Wet Wipes: What Went Wrong?

PoopReport of the Year Awardk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

My buddy and I were gently gliding our cart through the local supermarket when we came upon the toilet paper aisle. We stopped. The one rickety wheel that wasn't touching the shiny tile rocked back and forth, like a pendulum. We both stared at something neither of had ever before seen: moist toilet wipes. Sure, we had both seen similar items -- but only for babies. Never before had we seen adult wet wipes.

It was the fall of 2001. The wet wipes craze was about to begin. Soon, hoped both Proctor and Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, sphincters everywhere

Charmin Fresh Mates Rolls

Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes

would know what a mountain spring smelled like.

They were wrong. The year is 2005 and today no one uses wet wipes.

In the beginning of 2001, Kimberly-Clark Corp announced its plans to launch what they called "America's first wet, flushable toilet paper on a roll," the Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes. That summer, Proctor & Gamble dropped the bomb that they were bringing their own wet wipes on a roll to market -- Charmin Fresh Mates Rolls, a product based on the acquisition of a wet-wipes-on-a-roll offering called MoistMates that had been sold in a few regional stores since the mid-90s. It was going to be an all out corporate war for the right to make our asses wet.

In essence, both products were extremely similar. Supposedly the Fresh Rollwipes were made with smaller fibers and broke down better in toilets; truth be known, they both broke down about the same. Still, 2001 was set to be a banner year for any shit-smith such as myself. We would now have the choice between regular, dry 90-grit toilet paper and touchably smooth wet wipes. The choices were endless -- should I get the regular wet wipes or should I get the wet wipes with moisturizer? Should I get the regular toilet paper or the scented, colored paper? As if we didn't have enough decisions to make in this world, now we had to contemplate even more for our bung.

One thing was clear: both companies were expecting tons of asses to be wiped with their new wet wipes. The roll idea, said Kimberly-Clark, was to be "the most significant category innovation since toilet paper first appeared in roll form in 1890." Initial forecasts were upwards of $150 million in sales for the first year and over $600 million annually after six. Both companies cited ample market research for their decisions -- according to Proctor & Gamble, nearly 2/3rds of Americans had used some form of moist towel for cleansing purposes.

Price on the Fresh Mates Rolls was $8.99. For your nine dollars, you got a big beige gadget that fit into your standard toilet paper dispenser, and four refills. Kimberly Clark countered with a $2.49 kit with one refill. And so the stage was set for the big launch.

Butt: it never happened. The proverbial shit never hit the fan. The wet wipes craze turned out to be a big pile of used toilet paper.

To quote John Kirkpatrick in the Dallas Morning News in 2003: "Two corporate giants have been trying to change America's bathroom habits in the last couple of years. But like a two-year-old who rebels against potty training, consumers have stubbornly resisted."

The American public kept wiping with dry paper. Shit chutes everywhere were quoted as saying, "I like the dry stuff. If you like the wet wipes so much then you fucken use 'em."

And so the people had spoken. Over a five-year period, millions of advertising dollars were flushed down the crapper just like the wipes they were trying to sell. Armed with rolls of market research, these corporations tried to figure out what went wrong. Some people, they learned, did indeed want to wipe their asses with moist, sweet smelling wipes.

But the product "was ahead of its time." Others blamed the American people, saying we were just too shy to try something new.

After it was all said and done, both P&G and Kimberly-Clark dropped a deuce on the whole wet wipe craze. They are both still carrying the products, but not in such a wide array as they did 2001. Neither of their products are sold on rolls anymore. Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes, for instance, only come in a tub -- now they just call them Cottonelle Fresh.

I got to thinking about why they never really caught on. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of having a slick ass crack, so I have always passed on using any type of wet wipe. I have yet to find a piece of dry toilet paper that couldn't accommodate my posterior. No matter how bad the defecation, dry toilet paper has never let me down. Sure, it has left my rectum bloody and sore; but never encrusted with crap.

