If you’re looking for no-frills flushable wipes with basic features, Cottonelle delivers. Each wipe has a lightly textured surface that cleans effectively, but they’re still soft enough for everyday use. The manufacturer claims that they’re safe for sewers and septic systems (be sure to see our buying guide for more information on flushability), and each pack is resealable for easy on-the-go use. However, some reviewers note that the packs can come open after being resealed, so you might need to invest in a separate container for the wipes.
FreshCare wipes have aloe and vitamin E, but they also contain some fragrance, which may irritate some users. Still, they’re inexpensive, effective, and simple—pretty much everything you’d expect from one of the top personal hygiene brands.
Charmin Freshmates cleanse effectively and efficiently for everyday use. According to the manufacturer, the wipes are safe for sewers and septic systems (but again, check our buying guide before deciding whether or not to flush these). Each portable pack has a plastic seal to keep the wipes moist.
Unlike some of the other options on the market, Charmin Freshmates contain benzyl alcohol, a mild solvent that could potentially cause skin irritation for some older adults. They also have a light fragrance, which could be a benefit or a drawback depending on the user’s personal preferences.
DUDE Wipes have unnecessarily gendered branding, which might cause some buyers to immediately discount them. That’s unfortunate, as they’ve got some nice features that make them one of the better adult wipe options on the market (regardless of whether or not you’re a “dude”).
They’re made with plant-sourced fibers, which are both biodegradable and flushable. Vitamin E and aloe provide some skin-friendly benefits, and the soft, thick sheets are about 25 percent larger than average wet wipes. DUDE Wipes are available with a “mint chill” fragrance, but older adults will probably prefer the unscented version.
Surviveware wet wipes are designed for campers and hikers—but at the end of the day, a wipe is a wipe, regardless of where you’re using it. They’re also significantly larger than many other wipes on the market, which can make them ideal for cleaning older adults. While they’re usable as toilet wipes, they’re also ideal for keeping clean between full baths.
Each wipe measures 8 inches by 12 inches, so a single pack goes a long way. The large size might be overkill for some purposes, but they’re soft, durable, and biodegradable. We couldn’t find any information on whether they’re plumbing friendly, but given their size, we wouldn’t flush these.
TENDERProtect wipes are soft, gentle, and infused with aloe and lanolin, which help to soothe skin and prevent irritation. Unfortunately, the formula also includes propylene glycol, a common additive that can cause skin reactions in some users. While most people will be able to use these wipes without issue—propylene glycol sensitivities are relatively rare—buyers should patch-test these wipes before using them on sensitive skin.
A flip-up lid keeps the wipes moist between uses, but the packaging could use some improvements, as reviewers noted difficulties in removing a single wipe at a time. They also quite large, so depending on the use case, may or may not be a good thing. Still, given their low cost and skin-friendly ingredients, TENDERProtect wipes are worthy of consideration, particularly in homes or facilities with multiple older adults.
Healthy Spirit washcloths are pH balanced and alcohol free, and they’re designed for full-body hygiene. Each oversized washcloth is infused with aloe vera and vitamin E, though the formula also contains propylene glycol. They’re larger and thicker than toilet wipes, so they hold together well during cleansing, and they dispense easily from their resealable package.
Unlike some of the other options on this list, Healthy Spirit adult wipes are explicitly not flushable. We couldn’t find any information from the manufacturer indicating that they’re biodegradable, so if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, you might want to look elsewhere.
Some brands claim that their adult wipes are fully biodegradable and safe for all sewer systems. Unfortunately, there’s no way to verify these claims, and many plumbers insist that wet wipes are much more likely to cause a clog than conventional toilet paper. After all, toilet paper breaks down when exposed to moisture, and obviously, that’s not the case for pre-moistened adult wipes. While they eventually biodegrade, that’s a comparatively slow process.
With that in mind, we can’t say definitively that flushable wipes are safe for all sewer systems or that they biodegrade quickly enough to prevent clogs. Buyers might want to avoid flushing any wipes, regardless of the claims on the products’ packaging. If you do flush, avoid flushing more than two wipes at a time.
Be aware of any skin sensitivities and read ingredient lists carefully when purchasing.
While most adult wipes are marketed as hypoallergenic, some chemicals can cause irritation over time, especially alcohols (used in some formulas as antibacterial agents), fragrances, and propylene glycol. Of course, adult wipes are designed to be used on sensitive skin, so these ingredients are usually added sparingly.
Many product formulas also contain skin-friendly ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E. These additives may be helpful to some users, but ironically, they can also cause reactions for people with sensitivities. Always spot test wipes before using them on sensitive skin.
Larger adult wipes are generally a better option if you’re purchasing adult wipes as a comprehensive hygiene solution, but they tend to be more expensive.
Consider the practical applications before making a decision; if you intend to use wipes to extend the time between full bathings, the larger options might make sense. As with any personal hygiene purchase, caretakers should work with older adults to find the best possible option.
Adult wipes are a safe, effective addition to a well-rounded hygiene regimen, and they’re practically essential when caring for older adults. By evaluating a few options, you can ensure the health and comfort of your loved one while making your caregiving tasks a little easier.