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The Importance of Wipes

Every once in a while a common yet purposeful product or care aid gets overlooked or is misunderstood and taken for granted. All of our experience with incontinence, Senior Care and Special Needs has revealed that one such product is Pre-Moistened wipes. Even though wipes are essential to any sort of personal hygiene, daily cleansing and daily care, they are often also overlooked with the assumption that: "Well it's just a wipe, whats so important about it"?

What Am I Talking About?

Many times wipes are viewed as just being a common convenience that may or may not really be necessary, especially since premium wipes can be more expensive. There is also a common assumption that any brand of wipe can do the job just as well as any other, so why spend more on a "brand name"?

We are going to take a closer look at wipes in this post because they truly are a very important product and daily care aid, especially if you are a Senior or suffer from incontinence. We are also going to thoroughly explain that all wipes are not created equal and there are some important things to consider.

Baby Wipes Verses Adult Wipes

One of the major myths that I have personally found when consulting customers, family members and folks with incontinence across the board is that baby wipes and adult wipes are the same thing. Therefore why do the "adult wipe brands need to cost so much more than the wipes in the baby aisle".

Well, lets look at that for a moment because there are actually some huge differences between the two products:

Size, Baby wipes are much smaller in size than adult wipe because they are designed to cleanse the size of a person no bigger than a baby or small child. Most baby wipes tend to be about 7" by 7" inches in size and adult wipes can be as big as 9" by 13" inches in size. The reason adult wipes are larger are to provide greater surface area for cleansing and to appropriately clean an adult-sized body.

Material, In general adult and baby wipes differ in the material design and construction. Sometimes they can be very similar but that is not always the case. Baby wipes are made from certain soft and gentle specifically design for a babies senses and skin. Babies can be far more sensitive to tactile experiences and touch than adults so baby wipes are designed to product comfort and a non-irritating fabric-like texture that a baby or small child can tolerate with minimal or no discomfort.

Adult wipes are made of more durable materials because they are designed to hold up better during any sort of incontinence cleansing that a baby wipe is not meant for. Adult wipes are still soft and designed to offer optimal skin comfort and feel. Adult wipes are also made from materials that enable the wipes to be used for a variety of purposes that include water-less bathing (in the case of "disposable washcloths"). If one was to try and use a baby-wipe for such purposes, often times the wipe is way too small to be effective or will just simply tear and be useless for cleansing.

Formulation, The two wipes also vary greatly when is comes to formulation. Baby wipes are formulated to be gentle, non-irritating and cleanse the skin of little ones. Manufacturers tend to formulate such wipes with various botanicals, oils, cleansing agents and perfumes that are non-irritating and that a baby can handle since they are still developing their senses and skin. Baby wipes also have ingredients that are designed to help babies and small children maintain healthy skin and an optimal P.H. that is different from that of an adult.

Adult wipes are formulated with different ingredients that include stronger cleansing agents, lotions, oils and botanicals that are designed to fight heavy incontinence odor, body odor and skin break down which are not a concern for baby's skin. Some brands of adult wipes are also formulated to help maintain a skin-friendly P.H. level for healthy adult skin, which is usually 5.5 (though some research differs depending on the circumstances and demographics of the end user). Many adult wipes are also formulated to help reduce or eliminate the ammonia and bacteria exposure from fecal incontinence that often times can damage skin and cause lingering odor.

Why Are Some Wipes Called "Washcloths"?

Brands that label their adult wipes as washcloths most times indicate that their product or formulation is designed for water-less bathing, cleansing and daily incontinence care. However, some brands do manufacture specific washcloths that are for bathing and not for incontinence cleansing. These specific products are designed for situations when a bath, shower and daily cleaning are not possible and may require alternative hygiene. The brands that manufacture such specific washcloths usually make incontinence specific wipes as well so its important to look at the product you are purchasing and the labels.

Many brands tend to make their wipes more universal combining the wipes with washcloth features and formulations thus creating a multi-purpose products. Such products actually end up being more purposeful and economical because you can get a wider variety of uses out of the same wipe, something that baby wipes are generally not designed to offer. Wipes that are labeled washcloths are also a great thing to pack for traveling and vacations because they can touch up and clean in a pinch.

Generic and Brand Name Wipes are the Same Thing, Right?

The short answer is no. Many generic or store brand adult wipes and washcloths are made from much cheaper materials and lack the quality formulations that offer healthy skin benefits. Some stores that sell generic wipes will actually contract the brand name manufacturer to create a private label product that is the exact same as the brand name but at a lower cost and price.

How Do I Choose the Right Wipe?

Look for a wipe or washcloth that is manufactured by a reputable company and brand-name. Always check the product description and find a wipe with the right formulation and skin benefits for your own personal needs. You may need to experiment with a few different brands to be able to determine what works best for you personally. Fortunately for you, all of the wipes and washcloths we carry are available in single packages so you don't have to spend a lot of money or hassle finding your ideal product.

We are a one stop shop that can offer you the convenience of ordering all of your care and incontinence products in one place. Below are links to some of our favorite adult wipes and washcloths:


In closing we at Discreet Solutions genuinely hope this post has been helpful and informative. Our goal is to offer the best resources and recommendations that we can because we want you to remain healthy and active in every way possible, even if you suffer from incontinence. If you need any assistance at all we would be more than happy to help you.


Tena USA/Essity:

J&J Expert Articles:

Medline Professional Medical Information:

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