Even though they're still being marketed, I have never seen an adult version of wet wipes in anyone's house. I have seen the child ones, but only in places where there are children. My good buddy, who has two small shit machines, has a stack of these things sitting in his garage. He's ready for WWIII to break out. If the shit ever hits the fan, he'll be there with the wet wipes to clean up the mess. (Incidentally, he has the grape scent. I agree that a child will be more apt at wiping his pooper if the wet wipes smelled of something good. But grape? Who wants their ass to smell like grape? I can see a mountain spring, or maybe Old Spice. But grape?)

So why didn't the wet wipes every catch on? Were consumers just too reluctant to spend the extra money on wet wipes? Or was it the embarrassment factor -- maybe people were just too shy to have a roll of wet wipes installed next to their commode? Or could it be my reason: no one likes a slick ass crack? Fellow PoopReporters, you tell me. Proudly wave your soiled wad of toilet paper in the air if you approve or disapprove of wet wipes.

In this PoopReporter's brown eye, there's no room for wet wipes in my bathroom. It's the dry way or the highway.

121 Comments on "Wet Wipes: What Went Wrong?"

AssBlaster2000's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardj 1000+ points

I have felt the need for wet wipes in my life, but it's rather infrequent. Maybe once a month or so, or even more infrequently, I need to use a wet wipe to clean my mess up. The problem for me is that I buy a box of wet wipes and it has like, say, 20 or so in there, and I would use those over a period of 20 months. But they dry up long before then, even when the package is sealed. So I go to use my wet wipes again and they're dry. That's not effective. I just don't want to buy another pack and have them dry up on me again.

General Colon Pow!'s picture

I use regular generic-brand baby ass-wipes ($1.80)to touch-up the ol' back door after every regular toilet-paper wiping. I've been using them for eons! Regular dry wipe....followed by the moist ass-wipe wipe= about as mountain stream fresh as your bunghole can get! Cheap and efficient.


$9 for some fancy-pants sissified asswipes....and using them instead of toilet paper???!!!! Who'd be able to afford to take a shit? I can't believe they actually marketed such a thhing! I'd never even heard of them before today. Shoot....might as well just start wiping your ass with dollar bills- it'd be cheaper!

Di Rhea's picture

The correct way to use these wet wipes is as follows. Use normal dry paper first, then use the wet wipe to freshen up and make yourself feel clean. Finaly pat you bum dry with normal toilet paper.

Balloon Knot's picture

Also, Wendy's chili is the only thing that has ever made me clog the toilet.

Balloon Knot's picture

My husband goes through a box of the Cottonelle wipes about every 2 weeks; and yet he still has skids on his shorts. I too only use for "sticky situations". But they do get the job done.

Marcos - you must have a very strong a-hole - White Castle after a night of drinking is brutal!

Wesley's picture

I love em. Most of the time I can get away with the dry stuff, but sometimes, when it's real messy and thick, I gotta pull em out. Just wipe with one, then finish it off with a dry wad.

As for the fast food thing: Whataburger messes my stomach up. No other burger joint does that to me. It gives me a sore stomach and the runs.

Marcos's picture

So.. when you wipe your ass w/ wet wipes, are you supposed to finish the job with dry paper?
I would get down with the wet if they had the dry dispenser right next to it. No one likes a sweat ass

/off topic
I can eat any fast food and as much as I want, as long as I have my Aciphex.

And im talking white castle after a night at the bar.

Merkin's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I give wet wipes 4 turds out of 5 on the poo scale. It's when I wish I had them that I don't. The dirt button is always cleaner after a wiping with a wet one.


Caustic ass pee hurts

Moneymaker's picture

honestly wet wipes are just too expensive and you have to get refills, you take Dry paper, wet it in a sink and get the same effect, no funny smells, and you don't have to worry if it will break down in the sewer, after all its just dry paper made wet, like when you throw it in the toilet anyway. In addition for the ones that don't like slick ass, you simple use another round of dry paper from the same roll.

I used to carry some water with me on the subway, and after work if i had to pinch off a loaf, i could wet the dry paper with my left over water from the bottle and have wet wipes without leaving my stall.

commerical wet paper is a waste of time.

