Incoming First-year Student Creates Reusable Sleeves for Shopping Cart Handles Amidst Pandemic

During the summer before his first year at Villanova, Braden Krueger ’24 VSB from Tampa Bay, Fla., founded Germ Buffer, a company that sells reusable sleeves for shopping cart handles. The idea came to him in May, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, after he noticed that many stores were sold out of sanitizing wipes used to clean shopping carts. He knew that touching shopping cart handles could spread germs, and was also troubled by seeing used wipes on the floors of stores and in parking lots, harming our environment. Braden envisioned an eco-friendly alternative in the form of a reusable barrier for customers to use on their shopping carts. So, he created a washable, hand-sewn fabric cover that envelops a foam tube and named his product Germ Buffer. 

Over the following weeks, Braden perfected his idea, learning to sew, and building up inventory. In the end, he designed Germ Buffer so that customers could easily remove the outer layer of fabric from the foam base of the product, and interchange fabrics while the other sleeve is in the wash. Krueger reached out to his local news stations to increase awareness of his product, and suddenly he received an influx of orders. So far, he has sold hundreds of Germ Buffers, each one contributing to sustainability and flattening the curve. 

Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, Braden notes that the Germ Buffer will remain effective in limiting the transmission of everyday germs in stores, and will also be crucial in preventing the spread of the common cold and influenza. Now that he has begun his academic career at Villanova, he is running his business from his dorm room, and came to campus prepared with an inventory of pre-made Germ Buffers. We commend Braden for his sense of entrepreneurship, creativity, and dedication to the health and safety of our community.

Check out Germ Buffer’s website: and find them on Instagram, Facebook, and X: @germbuffer.

Braden Krueger