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Wet Wipes 101 - Types of Wet Wipes - Part 1

Published on: 02 / 09 / 2012

When it comes to the world of wet wipes we know our stuff! :)  But more importantly, what do you know about the wet wipes you have in your brand portfolios? 


What are wet wipes?

wet_wipe_in_hand_1_thmbA wet wipe (called a moist towelette in the USA) is effectively a moistened piece of cloth which is used for cleaning purposes. You may be thinking, is that it?

  • Are they simply just white sheets of cloth that help you to clean?
  • What material (substrate) is used for wet wipes? Are there any major differences I should know about? 
  • What is the liquid (formulation) in wet wipes? Is it just water?
  • Wet wipes come in different types of packaging, are there any benefits?

You may be surprised to know that there is a lot more to wipes than meets the eye. Through this series will be providing you a guide into the world of wipes and provide answers to the questions above.

History of wipes

According to Wikipedia the origin of wet wipes came about during the mid 50’s as more people were travelling and needed a way of cleaning up on the go. Wet wipes were also introduced as a quick way of cleaning hands after a take away meal.

baby-wipe-photo-450x400-ts-84142942By the late 70s the first real baby wipes appeared in the marketplace available to consumers and these were in the form of small thin wipes, which were packaged in a round plastic canister.

By the 1990s the expansion of wipes led to more applications on the market and now most large supermarket stores having their own private label branded wipes equivalent. At this stage, the format changed to bigger and thicker wipes.

Since then the global wipes market has grown to in excess of £9 billion (based on 2012 figures) and is expected to continue to grow and exceed £12.5 billion by 2017.

Types of Wet Wipes

Over the years wet wipes have been developed to cater for a whole host of categories, which are constantly growing all the time. Here is a list of the main areas where you can expect to find wipes:

(Visit 'Our Wet Wipes Products' section if you would like to gain more information on any of these categories.)

Hope this provides you with a good introduction into wet wipes and the categories where you can expect to find them. Next up in the series, wet wipe substrate. This will give you fresh insights into the fabrics used for wet wipes and the main differences between them.

Take a look at the rest of the ‘Wet Wipes 101’ series:

Part 2 – Wet Wipe Fiber Types and Nonwovens

Part 3 – Wet Wipe Manufacturing Processes

Part 4 – What is the ‘Wet’ in Wet Wipes

Part 5 – Types of Wet Wipes Packaging

8 Things to Do with Wipes That You’ve Never Thought of Before

Topics: Wipes 101, Wipes

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