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Dude Wipes, for the discerning dirty man--and woman

October 16, 2012|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

Wiping materials are a delicate matter when it comes to their functional specificity: paper towels don't flush, tissues don't work for wiping things up, and toilet paper anywhere outside your own personal bathroom is pretty much useless for anything, including being toilet paper.

In an effort to confront this universal problem, Sean Riley, 27, thought up Dude Wipes, flushable wipes that serve as an all-purpose solution to the dirtiness that plagues dudes (and everyone else) on a day-to-day basis. 

Riley, of Lakeview, said he and his friends bought baby wipes all through college and during the years after graduation. But Riley was frustrated by the kind of wipes the economy packs from Sam's Club offered, as well as their lack of mobility. Seeing an opportunity, he set out to dude-ify the wipe.

"One thing we wanted to do was make sure that they were the highest-quality of flushable wipes, so we contacted a manufacturer for that," he said. "We wanted them to have a fresh, mild scent, nothing too fragrant, and they have natural aloes and vitamin E infused for sensitive formulas."

Cadillac Shemerdiak, a 22-year-old student at Columbia, is one buyer who has been particularly happy with the wipes. He purchased them from Amazon after reading some of the user reviews and now carries them in his backpack.

"I was looking for something to try out, different in regard to using toilet paper," he said. "I wanted something that could clean up dirty stains a little more."

The product launched in July and is available online. Riley said the larger aim of the brand was to be "interactive and entertaining, blunt and fun" because "people aren't always comfortable talking about those things."

So the wipes' package features tweets from product users, with a new one every time the company gets a new shipment. The picture on the box, of a caveman carrying toilet paper, was a customer submission.

"We like to engage people in funny conversation, so we're trying to encourage that with the wipes too," Riley said.

To date, Christopher "Big Black" Boykin has been their most hilarious exchange. When they sent a package to the set of "Fantasy Factory," Boykin renounced his infamous manpon in favor of the Dude Wipes, tweeting "follow @dudewipes for the best ass-wiping experience ever way better than the Man-Pon!" The wipes have also been used by the New England Patriots and the U.S. men's soccer team.

The wipes are not just for dudes, obviously, despite what the name would indicate.

"A lot of women really liked them at North Coast fFest," he said. "They were buying them by the handful and shoving them into their purse."

The brand doesn't have any plans to expand to other products anytime soon, only to diversify and perfect the Dude Wipe.

"It's early," Riley said. "We're just trying to build a presence."

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