Do Not Store Tissues in the Car

As a suburban mom, my car is my home base. (At any rate, this was in the period leading up to the pandemic.) If there was a small chance that I would ever need something while I was out, he lived in the car. Sunscreen? Check. Diapers? The whole case, in the trunk. Napkins? Probably a couple of packages. However, there is a problem with the latter.

Yes, there may be napkins in the car, but don’t expect to keep them there for long. Whether it’s baby wipes, facial wipes, or “washable” buttock wipes (which should never be rinsed off ), extreme temperatures in a car’s interior are not suitable for storage. Leave them there and eventually your wipes will either dry out or become very dirty.

I saw the first opportunity happen to my own car napkin closet. A discarded pack of tissues will likely be too dry to use after months in the trunk.

But that’s not all. The FDA points out in a consumer newsletter that wipes left in a hot machine all summer can lead to bacteria or mold growth, as heat can destroy the preservatives in the wipes. (Yes, there are preservatives in the napkins, otherwise they would get moldy all the time .)

Because your wipes are heat-baked, a lack of preservatives combined with a warm, humid environment can lead to bacteria or mold growth on the wipes. Since you are likely using said wipes to remove germs from your hands (or your baby’s buttocks), this is counterproductive.

So what needs to be done? I would not occasionally sweat during the day in the car, but I will try to remove napkins from there as long as possible. Store them, for example, in a diaper bag and, if possible, take the bag out of the car. This will keep the wipes fresh and clean when you need them.


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