How a need for a more comfortable way to clean hands became a smiley-face product that is generating $200 million in annual revenue.
- Scrub Daddy is a cleaning product company known best for its smiley-face sponge design that changes textures based on the temperature of the water.
- The company is worth $250 million and makes well over $100 million per year as of 2023, according to TechieGamers.
- The company sells the trademark smiley Scrub Daddy sponge for less than $4 but also has a range of other products, including the Scrub Mommy, Sponge Daddy, Scour Daddy, and holiday and pet-shaped Scrub Daddy sponges.
Why it’s news
Some of the best-selling items were a new design of an existing product that took over the market and became wildly successful, such as the Scrub Daddy, which is a smiley-face sponge that won the world over.
Scrub Daddy was started by Aaron Krause, who ran an international manufacturing company at the time. He was constantly working on machines and washing his hands, and the only available sponge was uncomfortable, so he set out to make a better sponge, according to the Scrub Daddy website.
In 2007, he created a polymer foam that worked so well that he patented the idea. He patented the design, which was round in shape, grooved on one side, and featured two holes punched out of its center. He marketed it to auto shops but was ultimately unsuccessful, as the shops thought it was unnecessary.
He scrapped the idea until 2011, when he used it to clean his lawn furniture. He realized the air’s temperature was changing the texture of the sponge, and he decided to try it on dishes. That worked exceptionally well.
He added a smile to the face to better clean spoons and other utensils and added another patent to the design. In 2012, he made the Scrub Daddy name official after a featured article was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the product appeared on QVC four times, according to the website.
Despite having sales, the sponge hadn’t made its way to any retail stores, so Krause decided to take it to ABC’s Shark Tank to try and secure a deal with a business titan.
In October 2012, the show aired, and he struck a deal with Lori Greiner for a 20% equity stake in the company for $200,000. Greiner later stated that it had generated $75 million in sales in three years after appearing on the show, according to Tuko News.
The company quickly outgrew its small office space and, in 2014, moved to a larger office building in Folcroft, Pennsylvania, where it remains today.
The show’s success also led to the development of powerful partnerships with leading retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, The Home Depot, Kroger, Target, and QVC.
Later that year, ABC aired a 20/20 special entitled Swimming With Sharks, in which Scrub Daddy was named “Shark Tank’s most successful product to date.”
Since then, Scrub Daddy has debuted multiple new products and has reached a net worth of around $250 million, making well over $100 million per year. In 2021 revenue growth was 80% year over year, and in 2022 the company did over $100 million in sales—making lifetime sales over $670 million, according to TechieGamers.
The company has also created a large fan base, specifically on TikTok, with over 3 million followers and over 65 million video likes.