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Kandoo Toilet Wipes claim to be ‘your little one’s first toilet tissue’ …. or something to that effect. That was a put-off, as I don’t like niche products much. A machine for cutting rose shapes out of radishes, a saloon for cutting hair of married women aged 30 to 50 of Armenian extraction, shoes that are good just for getting in and out of the car in - these are all things that I view with a great suspicion.
However, Katie is growing, she is toilet trained as far as the act itself goes; but she still needs help in the final (read: bum wiping) stages. So, I am thinking of ways to teach her to do it herself and as ’toilet wipes’ are marketed at precisely such buyers, and I had received a voucher for a £1 off a packet of Kandoo in the last mailing from Tesco Baby and Toddler Club, I decided to get a packet.
The result is this review. It is exclusively devoted to a bum-wiping product for preschoolers, there is no depth nor sophisticated irony of any kind. If you are not in a target market for this product, dear reader, do yourself a favour and stop now. I won’t be offended, I promise.
I bought a refill packet - that seemed expensive enough and anyway I never ever saw much point in these dispenser boxes for normal wipes, being perfectly satisfied with a resealable refill packets. I will not change habits of three years of child breeding just for the benefit of providing the Ciao review with a dispenser section, sorry. The boxes didn't allow me to not rate the dispenser so the rating is based on the look I had at the thing.
The refill packaging is colourful in green, orange and purple; and probably quite attractive to children; reseals well enough until you lose that top bit and provides almost all of the information anybody could desire, including a long and frightening list of ingredients. To my practically limited mind, it lacks a significant piece of data: despite searching and seeking, nowhere could I see information on how many actual wipes the packet contained. Weird. I wonder why. Perhaps it has something to do with the ease of calculating the unit cost for a piece of fibre measuring 2 by 3 inches, drenched in moisturiser and perfume.
(2) Main Function
That is, bum wiping. On this score Kandoo work OK. Nothing particularly brilliant (I wonder what a particularly brilliant bum wiping performance would entail, actually). They are moist, soft and don’t tear, which is perhaps the most important factor if you are trying to encourage a three year old to do the wiping herself (not that my Katie was fooled, she has a very good grasp of her own abilities and even better one of the purpose of mummies, so nothing came of my attempt at encouraging independence. I can’t blame Kandoo for that. ).
The wipe is drenched in the usual wipe’y moisturiser and I have a strong impression that this one is not particularly friendly to sensitive skin. There was a slight almost-sting even during your reviewer’s test run so I would be careful if the prospective user had a tendency to allergies or sensitive skin. It is possible that this effect is caused mainly by what is covered in no. 3.
Kandoo wipes are fragranced - very definitely and strongly fragranced, in fact and I just cannot even imagine what purpose might it serve. They already contain a result of hard work of a little pharma-chemical factory and have no idea why a big dose of (not unpleasant itself, rather fruity-melony) fragrance was added.
There is another flavour apart form the Jungle Fruit I bought, but as far as I could see no unperformed version is available.
(4) Secondary functions
This is a failing. Normal wipes are usable for a variety of other purposes, including runny noses, mascara’d eyes and tomato-sauce-covered faces. Due to the ‘sting’ factor my one attempt at wiping a runny nose resulted in a scream, while the strong smell made them unpleasant alternative to serviettes. I didn’t dare to try them on my eyes.
I hasten to report that we have gone through most of the packet with no need for a plumber. However, I have to confess to a waste-disposal offence and say that I have been partial to flushing an occasional ‘normal’ wipe (and sometimes, but rarely, two) both in Poland and in the UK and never caused a plumbing emergency either.
I have a cynical suspicion that instead of employing clever technology people at Pampers to invent a special kind of water-soluble wipe fibres (there is no indication of that on the packet), clever marketing people at Pampers decided to cut normal, thinnish wipes in half, outsourced a lab assistant to conduct a series of experiments to determine how many of such pieces can be actually flushed in one go (they advise against using more than 5, not that I can see any need) and then marketed them as flushable. Please correct me if I am wrong and I will amend. The pampers website claims them to be biodegradable, and I cannot refute it, but believe me, they look and feel just like thinner and smaller version of a normal wipe.
(6) Price and Value for Money
I saved it for later. But yes, you have guessed. The reason the voucher I received from Tesco was for a whole pound off became apparent as I approached the appropriate shelf: Kandoo toilet wipes are EXTORTIONATELY expensive. The packet of undeclared number I purchased with my voucher cost (in a large, out of town Tesco) £2.69. That was a refill, remember.
[since writing the above I have found out - from the Tesco website - there is 60 in the packet]
As a comparison: a packet of 80 decent quality normal wipes can be had in Aldi for 1.29; that 72 Tesco wipes cost less than 1.50 and Pampers charges 2.49 for 72 of their own baby wipes (all of these are bigger), not even mentioning the fact that a roll of Value toilet paper (from a packet of four) costs less than 11 pence.
Overall, Kandoo wipes proved to be what I just about suspected they were: a fundamentally simple thing, repackaged and repositioned by clever (or perhaps not so clever) marketing as a niche product for which a massive price premium is charged, ecologically dodgy (we shouldn’t flush wipes unless they really disintegrate), unnecessarily fragranced which renders them almost useless for any other wiping purpose. They wipe bums well, but so do ‘normal’ wipes, moist toilet tissue, and normal toilet paper can be moistened with a bit o baby cream or warm water if such necessity arises.
Will I buy them again? No, I will not. I would have not done it in the first place if it wasn’t for the voucher; but I was contemplating buying a Tesco version. Now the trial of Kandoo convinced me that I am not one for niche products. Katie will have to do with universal white bog roll, I am afraid.
As many as two stars because they don‘t fail at the main task. Only two stars because they are a total rip-off and ecologically suspicious one to boot.
I have to agree with you - just what is the point??? My daughter is not yet old enough for these, at 18 months, but I certainly won't be encouraging the use of them. Great review. Suzy x
danielse 17.10.2004 01:18
Unfortunately, my daughter got a little too used to wipes and wiped her bum with the toilet cleaning wipes her grandma left on the shelf. Thankfully there were no bleach-y side effects.
Connoisseur_Haggler1 02.10.2004 22:29
Ohh! How manuafcaturers target peopoe with young children -its aa HUGE market! I had a sample of this -never actually bought any -as I dont believe in wipes -in house use-only use them when travelling! My son who's 2 - in potty-training mode but I still have the packets of wipes I was either givenw ith the free Bounty packs or had vouchers off being a new mum. I think in 2 years I 've managed to finish only 1 packet of wipes -and my child is clean! Whats wrong with fresh water?! Millions of people all over the world have children do they all use Kandoo?! Am with you on this one! ha! Great! -CH