Just A Drop in the Syracuse Post-Standard

‘Just a Drop’ can save a marriage

JEFF KRAMER
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST

Normally I’m not in the business of endorsing products, but now and then the free market serves up something so fantastic that I would be guilty of journalistic malpractice if I didn’t spread the word. So listen up.

This Christmas past, Santa tucked in my stocking a tiny plastic bottle labeled “Just a Drop.” It was explained that while I was the designated recipient, the vessel was, in fact, a gift for my whole family – and the world. The Just a Drop promise is astonishing: One small drop, placed in the toilet BEFORE going, eliminates “98 percent” of all – repeat: all – bathroom odors.

To say I was skeptical doesn’t capture it. Like many whose only crime is having an efficient digestive system, I had long ago resigned myself to endless jokes and grimaces from anyone unlucky enough to encroach on the 800-yard Blast Zone.

“Jeeze, Kramer, did someone die in there?”

“Hey Buddy, need an ambulance? I do.”

“Daddy, you’re gross.”

“For your safety and comfort, the rear lavatory of the aircraft has been removed from service for the remainder of this flight.”

The abuses piled up, and I became numb to them.

Except a funny thing happened on the way to National Chili Day last Thursday. I started using Just a Drop, and it worked. It worked so well that for the first time ever I’m now using the main bathroom in our home without inciting marital discord. It worked so well that wildlife – and yes, that includes small mammals – is returning to our backyard. It worked so well that I did something I almost never do – I contacted a company to say “thank you.”

“The response has just been tremendous,” said Randy Hecht, president of Just a Drop, USA, in White Plains. He estimated that 600,000 units have been sold domestically during the past two years. The price, $16.99 plus shipping for two half-ounce bottles, contains enough reputation-saving fluid for 180 days, give or take a few eggplant Parm subs. The product is sold only online in the U.S. but can be purchased at Wal-Mart in Canada.

“The market’s mostly women,” Hecht noted. “Guys really don’t care.”

The Just a Drop story drips with international intrigue. During a visit to China, Luc Galbert, owner of a Canadian air freshener company, noticed bottles of something had been placed next to pit toilets to neutralize odors. He rushed home and secured a 99-year agreement to reproduce and market the formula. Hecht and Galbert won’t share many details about the formula except to say it’s all natural and that eucalyptus is key. The oil forms a seal on the water that keeps the bad smells below. Users catch only a vaguely minty scent in the room. With sales booming, the bottom’s the limit.

“We’re talking to France, the U.K. and Colombia just yesterday,” said Galbert, of Moncton, New Brunswick. “I’m getting e-mails almost on a weekly basis. It’s amazing the response we got back from the focus group.”

No doubt. But in the end, there’s only one focus group that matters: Whoever’s next in line after you.