Baby wipes are a great choice for personal hygiene. They’re leagues better in quality than toilet paper, and much better on the skin than adult wipes. Baby wipes are also pretty accessible. Adding all these advantages together makes for an easy purchase for a lot of people, but there are a few crucial things you need to know about baby wipes before you start using them.
Yes, adults can use baby wipes, though they do come with some easy-to-overlook drawbacks. Firstly, they aren’t very equipped to handle bacteria. They might also trigger allergies or even infections due to their moisture content, so you need to dry off the area after use. Lastly, flushing wipes down the toilet is bad for the environment – not to mention your repair bill!
Baby wipes tend to be the usual recommendation for personal hygiene. While they do have significant merits, they aren’t the catch-all solution most people assume they are. It’s important to keep yourself informed on details most end up glossing over.
Baby Wipes Aren’t Actually Equipped For Bacteria
Baby wipes are primarily engineered to remove organic material from your body without irritating the skin. This comes because they’re often water-based, making them easier on the body than adult wipes – those are usually alcohol-based, and can dry your skin out with frequent use.
As a side note, this function also means they’re pretty bad at handling oil or oil-based products. While you’ll feel cleaner using baby wipes, it won’t actually do much to clear your pores or get rid of any excess makeup. The worst part is that they’re quite good at dealing with lingering odors, so you might even realize your cleaning wasn’t as thorough as you anticipated it to be!
They usually have a modest amount of soap and other cleaning products, but this is not sufficient for genuine disinfection. Don’t forget: they’re mild on the skin because they’re mild on bacteria! That said, it’s still a significant improvement in both hygiene and comfort over tissue paper.
They Run The Risk Of Triggering Allergies Or Even Infections
The market is absolutely littered with distinct brands, and each come with their own range of unique components. It can be tough to track which ingredients are fine, which ingredients are fine for some, and which ingredients will cause problems for your family.
Baby wipes are water-based, so they tend to make use of certain preservatives to retain that moisture for long-term usage. It also means that baby wipes don’t actually expire – at least, not in the usual way we think of the term.
Most of the preservatives used in the industry are fine, but they can rapidly become an issue in certain mixtures. One standout example was the ingredient methylisothiazolinone (MI). It was found to cause rashes, infections, and even some cases of acute contact dermatitis for consumers.
While the problematic preservative was modified to lessen the allergy risk, the industry can’t fully account for these problems. A lot of factors go into play here, and you might be one of the unlucky few with a bad reaction to an innocuous component. Find a brand that works and stick to it.
Another notable issue is the dampness they leave behind. Baby wipes introduce moisture to whatever area you’re cleaning, so be sure to dry that spot thoroughly afterward.
Not doing that could lead to bacteria cultures propagating, usually leading to rashes and other potentially-nasty infections. It’s not a very common problem to encounter, but you should be mindful of the risk regardless.
Always Bin Your Wipes – Even “Flushable” Ones!
It’s well known that wipes are bad for the environment: polluting water sources, clumping pipes, and throwing entire sanitation systems out of whack.
The problem isn’t just the material density. Wipes are usually used for pretty icky stuff and tend to end up chock full of oil, hair, residue, or other gunky waste products.
Individually, these components can break down with time and effort. Put together, though, and you end up with a sewage issue that costs homeowners and whole cities millions of dollars in maintenance expenses – not to mention horrendous environmental damages.
Flushing your wipes might seem convenient at first, but you could be paying for it in some pretty annoying ways down the line, since clogged pipe repairs can be very expensive.
Even after processing it through plumbing, the clumped wipes still pose a significant health hazard for local marine life in a multitude of ways.
The pollution comes not just from the waste material, but how it impacts the area. It encourages algae bloom in the vicinity, which toxifies their home further – often to inhospitable degrees.
Wipes also break down into microplastics, which can leach into the affected animal’s body, damaging their organs, immune systems, and long-term health. Some of these animals were found to have neurotoxic properties when ingested by humans.
Wipes are often made from synthetic materials that can handle a lot of strain. They don’t break down and need to be pushed through by water pressure to maintain the plumbing system. In contrast, toilet paper is designed to disintegrate quickly in water.
Flushable wipes are a horrible middleground in practice. They clump together more tightly than normal wipes, making their transit in the sewer system easier.
Unfortunately, they end up even sturdier when they reach a pipe they can’t pass. The declogging process takes much longer in these cases, and flushable wipes tend to be pricier than normal ones.
- Jams in your home plumbing system, making it a bigger hassle on you.
- Passes your home plumbing, but jams in transit to the city’s waste disposal center, which takes up time and tax money.
You’re better off chucking flushable wipes in the trash, which defeats the entire product’s point. Save everyone the hassle and avoid spending money on these products.
There are a lot of misconceptions circulating about adults using baby wipes. While they’re great for personal hygiene, these also have a few shortcomings to bear in mind. Knowing them helps you get the most bang for your buck while avoiding some of the more common risks.