The Labor Pool: Don't Smell Like a Pool
By Mike Gustafson//Correspondent
Each month we take a look at swimmers in the business world as part of our “Labor Pool” series. This month we take a look at a product called SwimSpray designed by a former Princeton swimmer. If you have started or are starting a business, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chlorine is every swimmer’s kryptonite. When you begin to swim, at least among boys, it’s almost a swimmer status symbol: The bleached-blonde hair, the smelling like a pool… But as you get older, “smelling like a pool” isn’t the latest fragrance fad.
You just smell like chemicals.
A former Princeton swimmer, Andrew Chadeayne, has invented a solution to literally wash off that chlorine smell. It’s called SwimSpray. Chadeayne developed the spray-bottle solution because, as a Masters swimmer, smelling like a pool and scratching at the skin wasn’t ideal in an older professional environment.
“There was a period where it was cool to have white, bleached hair because it meant you were a pool rat,” Chadeayne explains. “But as I grew older, I became bothered by the chemicals more. Wearing the business casual attire, I got the burn and itch and skin irritation. I would sweat chlorine and scratch during work.”
Andrew researched on a molecular level what happens when a swimmer’s body contacts chlorine. He found that chlorine actually reacts and sticks to skin – thus resulting in that smelly, irritating “pool smell.”
“I figured out what the chlorine is doing with the body,” Chadeayne said. “If you treat chlorine and a person like molecules, and you figure out what that chemical reaction does, that’ll explain why chlorine doesn’t wash away. It reacts with your body and sticks there.”
“Once I figured out that piece of it, there are a huge number of chemicals that would reverse that reaction. I looked into antioxidants. Then, literally, I was taking Vitamin C and rubbing it on myself out of the can. And it worked. The next step was figuring out formulating it into something useful.”
While SwimSpray is actually dissolved Vitamin C, Chadeayne spent years and lots of human testing (on friends and fellow Masters swimmers) perfecting the formula.
After figuring out and perfecting the formula, Chadeayne has said that sales are picking up. What was once a slow-moving company that began in 2010, Chadeayne sees an uptick in sales. He credits those in the swimming community and in particular Mel Stewart for making some introductions to others in the swim industry.
“My wife came up with the name, SwimSpray, and we wanted to sell it on the Internet. Some of my friends living in DC recognized the commercial aspect to it. Then we put the company together.”
Chlorine – outside of freezing cold pools and 400 IM sets – remains one of the common swimmer problems out there. While it may be a status symbol among younger swimmers, pretty much no one I’ve talked to enjoys smelling like a pool. While there’s no spray-bottle solution to warm up a cold pool or lessen the pain of a 1500, there is a spray-bottle solution to tackle pool-smelling “chlorine skin.”
“I said, ‘This is a problem, we’ve got to fix it.’ [The company] was very slow at first. But now, it’s starting to take off.”