Our sister site, South Austin Moms recently had the chance to sit down with her neighbor and new friend, Shreya Patel, founder of Hyve, a plant-based, probiotic-powered cleaning products company. Take a few minutes to find out the “why” behind her development of Hyve. You’ll definitely learn something new – I sure did!
Hi Shreya! Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in London, moved to San Marcos with my family at a young age and have called Austin home for 20 years. I went to school at Southwestern University in Georgetown where I received my BS in Chemistry and Biology, followed by a Masters in Healthcare Administration at Trinity University in San Antonio. I live in South Austin with my husband and our 13 year-old son.
What is Hyve?
Hyve is probiotic-based cleaning products company and it is our goal to educate consumers on the misconceptions we have when it comes to cleaning. We’re using food-grade probiotics in our product which produce enzymes to eliminate harmful bacteria. Most importantly, our formulations are safe for your family, pets and the planet. Typical household cleaners kill “99% of germs,” but in doing so, those cleaners are also getting rid of the good bacteria which protect us and our home. Think of Hyve as kombucha for your home.
Can you tell us how Hyve came to fruition?
Most cleaning products on the market today are toxic to our health, to our home’s health and definitely harmful for our planet. They are loaded with chemicals which hurt/kill everything (including our lungs and skin) or they are “natural” and only really clean dirt/grime and leave harmful bacteria behind. They pollute the air in our home, pollute our streams/rivers as chemicals are washed down drains or flushed down toilets (and can end up in our drinking water), and pollute our environment with plastics that will outlive us and our children.
I couldn’t find the cleaning products that I wanted for my own home, so I created them. I wanted a product that had cleaner ingredients, was effective at controlling harmful bacteria, minimized plastic waste and would just show up at my doorstep at regular intervals. Around the time I was looking for a solution, I was (and still am) an avid vegetable gardener who was learning about natural ways to fertilize and control pests. Through the experience, I was really struck by use of probiotics/microbes in my garden, so I created my first batch of probiotic fluid from rice water and used it EVERYWHERE in my garden and in my home. It was then that the idea to combine these came to be and Hyve was born.
Tell us about the products:
It started first with Main Squeeze, the sink and sponge cleaner, because that was the genesis. The sponge in my kitchen sink was the bane of my existence because I knew what was lurking on it. If I said to you, “Ok, you’ve got to make a salad – you can either make it in your kitchen sink or on your toilet seat, which would you pick?” You would be wise to make it on your toilet sink. How often do you thoroughly clean your kitchen sink vs your toilet? Throwing the sponge away frequently is not an option for me because of the environmental impact and so I would nuke it in the microwave, but always wondered about the super bugs. The sink was a trigger for me – so we had to address that first!
Next up was the Drain Duty. I have long hair and my bathroom sink drains were always getting clogged. I know I’m not the only one with this problem! I learned that the yucky sticky gray film that the hair clung to was a biofilm. You know how if you leave a glass of water out for a few days and then dump it out, there’s that slimy “film” – that’s a biofilm. Bacteria create biofilm. It’s like an umbrella that protects them from external forces like typical cleaners. So, we needed to breakdown the biofilm in pipes. And the only thing that can actually break it down is actually other bacteria. This second product, Drain Duty, is a thicker formulation that sticks to the sides of the pipes and begins to break down that biofilm. It won’t bust through the hairball stuck in the drain, but what it will do is maintain your drain. No more clogs!
And then from there, I created Overtime, the all-purpose cleaner, because that is a product everyone can understand. The all-purpose cleaner is safe to use on any sealed surface. And because the probiotics in our products are food-grade, they’re safe for babies, pets, pregnant mamas, etc.