The Story Behind Suavitel Shed Shield, a Liquid Fabric Softener that Repels Pet Hair* and Fights Pet Odors**
Explore how the new innovation goes beyond traditional solutions to provide long-lasting protection against stubborn pet hair.
December 20, 2023
A quick search for ways to help remove pet hair from clothes yields dozens of quick fixes: dryer sheets, laundry balls, lint rollers — the list goes on.
As nearly two-thirds of Americans who are pet parents can attest, though, the shedding never stops. These temporary solutions only have so many benefits they can offer.
Seeking a solution that could repel pet hair before it sticks, scientists who work on Suavitel, a fabric conditioner brand of Colgate-Palmolive, led the development of a liquid fabric conditioner that does just that: Suavitel Shed Shield.
“The current technology to remove pet hair is mainly mechanical — lint rollers, vacuums, or even washing cycles,” said Cesar Gazga, a research and development (R&D) Scientist who worked on creating Suavitel Shed Shield. “With Suavitel Shed Shield, we wanted to create something that helps people repel pet hair instead of trying to get rid of it after it sticks to clothing.”
To help kickstart the discovery, scientists collaborated with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the pet nutrition brand of Colgate-Palmolive, by sharing knowledge about how pet hair penetrates different fabrics. As a part of their purpose to find the healthiest, highest-quality pet food, the team at the Hill’s Global Pet Nutrition Center cares daily for nearly 1,000 cats and dogs.
Following conversations with Hill’s Pet Nutrition team members and real-world Pet Parents who struggle with pet hair, Suavitel scientists surmised that they needed to create a solution that reduces the formation and persistence of static charge — decreasing the likelihood of pet hair magnetizing to clothing, no matter the fabric type.
Today, there are dryer sheets and dissolvents that aim to reduce pet hair. What’s different about Suavitel Shed Shield, though, is that it's a liquid fabric softener that’s added to a washing cycle — which allows for clothing to be coated in a more efficient manner.
So efficient, in fact, that amongst 340 participants who participated in a consumer test using Suavitel Shed Shield at home, nearly three-fourths of them said the product repels pet hair*.
In addition to Suavitel Shed Shield’s pet hair-repellent technology, scientists were driven to implement a fragrance system that fights odors**, especially those associated with two common pet smells: wet dog and cat urine.
The Suavitel team once again tapped into its special relationship with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, this time to help determine what fragrance prototypes were most effective at combating pet malodors through some sensory sessions. At Hill’s, team members washed fabrics — like cat beds or bath towels — at least moderately soiled to see the effectiveness of Suavitel Shed Shield’s fragrance prototypes.
The results from laboratory and sensory tests supported Suavitel’s hopes, demonstrating that fabrics with strong animal odors that were washed with detergent and prototypes of Suavitel Shed Shield — compared to just detergent — significantly reduced pet odors, said Priscila Blanco, global R&D fragrance development Assistant Manager for Fabric Care category. Through testing, scientists at Suavitel landed on a malodor counteracting (MOC) system that combines two technologies — an oil-based fragrance and an encapsulated fragrance booster — that deliver an enhanced scent experience and a performance boost on fabrics.
“This fragrance system — the first fragrance system we’ve had for a Suavitel product — provides boosted fragrance performance on fabrics following the washing cycle, once fabrics have been put through the dryer or hung out to dry, and when fabrics have been folded or worn,” Blanco said. “We wanted to ensure users felt confident that Suavitel Shed Shield creates a freshness long-lasting effect that combats strong pet malodors.”
Several rounds of prototyping, testing and feedback led to a formulation for Suavitel that better repels pet hair, helps leave fur behind, and even fights pet odors better than washing with detergent alone. With better protection against pet hair and odors, Suavitel Shed Shield accomplished what scientists had set out to do.
According to many 5-star reviews***, Pet Parents agree: Shed Shield helps them win the fight against fur and odors, leading to more worry-free snuggles with their fur babies.
Suavitel Shed Shield is now available across North America.
*Vs. detergent alone.
**Vs. detergent alone, against wet dog and cat urine odors, tested on cotton and cotton-polyester fabrics.
***Some reviewers received free samples of Shed Shield.
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