In 1957, Arthur Julius created the first Wet-Nap wipe in a 2,500-sq-ft loft in lower Manhattan. What began as a family-owned startup with just one converted food packet packaging machine and eight employees, would soon turn into an international wet wipe sensation.
Five years later, Julius’ company, Nice-Pak, went national with the Wet-Nap products. Concurrently, “Colonel” Harlan Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was gaining traction — his “finger lickin’ good” slogan was booming. Julius saw the hygienic flaws in this motto, and suggested KFC lovers should clean up after gobbling up some drumsticks and thighs. And what better to use than the Wet-Nap?
Sanders ordered thousands the very next day, kickstarting Nice-Pak’s presence in the restaurant industry.
Over the years, Nice-Pak, which moved its headquarters (below) to Orangeburg in Rockland County in 1986, has introduced numerous wet wipe innovations including the development of the first alcohol swab for hospitals in 1963; the first resealable baby wipes travel pack for on-the-go portability in 1986; the disinfecting wipe in 1987; the antimicrobial alcohol gel hand wipe in 2003; the Eco-Pak for household disinfecting in 2010; and the first dispersible wipe made with 100% plant-based material in 2014.
And today, as the largest global wet wipes supplier with six manufacturing facilities around the world, the company is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“As soon as the specific coronavirus strain of SARS-CoV-2 became available, we worked … to test our [Nice ‘N Clean] disinfecting wipe’s efficacy against the virus on hard, nonporous surfaces,” explains Jim Dalton, vice president of research and development at Nice-Pak Products. Data on the Nice ‘N Clean wipe was sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and, in January, it was approved as a proven effective solution to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
“We are very proud to be able to deliver this new product that can help families stay safe and well during these challenging times,” says Dalton.