Mug shotCyclist and entrepreneur James Bahcall reinvents the wet wipe

With an eye towards creating a product to make bike commuting easier, inventor and cyclist James Bahcall created the Paper Shower. A two-part wet and dry wipe system in a handy pack, the Paper Shower helps people freshen up in a rapid and effective manner.

While initially targeting cyclists, he quickly discovered that the demand for a large wet wipe coupled with a dry towelette went far beyond just the cycling and outdoor markets.
“Paper Shower is an affordable and effective personal hygiene solution ideal for travelerscommuters, exercisers, and outdoor adventurers,” explains Bahcall.

Paper Shower is quickly becoming a business success story that we all love to hear. To date, over 250,000 of the packets have been sold nationwide and his story has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine and

Bahcall feels that Paper Shower has great potential in California.

He recently shared his journey with us, explaining “As a business opportunity, selling towelettes may seem like a pretty mundane proposition, but I can assure you Paper Shower is the culmination of years of personal evolution as a businessman. As an entrepreneur I look to develop products that I would like to use myself but can’t find in stores.”

The lightbulb moment came to Bahcall while using a wet wipe in a Starbucks about two years ago. Bahcall, an avid mountain biker, was dripping with sweat after a morning ride on a humid day. He used a wet wipe to clean himself up before heading into Starbucks, but the whole experience left him feeling a bit uncomfortable.

“After using the alcohol-based wet wipe I was still sweating so I had to dry myself off with a bunch of dry paper towels. I said to myself, ‘there has to be a better way.’ That’s when the idea of a wet towelette coupled with a dry one came to me. I researched the idea and discovered that such a product didn’t exist.”

This unpleasant experience in a Starbucks bathroom was the beginning of Paper Shower.
Energized and inspired to make a product that the world needed and might serve as a way to inspire people to bike more and drive less, Bahcall set about creating his dream business in terms of product, structure, and altruistic focus.

“I knew from the very beginning I wanted to donate a portion of our product to worthy non-profits,” he explained.

Better homelessWith every sale, Paper Shower donates product to homeless shelters around the Chicago area. Plans are in place to take the homeless shelter donation program nationwide.

However, before he could start selling his product and diverting a portion of the proceeds to worthy causes, Bahcall knew he still had to be absolutely certain he had arrived at the perfect product design.

He put in many hours of R&D before he was satisfied. Realizing that typical wet wipes are too small, he increased the size of the towelettes to 10”X12”. Wanting to avoid the heavy alcohol content of most wet wipes, Bahcall mixed in saline water with a mild soap and a glycerine based moisturizer.
What resulted was a handy wipe system that was hermetically sealed in a handy package that can be stored in a purse, backpack, carry-on luggage or even a pocket.

Besides creating a successful business that gives a portion of the proceeds to worthy causes, Bahcall’s greatest hope was to inspire people who have always wanted to bike to work to give it a try.
“Many people are hesitant to ride to work for fear of being sweaty or uncomfortable once they get there. Now they can take a ‘paper shower’ and virtually eliminate that problem. What inspires me the most about this product is the idea that it can make bike commuting possible for people who have been resistant because of hygienic concerns.”

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