I think I have a great idea for stores everywhere.

It’ll make shopping much more convenient for the customer. It’ll save time for store employees. It’ll simply make everyone happy as clams – and Lord knows we can always use more “happy as clams” types these days.

Yes, all the retailers need to do is put all their wipes in one store aisle. That’s right: Designate a part of the store as the “Wipe Zone,” with a big sign overhead saying, “Wipe It Up.”

However, given the proliferation of wipes on the market today, the store might have to build an addition and hire new staff to manage that section. Indeed, along with the produce manager, the bakery manager, the meat manager and the dry goods manager, we’d now see a wipes manager. They would be very busy individuals – once our stores have retooled after COVID-19, that is.  

Today the inventory of wipes, those pre-treated, pre-moistened, disposable towelettes of all sizes, are used all over the body, all over the house, all over the garage, and all over the office. In short, they’re used all over the place. I think the granddaddy of the wipe was the Wet One, probably created for astronauts in space where soap and water were in short supply. I imagine the grandchild of the Wet One is the baby wipe, which – by the way – can be used to wipe up black heel marks from vinyl floors.

From those early products, we now have wipes that clean all kinds of things. For that all-important personal hygiene, we can now wipe our faces, our posteriors, our underarms, our feet and our teeth. In the home, that messy casserole can now be washed with a pre-treated dishcloth. We can clean, dust, disinfect, polish and shine everything from end tables to toilets, countertops to mirrors and windows.

For someone like me who is regularly attacked by the food from her plate, the disposable spot treatment cloths are indispensable in saving the wardrobe. Grab a wipe, treat the stain and lean against a hand-dryer in the nearest restroom to dry the affected area.

In the garage, we can clean our car interior and our car tires with pre-treated towelettes and grab an insect repellant or a sunscreen repellant wipe on the way out to the garden. A camping website touts the advantages of its “RV wipes” to clean everything in the recreational vehicle.

Specialty wipes include those to polish shoes, and another to polish musical instrument. We can even freshen up Fluffy or Spike, the family dog or cat, with pet wipes guaranteed to make that animal – well – not smell like an animal. Finally, of all things, there’s a wipe warmer for baby wipes. My guess is it was invented to prevent the “that’s cold, Mom” spasm from little one during a diaper change.

Now that I ponder this, maybe a section of the local retail store isn’t big enough for all these wipes products. A specialty shop perhaps? After all, there are nuts and bolts stores, battery stores, scrapbook stores – why not wipes stores?

Of course, there’s another problem: Where do I put all the wipes when I get home? Looks like our house might need an addition, too.

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