Body Wipes: Two Fixes for When You Just Can’t Shower

Whether you’re out camping, hiking or even just going from the gym to work, it’s easy to not feel your freshest after getting your sweat on. No matter if you’re going an hour or, ahem, six days without a shower, we put these two get-fresh products to the test to see how clean they really make you feel!

Paper-ShowerPaper Shower

About two nights into my trip, the name of this one alone was enough for me to praise it. A shower of any kind? Yes, yes, YES! While no product will ever be as glorious as a real shower, this Paper Shower was definitely better than nothing. Taking a Paper Shower is a two-part process. After securing a secluded place in the woods, you get half-naked and wipe yourself down with the moist towelette. For me, it was amazing/gross to see just how dirty I was after two nights in the backcountry. Next, you dry that moistness off with the dry towelette.

In theory, the two-part cleaning process makes sense, but in a dry climate like the Rockies, it wasn’t really necessary as just about as soon as you wiped yourself down the first time, Mother Nature took care of the drying part. The towelettes themselves were unscented and didn’t exactly make you feel squeaky clean, but they definitely improved matters. They also didn’t commit the biggest cleaning-wipe sin of all: leaving a gross sticky film. At about $1 a Paper Shower, they’re more than worth the money. Of course, I probably would have paid just about anything for a real shower by night four…

Sport-Body-WipesPlaytex Sport Body Wipes

Not to get too, er, personal, but after a long, hot workout or, again, six days without anything but a Paper Shower, things everywhere on the body can get pretty fragrant…and not in a good way. While out on the trail, I also took a few of the new Playtex Sport Body Wipes that are alcohol-free and safe enough to use on the “entire body.” So, that I did. I wiped myself down on nights three and six and had very different results. The first time I used these, I loved them. With a nice fresh scent, they took off sunscreen and dirt from the day, and my skin and nether-region felt about 20 times better. When I tried them later on in the trip it was a little different story. Granted, I was a lot more gross by night six, but these wipes seemed to leave more of a film than a clean feeling, leaving my skin slightly sticky. Not what you’re looking for in a sleeping bag, let me tell ya.

My advice on these Playtex wipes? They are best used as they’re marketed (duh, Jenn, right?!): after a workout. Don’t rely on them as a shower, paper or not. Great for the locker room and packaged in a cute and inconspicuous-looking sleeve that easily fits in your purse or gym bag, they are a good refresher that’s more grown up than baby wipes.

Do you use products like these to freshen up? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Tell us about it! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Carrie says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m headed for a camping weekend with not a lot of shower access and these will come in handy!

  2. vicki says:

    After a hike, my favorite “French shower” is with a Sweet Spot wipe (http://www.sweetspotlabs.com/) or Cottonelle wipe.

  3. Charice says:

    When I was in the Army and out in the field…NO showers, we all used baby wipes and also I learned to bring a little bucket for BIRD BATHS. You are right, when you are feeling grimy and especially “frangrant” any type of cleaning will work. I definitely like ideas though.

  4. Brandy says:

    I found a great product for a really refreshing showerlette. Called Just Cool Sports Wipes, they are great for after the gym or when out and cant get to a shower. (http:www.justcoolwipes.com)

  5. zoe says:

    Great reviews, the Paper Shower body wipe sounds fabulous. I will be packing it on my next camping trip but I think it would be great in all sorts of applications. I also just checked their website http://www.papershower.com and they now sell a Fresh version which has been formulated for sweat removal.

  6. Smith says:

    Great, I’m using antibacterial body cleansing wipes from WOW Wipes which is disinfectant natural bamboo wipes keeps me hygiene and fresh with a pleasant lemon scent.

  7. Great review. And Yeah! Body wipes help when you can’t shower. Lemon-scented body cleansing wipes are my favourite because they help out so much in feeling fresh while I go to work from the gym. They are a good refresher!

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