Editor’s note: When this story first appeared on the Strategist in May 2019, this product looked a little different. It was called the Home Starter Pack, and the dispenser was designed to sit on a countertop or other flat surface. It has since been renamed the Bathroom Kit and has been redesigned for easy wall-mounting, but the bum-friendly ingredients in Fohm’s cleanser remain the same, so we’re republishing it today as part of Butt Week.
I was scrolling through Instagram a couple months ago when I saw the ad for Fohm. I almost ignored it. Okay, I get it: “Warby Parker for hand soap” or whatever. But then I looked a little closer and saw that the hand beneath the dispenser was actually holding a square of toilet paper. I was intrigued. No ordinary soap dispenser, the Fohm is actually meant for toilet paper; it turns Charmin (or Cottonelle or Seventh Generation or whatever) into wet wipes by spurting out a dollop of skin-safe foam.
Curious to try it out, I called in a Fohm starter kit and have been testing it for two months now. To be completely honest, I was secretly hoping it would be a dud. I didn’t want to write about my wet-wipe experience on a widely circulated website, and I didn’t want my name forever Google-bonded with wet wipes, but unfortunately I really like this thing, so here we are.
The main question is why you’d use something like Fohm when you could just use wet wipes. Wet wipes are a great solution in a lot of ways, but they have some unintended consequences, mainly stemming from the fact that while they’re marketed as “flushable wipes,” they aren’t so flushable. Unlike toilet paper, they don’t easily break down in the septic system, which can lead to a host of problems. And while it’s a pricier proposition (a pack of wet wipes will cost you about $26 for 336 wipes, whereas a $38 refill pack of Fohm solution should last you about ten months), it’s much better for the municipal-sewage system.
With Fohm, you get the best of both worlds: the cleaning power of a moistened wipe alongside the comparatively low impact of toilet paper. The Fohm foam uses the same ingredients that wet wipes use — it’s gentle on the skin and cleans well. The foamy texture means a small amount of solution goes a lot further (like hand soap that has been lathered versus straight from the bottle), and I found it to be less irritating, too. And let’s be real: An automatic “touchless” dispenser is a lot more visually appealing and hygienic than a plastic box multiple people open and close. I’m definitely ordering a refill whenever I end up running out.
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