There are a lot of things you dread getting on your hands when using baby wipes. But you don’t expect glass.
Yet that’s exactly what one American mum claims she found in her pack of Huggies wipes, sparking a wave of panicked wipes-checking across social media.
How the #HuggiesGlass story broke
Mum Melissa Estrella uploaded a video on Facebook last week, showing what she believed to be “glass shards” embedded in the baby wipes.
In the video the mother-of-one opens three different packs of Huggies Cucumber wipes and rubs off what appear to be clear, sparkly splinters onto her fingers – yikes!
Clearly distressed by what she is filming, Melissa says on the video: ”I’m not lying, you guys. There’s glass on my daughter’s wipes. I’m just so heart broken I didn’t notice this sooner.”
Melissa’s video, which has now been removed from Facebook and YouTube, was viewed and shared over 6 million times. It’s still, understandably, causing much debate and alarm, with other parents now posting up their own videos of ‘sparkly shards’ in their Huggies wipes (skip to 3:07 mins to see the sparkly bits in the video below).
What Huggies did next…
Huggies immediately launched an investigation and released a statement on its Facebook page saying that its wipes are safe and confirming that “no glass is used during the manufacture of our wipes”.
It later issued an update with results from Melissa’s samples that it had sent for independent analysis, saying that the tests confirmed “there is no glass or fibreglass in the wipes”.
That hasn’t stopped nearly 7,000 parents leaving comments on Huggies’ Facebook page – many complaining that they can’t get through to the now-swamped customer careline. To its credit, Huggies is individually answering each post, albeit with pretty much the same cut-and-paste message – “our wipes are safe, there is no glass”.
Others have joined in the debate, with one Instagram user posting their own explanation…
What Huggies told us
We were able to contact Kimberly-Clark (the company that owns Huggies) who explained what the shiny bits in the wipes actually are.
Apparently they’re due to a microfibre called polypropylene, a thermoplastic fibre often used in labelling, packaging and textiles, which is present in the wipes. It seems these fibres occasionally combine during the manufacturing process, causing shiny particles. According to Kimberly-Clark, it’s these shiny bits that parents are now spotting.
“The primary message to parents who use Huggies wipes is that our wipes our safe to use. We do not use glass or fibreglass in the manufacture of our baby wipes,” says Bob Brand at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, confirming that all the wipes sold in the UK & Ireland are manufactured locally in the UK.
“In addition we have now completed independent testing of wipes that have been returned to us and the testing confirmed that no glass or fibreglass was present.”
So what does this mean for you?
Huggies is clearly extremely confident that there are no harmful or sharp elements in its wipes and has said it has no plans to change its ingredients or the way it makes wipes.
And while many of us won’t be fans of plastics or chemicals in our baby wipes, there would have been more of a ruckus (and cut bottoms and mums’ hands) if the wipes were indeed peppered with glass.
The bottom line is clear – you don’t need to ditch your wipes.
If you want more info, Huggies has uploaded a helpful FAQ page on its website and is responding to every complaint individually.
“We will deal with concerns with any of our products the same way…one individual at time. We encourage any parent with questions or concerns regarding Huggies wipes to contact our Consumer Services team at 0800 587 5298.”
Read more about consumer scares…