Saturday, May 30, 2020
Sunny O’Malley chases her brown tabby, Mikey, across the hardwood floor in the dining room overlooking the Potomac with a bottle of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to clean up Mikey’s mess. “He is really my bad boy.”
O’Malley has just launched WoofPurrfect, an online small business that was originally intended to sell 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent for removing pet stains and pet odors. She says she discovered it quite by accident over a year ago when a bottle of the hydrogen peroxide accidentally spilled and landed right onto a spot left by her dog Murph.
“It beaded right up and cleaned up the mess like nothing else. I thought ‘this is amazing—can it be this easy?’” So she addressed other spots around the house including her Oriental rugs in the living room, “and I thought I must bring this forth.”
So O’Malley started doing her research. “I had to find a manufacturer and get private labeling.” She found a manufacturer in New Jersey in November 2019, and her first batch of 50 bottles of hydrogen peroxide arrived just before Christmas. She only ordered 50 because “suppose nobody wants them? It can go well or be a flop. And I didn’t have any private funding.” But she decided with her seven cats and golden retriever (she was an adoptive parent for each and couldn’t give them back) if the product didn’t sell she would use it, and it wouldn’t go to waste.
She put her website up in January with a list of her products and was just getting ready to launch her business in February this year when everything else in the world fell apart with the announcement of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I had all my hopes and dreams, my lofty goals and ideals.” She had planned to reach out to animal owners and pet sitters but there wasn’t a call for it. “My original plan went out the window.”
But with the focus on the coronavirus her plan suddenly shifted from primarily attacking pet stains and odors to also providing protection as a spray on surfaces. It turns out this type of hydrogen peroxide is a good disinfectant and doesn’t contain any toxic stabilizers. “It’s a great disinfectant, and you can’t be too careful.”
O’Malley explains it’s not the same thing as the hydrogen peroxide in the brown bottles; and it’s perfectly safe to use it for brushing your teeth, washing your vegetables, sprouting seeds, in the dishwasher, for plants and laundry. She found she got more orders than anywhere else when her products were mentioned online on a health site about natural treatments that could help to get ahead of the virus.
O’Malley never imagined that face shields would become part of her product line, but with everybody wearing masks she thought face shields would provide an extra layer of protection.
“People are so anxious, and there is so much we don’t know about the virus.” So she bought a limited number of face shields made in New Jersey. And, of course, the face shields are reusable because they can be sanitized with WoofPurrfect hydrogen peroxide.
“We’ll see how it goes. I wear mine when I go out into the world. It’s quite comfortable. I’m doing everything I can think of to help.”
O’Malley is a long-time Alexandria resident, considering herself as one of the original Titans of T.C. Williams.
Now O’Malley offers the environmentally friendly 3-percent grade hydrogen peroxide as well as the face shields and carry/storage bags on her website at https://WoofPurrfect.com. She says she really appreciates the support for local small businesses in these challenging times.