Tronald Dump's picture

I've got a tub of 'em sitting on my tank right now. I use them for "special" cleanup, if something unusually sticky comes out, or if my a-hole is tender. They do leave you with a wet slick, but I dab it dry wit reguar TP. A box lasts me and the wife a month and a half.

Di Uhreea's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

I was an advocate for wet wipe usage when my two kids were smaller and I still had wet wipes around. Even though I vowed I would never be without at least a travel pack of wet wipes, I haven't had them for about two years. I don't know where my NEED for these wipes disappeared to. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed wiping with those things. I remember telling everyone Pampers wipes were way softer than Huggies wipes. They were good for your ass, for stains on clothing, removing make-up, wiping sticky kid hands and oh, the list goes on.
Maybe it's the price? I can't justify buying them anymore, I guess. I avoid the diaper/wipe aisle altogether now. I know these Cottonelle wipes are by the toilet paper, but I'm too busy concentrating on which toilet paper is the softest for the lowest price! Plus, they're up higher and my eyes are scanning the prices down below on the bottom shelf. Once I get my TP, I'm off down the aisle to the soaps and stuff.
I just thought, maybe they should put the wipes with the hemmorhoid creams and Tucks wipes. I think people would notice them better there. Then, they are concentrating on their ass and not just scanning for the prices!

Capn' Americass's picture

Ditto on the pack of towelettes going dry after too long. So, I've gone to the individually wrapped ones which I keep at work (who needs 'em at home??? Isn't that what wash cloths are for??). Technique-wise: dry TP for earth-moving and moist towelette for mopping up. Word.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

I think people are embarrassed to have them in their bathroom because it's like advertising, "Look! We stink!"

I think that I'll always have them under my sink, though.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Poo Man Chew's picture

Wet's the way to go. I just spit on the dry paper if I need a special clean up or if I've had so many dry wipes that my ass is turning red. Spit-wipe... Spit-wipe. Just don't get the order mixed up!

shitass's picture

I think keeping one's wetwipes out suggests cleanliness, not stinkieness. It's the difference between having a broom in your kitchen, or a broom and a mop.

Poo Poo Ca-Choo's picture

Who in their right minds would totally give up dry paper for wet wipes?? What were these companies thinging? I'll bet they've never even tried to clean an ass with just wet wipes. (Incindentally, neither have I, but I imagine it just makes a mess). The initial wipe must consist of something that has the absorbance and friction necessary to grab hold of any crap clining to the ass without turning it into a mudslide. The wetwipes come in, if at all, AFTER the majority of the poo is gone, but there remains that stubborn little bit waaay up in your ass crack -- you know, when no matter how deep or hard you chafe your asscrack with dry paper, you still get skid marks -- THAT'S when wet wipes come in. The stubborn skid mark is also compounded by eating greasy food, so wetwipes may come in handy on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for that hang-over induced liqui-shit.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I hate wet wipes. All they ever did to my ass was smear the shit all over the place. Give me a good dry swipe any day.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

downunder's picture


Pill Pooper's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

I don't know about anyone else, but I stay the hell away from McDonald's. In fact, I haven't eaten at Mc Donald's in almost 10yrs. In all seriousness, I would eat that shit and within 10 minutes I would be ready to shit myself. I don't know what's in it, but it messes me up something fierce. No other fast food chain does that to me. So.. you might be on to something with your idea....

-Pill Pooper

downunder's picture

Thought so... when I was a youth I eat mcdonalds frequently for a month cause I worked alot and party too much it gave me appedicitus (don't no how to spell it) it very bad for you I'd have to say. Maybe it would become bad publicity for the T.P company.

downunder's picture

sorry for my poor spelling there I was distracted.

the frequent farter's picture

Here's the problem with wet wipes: A friend of mine once got totally drunk and after taking a dump he accidentally wiped with one of those Scrubbing Bubbles flushable wipes that you use to clean the tub and sink. He said that the next morning he woke up with a burning asshole and couldn't figure out what happened until he saw the package laying on the floor. Be careful what you find under the sink.

