleaned, and we wanted to be comfortable with that,” said Ms. Rubinstein. “The toy cleaner is formulated with that in mind. It gets the job done, but in a safe and natural way.”

A Better Way to Clean Bottles

In Dapple’s case, necessity was truly the mother of invention.

While rinsing and re-rinsing (and re-rinsing) baby bottles in the wee hours of the morning, Ms. Rubenstein thought that there had to be a better way to get her baby’s bottles clean—without leaving behind soapy residue or breast milk. The next morning she and her friend Tamar Rosenthal discussed the matter. Two years later, Dapple was born with the help of green chemists and input from pediatricians and other experts—a.k.a parents.

Talking to other moms (and dads) is an essential part of Dapple’s strategy. For example, when developing new packaging for its dish detergent products, Dapple asked website visitors to pick their favorite delivery method–a pump or traditional pull top/squeeze bottle.

“To us, Dapple users are the experts,” said Ms. Rosenthal. While the firm also consulted with industry experts, “ultimately it's the parents —the people using the products—who know what they need best,” said Ms. Rosenthal.

Baby Steps…For Now

Once stocked only in a select number of stores in New York, Dapple is making steady progress in expanding distribution to more outlets. Today, Dapple can be found in a more stores in New York, California, Oregon, Chicago, Connecticut and Florida. And recently, Dapple took its furthest step yet: the company has started selling products in Hong Kong.   

Since May Dapple dishwashing products have been listed on The 32oz. box of powder detergent ($5.99) and 16oz. bottle of dish soap ($4.99) are generating very positive reviews at the online retailer, and the brand is garnering good coverage in print and online in parenting magazines such as Cookie, Fit Pregnancy and Parents.

“The overwhelming response to our products has also been an incredible motivator for us to move quickly,” said Ms. Rosenthal. “Our brand entered the market with a strong force and we intend to sustain it, continuously giving parents products that can safely yet effectively solve the unique cleaning challenges they face—from sticky toys to dirty bottles.”

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Who Makes That?

    Who Makes That?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    From concept and formulation to testing and filling, today’s contract manufacturers perform a range of services for marketers

  • Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Established brands and start-ups address the needs of multi-cultural beauty consumers.

  • The Essence of Individuality

    The Essence of Individuality

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Fragrance sales are fueled by unique facets.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • From Greenville to Guangzhou

    From Greenville to Guangzhou

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    South Carolina start-up BabyBlossom has big plans for its nontoxic baby products China.

  • Texture on the Runway

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 22, 2016
    Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Creme of Nature, Design Essentials and Garnier create head-turning hairstyles.

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • A Frosch Start in the US

    A Frosch Start in the US

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 18, 2016
    A trusted eco-savvy German household cleaning brand is now available in America.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • Color, Your World

    Color, Your World

    December 7, 2015
    A kaleidoscope of concepts was the conversation at a recent NYSCC symposium.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • What

    What's Not to Love?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 26, 2015
    The sun care category is rife with issues, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  • A Suite Deal

    A Suite Deal

    October 12, 2015
    Image Studios provides an innovative venue for beauty professionals seeking a new way to do business.

  • What’s All the ‘Fuzz’ About?

    What’s All the ‘Fuzz’ About?

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||September 28, 2015
    Lawyer presents the power and versatility of essential oils by adding them to her own handmade dryer balls.

  • A New Kind of Hero

    A New Kind of Hero

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||September 14, 2015
    An upstart household product company puts a new spin on the idea of home cleaning.

  • A Panoramic View

    A Panoramic View

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||September 7, 2015
    ZSS takes a 360° approach to skin health.

  • It

    It's All in the Delivery

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Associate Editor||August 31, 2015
    AlureVé relies on pharmaceutical technology for its anti-aging skin care line.

  • A Brand of Its Own

    A Brand of Its Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 24, 2015
    Amyris creates its own skin care solution for consumers.

  • Eye on Korea

    Eye on Korea

    August 17, 2015
    At the Personal Care Conference in Shanghai there was distinct emphasis on beauty ideas from Korea.

  • No Coasting Here

    No Coasting Here

    August 12, 2015
    A Q&A with Coast Southwest CEO Joseph Cimo.

  • An Emotional Mess

    An Emotional Mess

    June 15, 2015
    Clorox teams with Pixar to explore the Gestalt of spills, germs and other household messes.