There’s a saying that goes “It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.” It’s not hard to imagine that whoever said this was thinking of a cotton wipe—or unfortunately in the process of a terrible job where a cotton wipe was being employed. Think about it: from cleaning up horrible messes to wiping the behinds of babies, cotton wipes go where no one wants to go. Often they’re the final barrier between us and places/substances we would never—ever!—want to come into contact with our skin. There’s a reason for that. Cotton, just by its nature, offers some traits that make it perfect for the dirtiest of jobs.
The Various Types of Cotton Wipes
First it’s important to discuss the various types of cotton wipes. The best way to do that is to break them into categories based on how little you’d mind tackling the job:
“That’s not so bad.”
Surface wipes fall into this category. Most people don’t like to clean, but wiping down a kitchen counter isn’t the end of the world. Busting out a wipe for household chores isn’t a joy, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
Another example is cosmetic wipes. For estheticians, cotton wipes are used for skin care all the time, and some women use them at home to remove make-up. Though skin contact is involved, this is still a tame application.
“As long as I’m cleaning myself, it’s totally okay.”
Now we enter the wonderful world of hygiene, where skin contact gets a little more serious. From femcare to medical applications, cotton wipes are often used when you need an effective way to clean, well, down there. We’ll just say it: we don’t know how nurses do it.
“I’m going in, but I don’t want to.”
Babies are cute—until it’s time for a diaper change. But one again, wipes are here to save the day. While it’s a terrible job, wipes at least make it manageable for mom and dad, and comfortable for the little ones. Still, baby care would definitely rank high in a list of the dirtiest wipe jobs.
Three Key Factors that Make Cotton Ideal for Wipes
Jokes aside, there’s a reason why wipes made of cotton make a difference (and are customer-preferred). While we could talk about overall efficiency all day long, or compare cotton to synthetic fibers, here are three key traits that make cotton ideal for wipes:
- The Natural Factor: The fact that cotton is a natural fiber is enough for many consumers. Remember all those next-to-skin applications? Cotton is comfortable and hypoallergenic, which allows it to work well for even the most sensitive skin.
- The Sustainability Factor: From the fact that cotton is a renewable resource to its biodegradability, it offers some eco-friendly advantages in comparison to its synthetic counterparts. More efficient farming practices have enhanced the wonder fiber’s appeal.
- The Performance Factor: Though it’s been in use for a gazillion years (that’s, of course, an approximation), cotton is in many ways a high-tech fiber. Wipes showcase one of cotton’s greatest assets: wet strength. Whether infused with cleaner or botanicals, cotton wipes are built for performance.
Imagine Life Without Wipes
Most consumers use cotton wipes on a daily basis, in a variety of different ways, to the point that it’s a product that is almost taken for granted. Hopefully this post will renew your appreciation. If it hasn’t, we’ll offer you this challenge: try to avoid using one for a month or so, and get back to us. We’re willing to bet you’ll miss your trusty wipe—dearly—right when that first dirty job presents itself.