staying clean

Paper showers and other ways to stay fresh on the road

Staying shower-fresh and stain-free when you’re on the road can be challenging.

Especially for air travelers who must snooze sitting up and squeeze a week’s worth of cleansing lotions and cosmetic potions into those tiny, zippered, see-through baggies.

Sponge-baths in public restroom sinks can be awkward so, for a story on, I rounded up an assortment of travel-sized products that may come in handy next time you or your favorite road warrior is creased, crinkled or stinky and away from home.

Paper showers and public restroom survival kits

Moist towelettes can be lifesavers when your hands – or the tray table and the armrests on the airplane – are sticky and full of germs. For bigger jobs, there’s the Paper Shower, a two-part packet with a wet side containing a paper towel dipped in alcohol-free soap and skin moisturizers and a second, super-absorbent towel on the dry side to remove what the wet portion leaves behind.

These days you can find all manner of travel-sized soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and hand sanitizers in drugstores but “at the request of several self-proclaimed germaphobes,” Paul Shrater said his company,,  put together the Public Restroom Survival Kit,, which is stocked with travel-sized packets of toilet seat covers, disinfecting wipes, surface cleaners and toilet paper.

In the on-line cleaning supplies aisle offers travel-sized odor eliminators and bed bug spray and, elsewhere on the site, Shrater finds that “Travel-sized Febreze and Lysol tend to be very popular.”

Lip-stick sized deodorants and no-brush tooth polish

Over at (“For those who travel, those who are curious and those who can’t commit”) bestsellers among the personal care travel items include Beze Deodorettes, which are lipstick-sized mini-deodorants that fit into a purse or a pocket, and Supersmile Quikee, a pocket-sized no brush/no rinse tooth polish.

And for those who like to kick off their shoes on the airplane, but are self-conscious about the smell, there are Silver Linings, ultra-thin shoe inserts made with silver to absorb bacterial odor.

Of course, out on the road it’s not just people who get grimy. “For well-traveled smartphones we have cellphone cleaning wipes,” said’s Shrater. “They’re called Celly Smellys and are a popular and interesting curiosity.”