downunder's picture

I wouldn't want to walk around smelling like a poo grape it'd be a dead give away that you'd just pumped a loaf.
Plus if the paper is dry you'd get more value for money cause it's soak more shit up.
Here's a tip when dumping open your legs.

downunder's picture

I think maybe they should go into partnership with McDonalds. I'd get the kids hooked on wiping their arses in the restaurant toilet. They're already hooked on the food, it's a logical progression for them to be hooked on the shit tickets in the McDunny. Whaddaya reckon?

downunder's picture

To be honest I'd really appreciate the feed back on the proposal I just wrote. I seriously believe that there would be potential for both corporations to gain grater control on our digestive tracts. They may need extra stong wipes with some surfactant on the wipe to cut through the heavy duty grease found only in brown McNugget's.

Peanut's picture

I think someone is feeding me peanuts while I sleep. For real! I don't remember eating them!

Fartknot's picture

The people who say the damned things dry up too fast are right. I loved the wet asswipes and was going to install their holders in my bathrooms, but in a dry climate they dried up WAY too fast.
Major disappointment. A technology whose time has not yet come.

Fartknot's picture

Addendum: when they dried out they were weird little felt-like things that seemed to contain a built-in poop repellant.

freakazoid's picture

Wet wipes suck ass. Every time I use one it makes my asscrack feel like its full of liquid shit. I agree with Slim Jim in that it makes me feel like I didn't wipe.

downunder, no one gives a shit.

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

You gotta do what you gotta do to get your bung-hole as clean as you want it to be. Minty fresh, rancid, sand-blasted, fingernail-etched. Just doo it.

wonderpance's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

i've never tried the wet wipes, but i've been wanting to. i didn't even know that there were wet wipes for adults until i started reading about them on this site. i don't remember seeing any commercials for them or anything. maybe that's one of the reasons they didn't take off. obviously, people aren't gonna buy something they've never heard of. the problem here may be as simple as poor marketing.

i love poop.

emtpoo's picture

I just dont like a wet ass

shitass's picture

Hey downunder,
i don't have the authority to speak for everyone else, but i suspect that you're coming on a little strong. If you don't get the response you're looking for, perhaps people aren't interested in your angle, and you should consider waiting patiently until you're inspired again. It might work out better than blanket critcism for not meeting your expectations.

Obi-Dung Kenobi's picture
l 100+ points

This is exactly what you get when you hire a bunch of freshly minted marketing majors to come up with a product. Research results can be misleading, especially if no one has the good sense to put the idea to a practical test. In this case, I think they failed to ask themselves, "Would I really buy this?"

When dry TP has been doing it well for over a century at a much lower price, why bring something like this on the market? I don't know about the other guys here, but I would be pretty humiliated to be seen browsing the aisle where such products are sold, and/or paying for them at the register. That might just be me though. I still make my girlfriend buy the condoms.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

shitass, you could be right. To me, though, it would say that this person really has a reason to clean up!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

Even if I had the wet wipes next to me, 90% of the time I wouldn't want to use them. That is because when I use a wet wipe, the wetness in it makes me feel like I missed when I wiped my ass. That, ands they feel cold.

I use a wet clump of TP (Made wet in the sink) if my ass is in pain from shitting liquified fire. Otherwise, I use conventioal wipes, because a wet wipe makes me feel like I haven't disposed of all the crap.

I suppose I could supplement wetwipes with dry wipes, but I just don't feel the need.

downunder's picture

Did anyone bother to read what I wrote propperly??? I didn't ask what fast food gave you the worst shits, thats another topic altogether. i thought this site was devoted to the intellectual pursuit of poo.?!

