Adult wipes are a skin care convenience perfect for a variety of personal needs. While an effective part of incontinence care and cleansing, adult wipes are also handy alternatives to washcloths—think of them as disposable washcloths—for use virtually anywhere on the body. They’re the perfect solution for personal hygiene when a bath or shower just isn’t possible.
Adult wipes have become so popular that there are dozens of types to choose from in terms of everything from ingredients to the style of packaging.
Here are the most important points to consider:
Flushable or disposable wipes. Depending on your sewer or septic system, you may be able to choose the added convenience of wipes that can be flushed down the toilet.
Scented, unscented or fragrance free. This choice depends first on whether you have any allergies that involve fragrance and, if not, whether you prefer a scent or not. Keep in mind that unscented does not mean fragrance free, but rather that the wipe doesn’t have a noticeable smell. If allergies are a concern or if your skin tends to feel irritated by products with fragrances, you need to choose fragrance-free.
Aloe or other emollient ingredients. Incontinence can cause skin irritation; wipes will emollients can protect delicate skin as they cleanse. These ingredients are less crucial if you use a barrier cream or lotion to protect skin. Dimethicone is an ingredient in many wipes; it’s a silicon that acts as a skin protectant and eases cleansing. Keep in mind that alcohol is a drying agent and may irritate skin.
Size. Adult wipes are obviously sized for adult use, however there are still many sizes to choose from, anywhere from 5” or 6” squares to 9” or 10” by 13” rectangles. Larger sizes allow for quick and easy clean-ups with fewer wipes; these might be a better choice when using wipes for full-body cleansing or fecal incontinence.
Packaging. Styles vary as much as the adult wipes themselves. Soft packaging takes up less room while pop-up containers often can be accessed with just one hand. A secure lid might provide a better barrier to keep adult wipes moist than a re-closeable seal unless you’re very careful to seal it completely.
Price. Most disposable washcloths and other adult wipes are cheaper by the case. Cases may have anywhere from 6 to 12 packs or tubs, making them the economical choice. When you compare, be sure to consider how many wipes are in each package and how many packages there are to the case so that you can correctly compare the total number of wipes you’re getting to the price.