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Texas A&M students create hands-free handle after trip to gas station bathroom

Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 18:25:05-05

BRYAN, TX — A trip to a gas station restroom left three Texas A&M students with a stroke of inspiration after they had no other option but to open the door with their hands.

”We thought that there should be an option to be able to open the door with your foot. We have seen products like this before, but we designed one that gives the user a little more leverage. That way it’s easier to open doors,” said Jorge Arroyo, a co-founder of Sanitary Pull.

The Sanitary Pull is a curved lever with a platform beneath the foot. It's placed on the bottom of a door, allowing hands-free access in and out of rooms.

”Along with reducing those contact points, it creates kind of a sense of comfort and a sense of safety if you have that option to go hands-free when opening a door,” explained co-founder Austin Burt.

Restaurants are just one industry searching for more ways to make their customers feel more comfortable.

”We had been looking for something to utilize as a foot-pull on doors, and they just showed up at the right time, said "Hey, we're testing out a prototype. Would you guys be all right if tried one out here and you guys give us feedback?"” said Michael Lair, owner and operator of Stella Southern Cafe.

Although it may take some getting used to, this restaurant owner says he's is pleased with the adoption of this new product.

”We plan on keeping that indefinitely. It’s just a simple step. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable with the handle so it’s just a really nice option to extend to guests,” Lair said.

The Sanitary Pull is currently being utilized in various other restaurants across the Brazos Valley, such as Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen and Harvey Washbangers.

”As the year's wrapped up, we’ve been fortunate to get in the phase where we are selling now and using distribution networks and pushing our product out there to various aspects of the country, and so it’s been exciting. It’s been a journey,” said co-founder Jack Cooper.

According to the CDC, within a general population, washing your hands can prevent respiratory illness up to 21%. Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19%.

This products mission is to mitigate that spread one door at a time.