Not that long ago, if you wanted to wipe something, you would reach for your chemical and a rag. Spritz and smear! Smear in the literal sense because your rag, whether it be a kitchen cloth, floor cloth or any other kind of cloth had probably been used before and although you may have rinsed it out, it was probably still slightly dirty to the naked eye. Even if you couldn’t see the dirt, it was still there. Cleaning cloths can harbor harmful pathogens and spread germs even if they look clean. So when you use them to clean, you add bacteria from the cloth to whatever you are cleaning. It may look clean but what the eye can’t see does matter! The only solution is to wash them on a very hot cycle on a very regular basis. This is not convenient at all as it means that you need to own multiple cloths and keep cleaning them!

We live in the age of convenience and conscience. We can’t be bothered to keep cleaning our multiple cleaning cloths and we are becoming grossed out by the unseen nasties hanging out on them. This, together with the onset of the Covid epidemic has marked a rise in the availability and choice of single use wet wipes. The cost of them has also come down drastically and they are a real alternative to everybody. Unlike regular cloths, once you have used them and they are dirty and covered in bacteria, you throw them away and get rid of them. Much safer!

It wasn’t that long ago that if somebody referred to wet wipes, you would automatically assume they were talking about the kind you use to clean up your child. A staple constituent in every mother’s tool kit kept in her handbag.

If you go down to your local supermarket and glide down the aisles you will come across wipes for every purpose. Wipes for cleaning up your baby scented and unscented, with aloe vera and without. Selling at different price points and making claims as to their strengths.

Single use cleaning cloths, many claim to kill 99% of bacteria. Some are devised to clean tough stains in your kitchen and some to beat limescale in your bathroom. Some have the reassuring claim that they will rid your surfaces of Covid. At the end of the job, no rinsing them or sticking them in the laundry, just chuck them out!

There are larger cloths designed to clean your floor. They fit on a variety of different sticks. Some are antibacterial and some are specially formulated for wood flooring. They are great if you don’t want to use lots of water, no waiting for the floor to dry and no smelly cloth at the end.

Small disposable impregnated cloths for removing makeup. Washcloths become filthy within seconds and cotton wool is so wasteful. They have been specially designed to be gentle on your skin and are often impregnated with facial moisturizers.

The range goes on and on but they all have one thing in common, they can be thrown out afterwards. There are a number of companies that make them. One such company is Dr. Wipe, who produce wipes for all purposes for many different companies. They research the exact material and additive they need to use for that particular use, because not all wipes are made equal!

It seems that we are heading towards the end of the multiple use wipe, smearing its invisible badness around time and time again. The individual use wipe revolution has begun!