Reusable Handi Wipes

These days when you think of “handy wipes,” you think of moist pop-up sheets. In fact, you can get these moist towelettes in a variety of forms and prices. Baby wipes, cosmetic facial wipes, toilet wipes… scented, unscented, flushable, nonflushable… in plastic tubs, stackable plastic bricks, small pocket pouches… the list goes on.

They are all very convenient, and if you use them in your travels, I wouldn’t fault you one bit. And some travelers, like parents traveling with diapered babies, consider moist towelettes and handy wipes an absolute necessity.

All the different types of pre-moistened wipes out there share one thing in common: they are all disposable, each sheet designed to be used just once.

While many travelers swear by these moist wipes, there is one “handy wipe” product that has been on the market for decades and which you can still find online and in cleaning supply stores: The Clorox Handi Wipe.

Clorox Handi Wipe
The Clorox Handi Wipe.

There’s nothing extraordinary about the Handi Wipe, but a couple of features make these a traveler’s friend:

  • Extremely cheap – usually less than $3 for a pack of 6 sheets
  • Very light – a single sheet barely registers on the scale
  • Dries by almost wringing alone (or drip dry for a few minutes)
  • Reusable – if you are trying to create less waste and carry less stuff
  • Durable – they are so durable that you can even run them through a washing machine
  • Disposable – when you get a big tear in your Handi Wipe or clean up after a particularly nasty mess and you don’t want to reuse it, you can toss it in the trash

These Handi Wipes do not replace thick bath towels. But they do just fine when you need a light washcloth for your face or you need a light towel to dry your hands. My skincare regimen includes wiping my face down with a neutral toner—and when I travel, I don’t bother traveling with cotton pads; I just use a Handi Wipe. The mesh-like fabric means it lathers up nicely, as well, and will do as a washcloth in the shower if you don’t have access to a scrub cloth or regular washcloth.

The sheets are very stiff until you get them wet, after which they collapse into a soft patch of “cloth.” Getting it wet will take the “starch” out of these so they will still feel soft once they’ve dried. You can carry one of these in your pocket or purse to use instead of a paper napkin or a handkerchief.

The one big disadvantage? They are relatively hard to find these days. After all, why sell a package of extremely durable, reusable wipes for $3 when you can sell boxes of single-use wet wipes for twice as much? I remember scouring my neighborhood supermarkets in vain last year. You might be able to find them in cleaning supply stores (although you may have to purchase a larger quantity). You can always purchase them online at places like Amazon. Just do a search for “Clorox Handi Wipes” or “Handi Wipes towels” for a list of retailers.