Platteville company recognized for developing hand sanitizer brand

Photonic Cleaning Technologies pivoted to making hand sanitizer when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Wisconsin in spring.
Published: Dec. 13, 2020 at 10:08 PM CST
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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - Companies across Wisconsin have adapted their business models to help their communities battle COVID-19. One Platteville company turned their unique product into something everyone can use.

From telescopes to satellites, Platteville-based company Photonic Cleaning Technologies makes sure everything going into outer space is completely clean and ready.

“For example, we got a million dollars from NASA to develop coatings for the edges of the next generation space telescopes,” described founder and CEO James Hamilton.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Wisconsin in spring, the state asked chemical manufacturers like Hamilton to bring his expertise down to Earth.

“The state of Wisconsin had contacted chemical manufacturers in the state and asked if anybody could make any hand sanitizer,” Hamilton explained.

Hamilton already had many of the necessary ingredients in stock, and he and his staff started production right away.

“We ended up making 30,000 bottles for the state of Wisconsin that was in every nursing home and hospital,” Hamilton said.

Next, Hamilton decided to take his new product one step further. The hand sanitizer his company made for the state came in liquid form, but people continued to ask if they had anything in gel form.

Hamilton did some research, and his company then produced a new brand of gel sanitizer using a plant-based ingredient.

“It left the hands really soft and healing and it dried, everything dried very quickly,” Hamilton explained.

The company called the brand “Hands So Soft,” and they have continued to make and sell the hand sanitizer across the country.

Photonic Cleaning Technologies was recently announced as one of the winners of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s We’re All Innovating contest. As one of the winners, they receive extra federal funding, and they hope to use that to continue producing and selling their sanitizer beyond the pandemic.

“Our people felt really good and they could do something besides sitting at home and worry,” Hamilton said.

He added, it is nice to be recognized, but he said helping out is the right thing to do.

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