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Science

Help protect our waterways from contamination with these ingenious wet wipe alternatives

Pristine Cleansing Sprays can help wipe away your environmental worries.

Help protect our waterways from contamination with these ingenious wet wipe alternatives

With a rapidly changing climate, protecting our waterways has never been so important. Not only are they some of our most beautiful natural areas, they also offer tons of amazing recreation opportunities. Who doesn’t love a summer day down by the river?

With ever increasing amounts of pollutants, single-use plastics, and personal cleansing wipes making their way into our waterways, our planet’s natural bodies of water face threats of contamination. Wet wipes are especially harmful since many are made with plastic fibers that prevent them from breaking down in plumbing and sewer systems when flushed down the toilet - even those labeled as “flushable” still don’t always break down as required. These flushed wipes can bond together to create giant masses called “fatbergs” (like this giant one found in Maryland), which clog sewer systems and cause raw sewage overflows into our waterways. This major problem affects both wildlife and drinking water sources.



“There seems to be a common misunderstanding that, if it goes down the toilet, it's ‘flushable,’” says Jessica Oley, Owner & Founder of Pristine Cleansing Sprays, a company that makes eco-friendly alternatives to wet wipes. “City sewers and water treatment infrastructure are simply not equipped to handle the increased use of wet wipes, which has led to damaged machinery and sewage overflows into our natural bodies of water.”

While prioritizing care of our environment is undoubtedly a top priority, some luxuries are difficult to go without – especially those that contribute to our comfort and cleanliness and feel like necessities. Wet wipes and body wipes are some of those guilty pleasure items because of their convenience factor, but when you really consider their negative environmental effects, they become all guilt and little pleasure. Thankfully, though, the company Pristine Cleansing Sprays has begun curating products that provide the same comfort and convenience as wet wipes, while alleviating the negative environmental impact. Pristine’s toilet paper spray is sprayed onto dry toilet paper to create a wet wipe that naturally breaks down once flushed, so there’s no threat of clogs, fatbergs, or sewage overflows. Pristine also offers an eco-friendly alternative to another type of wet wipe – body wipes – with their new Body Cleansing Sprays. They spray directly onto your body (and/or cloth), then cleanse and refresh without creating extra waste that stems from single-use items like wipes. New products like these and eco-focused companies like Pristine might be the key to a clean body and a clean planet.

“It was really important to us when starting Pristine that we not only create high-quality, safe products, but that we did so in a way that reduced the burden on the environment,” said Oley. “Quality and environmental concerns are the central focus in every discussion that we make when curating new products.”

We wanted to learn more about the company and its impact. So we reached out to the founders of Pristine Cleansing Sprays for an interview and found out all about the inspiration behind these life-changing sprays. Here’s what they had to say:

1) Your toilet paper spray sounds like magic. Is it? If not, how does it work?

It’s magic! Plus a year of testing, formulating, and re-testing to perfect the right balance of quality ingredients and superior wiping experience while not compromising the integrity of the toilet paper :) Our toilet paper spray was formulated to be a simple, eco-friendly, truly flushable alternative to wet wipes. So all you have to do is spray Pristine directly onto folded toilet paper, wipe, and flush – like magic!

2) A lot of companies say they're eco-friendly and help the earth - what makes Pristine a company that truly makes the planet better?

When we started Pristine, it was extremely important to us to clean up more than just backsides. This meant formulating innovative products that truly help keep the environment cleaner. Our sprays are made to replace the use of wet wipes, body wipes, and hand wipes, with a spray alternative that is biodegradable. With every 4 oz bottle of Pristine, you prevent 200 single-use plastic wipes from entering the ecosystem. Plus the packaging is reusable and/or recyclable. We also seek out partners who care about the environment - our manufacturer is based in the USA, powers its facilities through 100% wind energy, and specializes in sourcing cruelty-free, sustainable, and natural ingredients.

3) So which came first – the toilet paper spray, the body spray, or the hand sanitizer? And be honest with us – do you have a favorite?

Our toilet paper spray was our first creation! Its early success took us all the way to the Shark Tank stage where we had the opportunity to tell 5 billionaires that they were wiping their tushes all wrong. We recognized that we didn’t have to stop at the bottom, but could create simple, eco-friendly solutions to other common problems. Our body cleansing spray was born to bridge the gap between an actual shower and a body spray that masks odor without cleansing. Then our hand sanitizing spray was released during COVID to aid in the hand sanitizer supply shortage. As a small, family business, our sprays feel like they are a part of the family, so we have to say that we love them all equally :)

4) So we read that you guys were both lawyers before starting the company... There's gotta be a story there, do tell :)

Yes, we are first cousins and both former lawyers! Early on in the development of our company, we would joke that the worst thing about failing in the butt-wiping industry would be having to be attorneys again. Ha! In all seriousness, the idea for Pristine was born over a family dinner conversation about wet wipes. We both had specific reasons about how we thought that we could improve upon wet wipes in a way that was better for the backside and better for the environment. That night, we took the leap and started working on what would eventually become our new and improved full-time jobs!

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


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