Shitzophrenic's picture

commercials for wet wipes for adults... now that could be some funny shit!
i have some but i actually thought they were supposed to be just for keeping the whole area "down there" more fresh. Not just for wiping after pooping. Like if you're in for a romantic evening and there was no time for cleaning up... i dunno.

shitass's picture

I had been using wetwipes for a while, to do a "final run through" after tough paperwork when I started having intimate relations with a particular girl. I always showered before seeing her, and i think she did the same, but one time i was visitng her southern hemisphere, and i caught the distinct odor of cottonelle wetwipes. I immidiatly assumed that right under that smell was her feces. I gagged, made up an excuse and went home. Yuck. Don't use the wipes for that or you'll give yourself away to someone who knows the smell.

cleanerthanU's picture

Honestly, if you got shit on your hands, would you be satisfied if you only wiped them with a dry paper towel? We in the US have the lousy hygiene habits with our bottoms. Europeans, though they may have BO, keep their crotches clean via bidettes. I use charmin or cottonelle wet wipes followed by a last TP wipe. Such a product was long overdue.

Grizzly Rectums's picture

Wet Wipes are for girly flatlanders. A real man wipes his ass with during the summer with a handfull of wet sand standing in a mountain stream. In the winter, that would be way too frigid, so a real man then wipes with a handful of last season's brambles and briars. You fuckin' sissified town dwellers make me puke!

wonderpance's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

shitass: i find that really interesting. why do you suppose it is that smelling the wetwipes, then making the connection to what it must've been used for grossed you out, even though i assume the wetwipe smell is pleasant, and you didn't even actually smell poop? and the assumption that the girl poops should always be there, even if it's in the back of your mind.

i love poop.

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

I too have a tub on the tank. I got the idea from one of these poop stories........I think. The tub was on sale at the local HEB and I thought " what the hell". I don't use them every time, because I forget about them being there. When I do (doo), they work great. I can wipe with the whole towelette and then fold it over for another go. The second wipe is usually clean as a whistle. I don't mind the damp. It goes away in seconds. I guess my body (booty) heat takes care of that. The baby powder smell is a little disconcerting because it reminds me of diapers. I probably have some sublimated potty training trauma to deal with. The grape flavor sounds kind of cool. Thanks for the story. I found it to be very interesting.

The Emir of Crapistan

Ned's picture

I would just like to say that, being in the military, I think these wet wipe shit tickets are great, because when I am in the field, I dont get to shower often and sometimes tend to get red ass. They are also good for cleaning your whole body if you cant shower. But the price of the roll wet wipe shit tickets is bull shit.

shitass's picture

Ever hear of Stanislavski? He created "the method", and acting technique made famous by Brando, and his ilk. One of the tools they use is "sense memory". Ever catch a whiff of the purfume your high school girlfriend used to wear, and drift off into vivid day dreams about making out under the bleachers? Well I was doing my thing, and got detected afamiliar smell, and i was transported back to the bathroom pushing out reams of stickytoothpaste shit. ANd there i was, thinking of shit right next to something, next to something that makes the stuff. I had to walk away. (I just dry heaved writing this)

wonderpance's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

shitass: that makes a lot of sense, actually. i always smell stuff that takes me back to a certain time or place. and sometimes i even smell something that makes me feel kind of weird, like i recognize the smell but i can't remember why. and your perfume example is perfect, cuz whenever i smell this cologne one of my boyfriends from high school used, i have to get away cuz it brings back unhappy memories (nothing bad, it just didn't go well). then of course there's the smells that remind you of your gramma's house, or if i come across this certain combo of cologne and mints it always reminds me of my sixth grade teacher. i'll stop rambling now.
but i do have one more question: did you ever see that girl again? or did that incident turn you off from her completely?

i love poop.

Liquid Fire's picture

These stories really cracked me up!!!
Thanks for the laughs!!!

shitass's picture

The bloom fell off the rose, into the toilet, on a steaming stack of shitcakes. I tried to go back, but i couldn't deal.

Dubious Merit's picture

I work at a nursing home and was converted after trying one of our "adult wipes" out of curiousity. They're nice, especially when one's menstruating as well. I don't use them all the time, only when it seems like something with more cleaning power is called for.

Of course, I pinch them from work, so the economic factor isn't an issue.

Beavis's picture

She "piches"them...he...he...hehehehehehehheheheh. Yeah. Pinch it...he...he...he

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