As unusual as the construction of the bag is, the product is equally so.
The wipe itself is the result of two patents assigned to Foss. What makes this product unique, at least so far, is that the polyester wipe is manufactured with AgIon™ as an integral part of the fiber. AgIon is an anti-microbial product that contains silver, and it prevents not only the growth of bacteria but also organisms like mold and mildew. AgIon (Ag is the abbreviation for the mineral silver) is now being used in a variety of products, particularly in Japan where it was developed and called Healthshield.
Unlike other more common anti-microbial products that use drug compounds, AgIon is totally inorganic. In some countries, the drug compounds have come under attack because there is some evidence that they kill good bacteria while creating super strains of bacteria unaffected by antibiotics in the human body. So claims Joe Valentino, director of retail marketing for Foss Manufacturing, Hampton, NH.
Foss developed and patented a method of spinning polyester fiber with AgIon incorporated into the surface, rather than as a treatment. What it does is kill bacteria on the wipe itself, not on the countertop it wipes.
“It’s designed to replace a kitchen sponge or other wipe,” Valentino explains. “If you looked at a typical kitchen sponge under a microscope, it’s like a science-fiction movie. It’s just disgusting, because it supports the growth of bacteria and other organisms.”
Plus, the Fosshield isn’t disposable like paper towels or other anti-bacterial wipes, and it will last longer than sponges, Valentino claims. That’s a double-edged sword: “I gave one to a friend, and six months later he still hasn’t had to replace it!”
A three-pack of wipes is priced at $3.99, fairly close to the price for a pack of three sponges.
AgIon also has packaging applications. It’s used in products like soaker pads for retail meat packs where bacteria could breed.