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Oh, Kleenex! I am disappointed in you.

If you’re one of the rare people whose media consumption is even lower than mine, you might be unaware of the atrocity that Kleenex has recently rolled out (I found out about it in a coupon insert).

I hardly even have words to explain how completely ridiculous it is.

But I will try.

Kleenex’s latest invention is the disposable bathroom hand towel.

“Families have not had a practical alternative to traditional cloth hand towels in their home bathrooms… until now.”, they intone, as though we’ve all been pining away for something to replace that disgusting, germ-filled, washable hand towel.

Seriously? The bathroom hand towel we’ve been using for decades upon decades upon decades is suddenly insufficient?

Haven’t we been hearing about how the overuse of antibacterial products is making is more prone to illness? Without exposure to germs and bacteria, our immune systems suffer.

I really don’t understand the thinking that says that every. single. thing. in your life must be free of germs and bacteria. If you’re in a hospital, or you’re doing surgery, I can understand this.

But I don’t live in a hospital, and no surgery ever happens at my house. We just do not need to be that clean.

Plus, think how silly it is to use a disposable hand towel while still keeping some other reusable items around. I quote Kleenex again:

Regular washing of bathroom hand towels does not ensure clean hands.”

The conclusion they want to you to draw is that Kleenex disposable hand towels DO ensure clean hands.

Using this logic, we can conclude that regular washing of underwear does not ensure clean, um, nether regions. Should we look into disposable underwear, then?

And what about socks? Maybe our feet are full of germs (shoes are dark! and moist! and bacteria probably grows in them!), and they’d be sparkling clean and sanitary if we came up with one-time-use socks.

As I said, I’m quite convinced that a little exposure to bacteria is good for us, and that keeping our homes TOO clean is bad for our health.

But even if you cast those concerns aside, these towels are a failure from both a green and frugal perspective.

This product is trash-producing from start to finish, which is in the best interest of Kleenex’s bottom line. If you have to keep throwing a product away, you have to keep buying it, which means you’ll keep giving your money to Kleenex. I’m not completely opposed to disposable paper products, but I think it’s silly to use a paper product when a viable, simple, not-at-all-disgusting alternative is available (this means I will use hand towels in the bathroom, but I will not be switching to cloth toilet paper).

What about the cost? I haven’t seen these in my grocery store yet, but sells a 6o-pack of these “towels” for $3.49.

If you live in a small household, a 60 pack might last for a while, but in my house, we’d go through a 60 pack in no time flat. If the six of us each dried our hands just 4 times a day, we’d use 24 of these towels in a day. So, a 60 pack would last us all of about 2 days. That means a week’s supply of these would cost over $11.

<Kristen faints>

No, Kleenex, I won’t be buying your new product.

I’ll just be here in my happy bacteria-filled house, using these out-dated, germ-filled, sickness-inducing pieces of white cotton to dry my family’s hands.

It’ll be tough, be I think we’ll survive. 😉

P.S. Did I mention how ugly and institutional I think Kleenex’s product looks? They try to convince us that these are sleek and stylish and that they go with any sort of decor, but I’m totally unconvinced.

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Jerry Diaz

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

I bet all of y'all are hoarding Purell now though like it was gold

Jerry Diaz

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

Hopefully you're washing your underwear and socks after each use and are the sole user of each, as opposed to hand towels which are used by every household member for at least a week or more. So your logic is flawed and point thus negated.

Brian P

Wednesday 1st of July 2015

"A disposable towel! Oh, the humanity! Oh, the environment! Who's going to protect our children?"

Good heavens, ladies, get over yourselves. The world isn't going to come to an end due to the existence of a disposable hand towel.

As for big, bad corporations, I suggest you stop buying anything at all. Your house and everything in it are the manifestations of your family members, friends and neighbors having jobs; they have those jobs because their employers make money, and because their employers make money, your investments grow. The notion that the people that run them are sitting around a conference table saying, "Hey, here's a great idea to destroy the earth and screw people!" reeks of ignorance and paranoia.

Not a practical product for you? Fine. But spare the world your histrionics.


Thursday 4th of September 2014

I disagree with we "need" germ exposure. I grew up with hand towels and got several colds a year, viral diarrhea etc. When I started living in an environment where I controlled the sanitation, I got a lot healthier. I think paper towels, or at least your own towel in bathroom is a must. I will use a kitchen towel in the kitchen, but there is no meat germs in there. I try to keep home/common used surfaces clean, but antibacterial products aren't necessary. Vinegar, Castile soaps etc work just fine.

Donna Gardner

Wednesday 19th of February 2014

I hate going to a persons home and having to use their towels after washing my hands, I have no way of knowing what is on that towel or when it was last washed. I do know many people who only occasionally change the towels too. Therefore, in my own home I give my guests peace of mind knowing that when they wash their hands, they are getting a perfectly new and clean towel to dry off with. Perhaps hygiene isn't that important to you, it certainly doesn't sound like, or, maybe you were just looking for something to complain about. At any rate, I think these towels are a marvelous invention by kleenex. Remind me not to come to your house, I can only imagine how gross your towels are.


Wednesday 19th of February 2014

I usually put a fresh towel out before people visit my house, actually. ;) And I wash mine regularly.

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