Review: Fresh Start body cleansing washcloth system wipes

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I got a package of these Fresh Start “rinse free bathing” washcloths in a goody bag at the Leadville 100 in 2012.

To be honest, I almost didn’t even bother to bring them home with me in the car when I was packing, but I threw them in the car instead of throwing them out. I left them in my car, because I figured they might come in handy at some point, since I have a first grader who sometimes makes messes in the car.

They sat in a seat pocket for a few months and I had pretty much forgotten about them until I went to a cyclocross race in the fall that was near Austin. After the race, I wasn’t going to go back home and was heading over to someone’s house in Austin. I was completely sweaty and dirty, and I was going to be in the car for at least an hour and needed to eat lunch, and didn’t want to get my car seats dirty and sweaty. When I was packing up my bike I spotted the Fresh Start wipes and opened them up.

That’s when I learned how convenient and terrific these things really are!

I’m sure some people carry Wet Ones or baby wipes in their car for cleanup. But those are tiny and hard to clean up with. You have to use a bunch of them, and then figure out where to throw them away. Fresh Start wipes are different because they are HUGE, in a good way. They are 9 inches by 11 inches, which is sort of sized between a really big washcloth and a small hand towel.

They are much thicker than something like a Wet One or a baby wipe. I would describe it as twice as thick as those really expensive paper towel brands, but in a type of material that doesn’t rip or tear or fall apart. Even so, they are listed on the package as biodegradable.

They only have a mild scent, if any, and do not leave any smell on you when you use them.

When I was looking on the manufacturer’s web site to get more information before I started my review, I saw that they make several different versions of these, aimed at sports activities, hunting and fishing, and even specifically for amateur wrestling.

Fresh Start recommends that you use three of these to completely clean yourself off with, and they even have a system where you wipe your face and neck and chest with the first wipe, and then your arms and perineum (a discreet way of saying your butthole, I imagine) with the next wipe, and then your legs, back and buttocks with the third wipe. This would be if you wanted to take the equivalent of a complete shower with them.

I found that for my purposes, each towel was big enough that I could use a portion of it to clean off my face and head and neck, and then another portion to clean off my arms and chest, and then another portion to clean off my legs and back, and then the back side to finish up cleaning armpits. That would leave me clean enough to take off my cycling clothes and put on regular clothes and make it the rest of the afternoon until I could get home and take a real shower.

This is a product that I never knew I needed until I tried it out. Until Fresh Start, I usually opted for using my dirty cycling jersey to wipe off my sweaty arms and armpits and then just went home stinky until I could take a shower. With these, I can get clean enough that I would feel comfortable staying out the rest of the day if I were not able to get home right away to bathe.

I’ve never seen other wipes that are this particular size, and I think they are really great.

This is a terrific product to keep in your car in general, to travel with, and to keep in your bag of cycling stuff when you go to a ride or a race. I recommend them.

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